Should you get dental implants or veneers? What are the basic differences? Which is the right treatment for you? This article will give you the information you need in order to make an informed decision.
What Is the Difference Between a Dental Implant and a Veneer?
Think of a dental implant as a replacement tooth. A titanium implant is put into the bone as an anchor. A crown that matches the shape and color of the surrounding teeth is affixed to it to fill in the gap.
A veneer is more like a cover for an existing tooth – usually one that has been damaged. The cover works to prevent the tooth from further damage or decay while maintaining an even surface for chewing. A crown will also be matched to the surrounding teeth so as to look as natural as possible. So, do you need an implant or a veneer? Here are the situations where these methods are commonly used.
When to Get an Implant
Replacing a lost or extracted tooth – Sometimes just one or two teeth are lost. An implant can actually help you to maintain your normal bite and the appearance of your smile without damaging the surrounding teeth.
Prevent shifting of teeth – When a tooth is lost, it leaves room for other teeth to move. Even if you don’t mind having a gap where the missing tooth is, you may decide to get an implant to keep the rest of your teeth from shifting out of position.
Aesthetics – An implant can be made to look like a natural tooth. You won’t have to be afraid to smile in front of the camera with an implant.
When to Get a Veneer
A chipped tooth – Covering a chipped tooth with a veneer will hide the damaged tooth and restore a natural look while also protecting the tooth from further damage.
Discolored teeth – While whitening is a much less expensive process, some choose to get veneers on all of their teeth to cover stains and have their entire mouth be a bright white.
Worn teeth – As we age, plaque wears more and more of the enamel away from our teeth. To protect worn teeth from further damage, a veneer can be used.
Which Lasts Longer?
Since the two types of dental work are used for different reasons, it’s not really fair to compare them. However, while implants can last up to 25 years with proper care, veneers usually last closer to 10. Just remember that when a tooth is damaged, veneers allow you to keep your original tooth longer while implants require the real tooth to be extracted.
For more information about which is right for you, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment today! A new smile awaits.