‘Tis the season for family photos, greeting old friends and loved ones, and digging in to delicious homemade food. But if some of your teeth are damaged or decayed, it can have negative affects on both their appearance and functionality, which can make all of those activities more difficult. Luckily, My Family Dentistry has options for dental restoration. If you’ve been considering veneers or dental implants but aren’t sure yet which is best for your needs, this blog can help.
Veneers are thin shells made from porcelain or tooth-colored resin. If your teeth are stained, chipped, cracked, or have gaps between them, veneers can be placed over them to make visual and cosmetic corrections. They are bonded to the outer surface of the tooth to make sure they don’t shift around.
- Veneers are great for quick and easy smile restoration—they instantly cover up unsightly teeth. If you want a more confident smile in the shortest time possible, veneers are the way to go.
- Veneers can also help cover up alignment issues by filling in gaps and hiding crooked teeth.
- Veneers can help protect worn down tooth enamel from further wear and tear.
- The process of installing veneers is similar to installing crowns—it’s quick and pretty much painless.
- Veneers are really only useful for cosmetic issues like discoloration, chips, cracks, or gaps. They can help brighten your smile, but only if the teeth beneath the veneers are still functional and relatively healthy.
- Veneers generally only last about 10 years before they need to be replaced.
- Veneers do not prevent oral health concerns such as gum disease or bacterial infections.
- If they are not bonded to your teeth correctly, veneers can potentially shift around on the surface of the tooth and need to be replaced sooner.
- If veneers shift, they can recede from the gum line and cause future problems such as gum disease or tooth decay.
Unlike veneers, dental implants are used to replace missing teeth, or teeth that are decayed or damaged to the point where they are no longer functional. The implant process involves placing a tiny titanium implant into the jawbone to mimic a tooth root. If you have missing or severely damaged teeth, your jawbone will collapse in around the rotted tooth roots and begin to shrivel and deteriorate. That’s why we put implants directly into the bone—so your body thinks there’s still a tooth root there. The titanium “root” stimulates regular bone growth so you don’t experience bone loss in your jaw.
Once the “root” has been surgically implanted in the jawbone, we attach an artificial tooth on top of it. The artificial teeth are made of tooth-colored resin so they look and feel like a healthy natural tooth.
- Implants completely replace missing or severely damaged teeth.
- Implants are strong, sturdy, and extremely durable. They typically last about 25 years—and if you practice great oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice per day and visiting your dentist regularly, they can last a lifetime.
- Implants can replace one or more teeth without any effect on the adjacent teeth.
- Implants can help resolve joint pain or biting issues caused by tooth alignment issues or crooked teeth.
- Because the implanted artificial teeth perfectly imitate natural teeth, you will have no issues chewing or speaking.
- Implants are comfortable and securely fastened into your mouth.
- Because they require oral surgery, implants are more expensive than veneers.
- Implants are not a quick solution. They require multiple steps—including a waiting period of up to 6 months while the implant fuses with the jawbone. (A temporary artificial tooth can be worn during this time.)
- Implants do not prevent oral health concerns such as gum disease or bacterial infections.
- If your jawbone has been weakened by diseases such as osteoporosis, additional dental work might be required before you get your implants. Your surgeon may first need to graft bone onto the weakened portion before inserting the titanium “roots.”
Which is best for me?
Whether you get veneers or dental implants depends on your needs and the extent of your dental damage. If the issues with your teeth are mostly cosmetic, veneers are probably the best choice. However, if your teeth are severely damaged or missing, dental implants will work better to completely repair and preserve the health of your smile. My Family Dentistry offers both veneers and My Teeth Today Dental Implants, so whatever your decision, we’ve got you covered.
If you have any questions about veneers vs. implants, or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wes, contact our office today! We offer experienced dental care, attentive customer service, and a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere.