You may have been there. You may have cracked your tooth on a piece of hard food. Your filling that you’ve had for ages might have fallen out. Or you may have lost a tooth from playing football or an accident. Now you’re living in agony because of the discomfort and inconvenience that these problems may be causing. You can rest assured as today’s dentistry is offering multiple solutions for you to choose from. Two popular and effective options include an implant or a veneer. This article from Sydney Dental will cover dental implant vs. veneer to help you with your decision making.

dental implant vs. veneer

There are significant differences between these two dental procedures. Additionally, one method may benefit you better than the other so there is more to choose between a veneer and an implant than just your personal preference and budget. Whatever the case is, always make sure to consult with a certified dental care provider to make the best treatment choice.

Dental implant

1. What is a dental implant? Dental implant vs. veneer

Generally speaking, dental implants play as the substitute roots for your teeth. They bring patients a strong base for permanent or detachable false teeth that are designed to match your original ones.

A typical dental implant usually consists of:

  • A dental implant body, surgically placed in the jawbone to substitute for the tooth’s root.
  • A dental implant abutment, bonded to the implant body via the abutment fixation screw that goes across your gums into the mouth. 
  • An ceramic tooth, which is attached to the abutment on top, making the implant one whole functional piece.

Why do you need dental implants?

Those who have lost one or more teeth can find dental implants helpful. A dental implant is also needed if you have missing teeth as a result of:

  • Tooth decay, also called cavities;
  • Breaks in the tooth roots;.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism;
  • Periodontal conditions;
  • Injuries to the face;
  • Innate tooth loss (born with some teeth missing).

2. What is a dental veneer?

A veneer is a thin porcelain tooth-colored and tooth-shaped shell. It is placed on the front tooth surface to help cover shortcomings of the original teeth and boost your confidence as you smile. Dental veneers will be created and adjusted in size, shape, and color to function like your natural teeth. This is to make your new teeth look as natural as possible.

3. How to make your choice: implants or veneers?

3.1. The procedure and treatment time

As a surgical procedure, a dental implant is an invasive treatment that may take patients multiple months to complete. Quite a large amount of healing time is required for the implant to be fused into the body. This process is also known as osseointegration. Over the course of around 6 months, the patient possibly needs to attend 3-4 appointments.

During the treatment, the dental specialist will:

  • Put you under anesthesia. They will calculate the right dose of local anesthesia to numb your gums up. If you want to be sedated, meaning you’ll fall asleep during the procedure, the provider may accommodate that request as well;
  • Make a cut in your gums. As soon as you feel comfortable with the help of the numbing medication, the professional will create an incision in your gums to give space for the upcoming dental implant. This will reveal the bone underneath for the implant to be located;
  • Prepare the jaw. Your dentist will use specialized tools to make a hole in your jawbone. They’ll expand the it until it is of the exact diameter for your the implant;
  • Position the implant. The provider will place the dental implant into your jaw with extra care;
  • Seal the cuts. Finally, your dentist will reposition the gums and stitch the incision shut.

The procedure of dental implant is usually the same for every patient. That said, in some cases, the dentist may place a dental implant and restoration, like a dental crown or bridge at the same appointment. Usually you will need to wait a couple of months for the implant to fully heal prior to the final restoration for safety purposes. The dental provider can create a temporary, often detachable, restoration for the patient to use throughout the healing time.

On the other hand, a dental veneer is not a surgical treatment and can be done in 1 to 2 dental appointments over the course of a few weeks. Initially, the dentist will discuss with you and examine your oral health before the procedure. The staff at the dental clinic will make impressions of your teeth to create the veneers in the most equal shape and size. A small portion of the tooth enamel will be removed to attach veneers on. To ensure the most natural look for your teeth, the dentist will place temporary veneers on your teeth to test for the fit and color. Finally, after the adjustments, the attached veneers will be polished, cleaned, and roughened with a specialized adhesive.

dental implant vs. veneer
dental implant vs. veneer

3.2. The expense

Generally speaking, dental implants are more expensive than most dental procedures, including dental veneers. 

The final cost of dental veneers vastly depends on the number of veneers to be placed and the type chosen. Some people may need fewer veneers if their smile is of lower width. Similarly, the expense for a dental implant treatment also differs, depending on factors like the number of implants, the implant type, and whether there are any additional to be done for preparation. 

Whatever the case is, you can always ask for a cost estimate from your dental care provider to weigh your options. It is best for patients to base their choice on the benefits of the treatment for their particular case, not solely on the cost. Finances are not one long-term key factor as it is the final result and your satisfaction that matter the most.

3.3. The functionality

For smile restoration

Each of the two plays a unique role in restoring your smile. If your teeth are healthy – it is just the cosmetic aspect that is bothering you then there is no need to remove them to place an implant into the tooth root. In this case, a veneer may be a better fit. 

However, veneers won’t be applicable if there is nothing to attach them to, which is the case of missing teeth. This is when dental implants can be a good option. Implants are the only permanent tooth replacement that won’t do any harm to the adjacent teeth. The implanted prosthesis will function like your original teeth and people won’t even notice that you’ve done implants.

For broken, decay, or worn out teeth

To fix structurally damaged teeth, restorative filling or crown can be beneficial. In cases that the flaw is mild, like slight chipping or wear, veneers may be the option that will give patients the most aesthetic effects. You can have the shape, color, width, and length of the veneers adjusted to your preference. Nevertheless, veneers are not for patients with ongoing tooth decay because the decay may continue to develop under it.

For correcting gappy or crooked teeth

You’re good to go with veneers if the gaps and crowding are mild. Nonetheless, complex cases of dental misalignment require orthodontic treatments. Those who don’t want to wear braces and would like quick results can opt for veneers as they can create a straighter look for your smile in just a few weeks.

For whiter teeth

A teeth whitening agent may fail to produce the desired results due to enamel defects or unresponsive internal staining.

The answer to instant whiter teeth is definitely veneers as veneers cover everything behind them. Another pro is you can totally choose your preferred shade to enhance your facial features and smile.

3.4. Durability

Dental implants are the most durable tooth replacement these days. With thorough maintenance, these can last all your life.

Porcelain veneers usually last for 10 years or longer. If you have bruxism, which is the term for teeth grinding, it is best to wear a mouthguard during sleep time to avoid harming your veneers. After a while, the user needs to replace veneers with a new set. 

Therefore, if you want a permanent tooth restoration that is going to last for a long time, you may want to consider dental implants.

dental implant vs. veneer
dental implant vs. veneer

3.5. Candidacy

To be eligible for veneers, your should meet the following conditions:

  • Healthy teeth and gums, and no history of dental filling;
  • No frequent habit of teeth clenching as it can make your veneers cracked, chipped, or broken. If you have the habit of grinding your teeth regularly, the dentist can give you a mouth guard to use at night;
  • Your teeth are not affected too much even after some portion of the tooth enamel has been removed;
  • Dental veneers won’t help with severe misaligned teeth. If that is the case, the dentist will recommend several alternatives.

Regarding dental implants, those whose health is good enough to receive a normal tooth extraction or dental surgery can be a candidate. They should also have:

  • Healthy gums;
  • Enough bone for the implants to be bonded to;
  • Decent oral hygiene;
  • Frequent visits to the dentist.

4. A word from Sydney Dental – your trusted provider

Hopefully this read has given you a good idea of how dental implants and veneers compare and which is more suitable for your needs. If you are still unsure of which treatment to go with for a new unforgettably stunning smile in your particular case, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

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