Dental implants and veneers can both be great options for restoring a beautiful smile. However, they are very different treatment options and should not be confused for one another. The main difference between the two is that a dental implant acts as a replacement for a tooth root, while a veneer simply covers the existing tooth for cosmetic purposes.
For both veneers and dental implants, patients can see The Houston Dentists.
What is a Dental Implant?
- Dental implants are used to replace missing or broken teeth.
- A dental implant is a post made of titanium. It acts as a tooth root, providing stability.
- A dental implant is surgically implanted into the jaw bone. It then, after some time, fuses with the bone to create a stable “root.” Then, an abutment is added to the top of the implant, and finally, a crown or other dental device is added to the top. This process will require several dental appointments, but most people will agree that the results are worthy of the time it takes.
- Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth. They restore the mouth to full function.
- Dental implants can also promote dental health. When a tooth is missing, the jaw bone is not stimulated, which can cause the bone to deteriorate. An implant stimulates the bone as a natural tooth would, helping to prevent bone loss.
What are Veneers?
- Veneers are thin porcelain layers that are attached to the fronts of the teeth. They do not alter or fix the teeth; rather, they are used to cover flaws.
- Veneers are custom created for the patient to match the rest of the smile. They can be designed to give the patient a “Hollywood” type of bright, white smile, or they can appear more natural and subtle. The patient is able to choose the appearance of the veneers before they are created.
- Depending on the type of veneer being used, some tooth structure may need to be removed to create an ideal surface for the veneer. LUMINEERS®, for example, do not require the removal of tooth structure, but some traditional porcelain veneers may.
- Veneers may be used to cover cracks or chips, teeth that are misshapen, or teeth that are stained beyond what teeth whitening treatments can correct.
- While veneers can last a very long time, they are not technically permanent. Accidents may cause the veneer to chip or break and need replacement. Patients who visit Houston cosmetic dentists Dr. Frazar and Dr. Hedge can expect veneers to last about 20 years with good care.
Differences Between Implants and Veneers
- Implants require oral surgery; some (but not all) veneers may require the removal of tooth structure.
- Dental implants improve the function of the teeth, often making chewing and speaking easier. Veneers do not affect function; they are strictly cosmetic in nature.
- Unless a significant amount of tooth structure has been removed, veneers are removable. Implants, on the other hand, are a permanent decision.
Dental implants and veneers can both be part of a smile makeover and can be used to obtain a bright, healthy-looking smile. To learn more about getting veneers or dental implants in Houston, contact The Houston Dentists.