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What’s the Difference Between Dental Implants and Veneers?

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A hand of a dentist showing the installation of a dental implant on model teeth.

For people who may not be happy with their smile, dental implants and veneers are both popular options for improving the appearance and function of your teeth. However, they’re quite different regarding how they work and the issues they can address.

Dental implants are permanent tooth replacements in which your dentist implants artificial roots into your jawbone. Veneers, on the other hand, are thin shells attached to your tooth’s front. To put it simply, dental implants replace missing teeth, while veneers attach to your existing teeth.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a type of tooth replacement option that involves surgically inserting a small metal post into the jawbone. The post serves as a replacement for the missing tooth root, and a replacement tooth (such as a crown) is then attached.

Placing a dental implant can take several months. If you have a damaged tooth, your dentist must remove it first. This removal is followed by surgery to place the dental implant, which will need to heal before placing the abutment (the connector between the artificial tooth and the implant). The artificial tooth comes last and is custom designed to match the rest of your teeth.

Dental implants are an excellent option for people who have lost one or more teeth due to injury, disease, or decay. An implant can also use them to support a denture or bridge.

You might be a good candidate for a dental implant if you:

  • Are in good general health
  • Have healthy gums
  • Have enough bone in your jaw to hold an implant

If your jaw is small or hasn’t developed normally, it is possible to get a bone graft to prepare your jaw for dental implant surgery. Your specialist will be able to tell you if this is possible.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants’ main advantages are that they are very stable and secure. Unlike a traditional bridge or denture anchored to the surrounding teeth, an implant is anchored directly into the jawbone. This anchoring means it won’t shift or move around in your mouth, making it easier to eat and speak.

Additionally, because the implant fuses with the bone over time, it can help to preserve the bone structure in the jaw and prevent further bone loss.

Your replacement tooth sits in line with your other teeth, ensuring they stay straight and don’t grow into each other’s space. They have the same look and function as natural teeth and need to be cared for in the same way, with regular cleaning and dental exams.

A close-up of dental veneers getting installed.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are a type of dental restoration used to improve the appearance of the front surface of the teeth. They’re typically thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin bonded to the front of the teeth. Veneers address a wide variety of cosmetic issues, such as:

  • Discoloration or staining that you cannot remove with teeth whitening
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Worn or uneven teeth
  • Gaps or spacing between teeth
  • Crooked or misaligned teeth

Veneers are an excellent option for people who want to improve the appearance of their teeth but do not want to go through extensive or invasive procedures. You can choose to have veneers applied to only a few teeth, such as the ones you’ve indicated as problem spots. But you could also have veneers on your teeth for a uniform smile.

Unfortunately, veneers aren’t suitable for everyone. You may not be able to get veneers if:

  • Your tooth has too little enamel for the veneer to stick properly
  • Too much of the tooth is missing
  • Your tooth is affected by gum disease
  • You have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth

Advantages of Veneers

One of the main advantages of veneers is that you can use them to create a beautiful, natural-looking smile. Because they are custom-made to match your natural tooth colour, shape, and size, veneers can create a seamless and natural-looking result.

Another advantage of veneers is that they are relatively easy to place. Unlike dental implants, which require surgery and a period of healing, a dentist can generally place veneers in just 2 visits. Additionally, because they do not require extensive preparation of the teeth, they can be a more conservative option than other restorations.

Are Implants or Veneers Best For Me?

While dental implants and veneers have their own advantages, they’re designed to address different issues. Dental implants are intended to replace missing teeth, while veneers are designed to improve the appearance of existing teeth.

Another consideration is that dental implants are a long-term solution, while you may need to replace your veneers every 5-10 years, depending on the material. Both can help improve your smile, and what works best will depend on your individual needs.

Rockwood Dental is happy to walk you through this process. So if you’re looking for a solution to damaged teeth, book an appointment with our friendly team and smile with confidence.

Written by Rockwood Dental

At Rockwood Dental, our goal is to help you achieve the healthy and beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Our team is committed to providing a personalized dental experience from beginning to end. To do this, we offer a range of dental services, including preventative dental care, restorative dental care, and cosmetic dental care.

Rockwood Dental is located at #102, 1032 17th ave., between 9th and 10th Street SW in Calgary.

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