Veneers vs Implants: Which is Best?
There are many procedures available via your favourite cosmetic dentist that will enable you to improve or perfect your smile, so how can you choose which is right for you? The specialists at Harley St Smile have found that one particular choice – between dental veneers and implants – can prove notably difficult, so read on to discover what they advise if you’re finding it hard to decide between the two. They’ll compare each based on a number of criteria, so you’ll be able to find the choice much easier to make by the end!
- What Do They Look Like?
Veneers are usually made from porcelain or composite resin, and take the form of a slim but sturdy shell of material affixed to the front of the tooth. They are meticulously shaped and perfectly recoloured to match the rest of your smile. A good, well-cared-for set of veneers should last an average of ten years and can be easily repaired or replaced.
Similarly, the implant “crown” and “abutment” – or connector – are usually made from a type of ceramic, such as porcelain, but the base is typically titanium to ensure that it is exceptionally strong. Implants take the place of the whole tooth, and can also be shaped and coloured to blend in perfectly. A dental implant lasts for an an average of ten to fifteen years, and can also be fixed or changed if needed.
- What Can They Fix?
Veneers are a very popular dentistry option that can be used to correct a number of issues. Permanently discoloured teeth can be disguised through the application of veneers of a healthier hue, crooked, gapped, asymmetrical, broken or uneven teeth can be straightened and reshaped and issues with eating, speech and bite (how the teeth and jaws fit together) can be rectified.
Implants are used in place of an entire tooth, which makes them rather different to veneers. If a tooth has been lost through gum or periodontal disease or through some form of accident or impact, it can easily be replaced with an implant. The same applies to teeth that are very badly broken, cracked or worn down. You can opt for repairs if possible, but an implant may provide a more long-lasting solution with improved peace of mind due to its strength.
- How Do I Get Them?
Having veneers applied usually takes one consultative meeting with your dentist and then two separate dental appointments, usually a fortnight apart or less, with neither session lasting more than an hour. After discussing your needs with a specialist at your consultation, your first session will involve taking a mould of your teeth to help determine the shape of the veneers. After this, a small amount of enamel may be removed from the teeth that are to receive the veneers, to allow them to fit so that the smile appears level and even. You may be given temporary protective veneers to wear until the second appointment, at which your permanent veneers will be applied using dental cement, then given a final check-over and polish. No part of this procedure should hurt at all, and multiple veneers can be fitted at any one time.
Receiving dental implants is a slightly more invasive treatment, as each one needs to be screwed into your jawbone. While this may sound a little scary, it can prove extremely beneficial in the long term as it means your new “teeth” are firmly fixed in place and will eventually fuse to your jaw as if they were there naturally. Exactly how long the process takes depends on the conditions that existed in the first place. For example, if your have had missing teeth for a long time, a bone graft may be necessary before your implants can be put in. This can take between three and six months to take full effect. Once this period is over, you will attend an appointment lasting one to two hours to have a titanium “artificial root” fitted. This then needs another three to six months to heal into your jaw bone. After this, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth in order to create the crown for your implant in one session, and, in a second one – up to a fortnight later – this crown will be affixed to the artificial root. Just like the veneer application process, you should feel no pain throughout any of these procedures.
Finally the Cost
Per veneer, you’ll usually pay £500 – £1000 if you opt for porcelain. For composite resin, it tends to cost between £150 and £400.
Each implant will set you back between £900 – £1000, but if you need multiple neighbouring teeth replaced, you can opt for an implant that supports multiple crowns and save a little money.