If you’ve got a cracked or chipped tooth or teeth, you’re undoubtedly wondering about your cosmetic dentistry options. Like most people, you’ve heard of veneers and implants, but you may be unsure of which approach would be more appropriate for your particular condition. We’ve put together the following information on each, including the pros and cons of each, to help you and other patients in your predicament make informed decisions.
We’ll begin with simple definitions of each option:
Dental implants are titanium posts designed to function as artificial tooth roots. Titanium is used because the material is highly resistant to corrosion and integrates easily with bone tissue. The posts are attached to prosthetic teeth typically made from composite acrylic resin and are designed to look and function as much like natural teeth as possible.
Your prosthetic tooth or teeth will be custom-made for you to match your existing teeth in size and color and to fit into your mouth comfortably. Besides mimicking the appearance and functionality of natural teeth, dental implants have the following benefits.
- You won’t get cavities in your implants
- Implants help preserve your facial structure
- Implants help prevent bone loss by stimulating existing bone tissue
- Your natural speech will be restored
- Your natural bite will be restored
Additionally, advances in dental technology mean that it’s highly likely that your implants will last for the rest of your life.
Are Dental Implants Right for Everyone?
Those in poor dental health are typically not ideal candidates for dental implants. Those still in their teens typically need to explore temporary options because the bone tissue in their jaws has not yet stopped growing. On the other end of the spectrum, patients past the age of 85 may not be considered good candidates for dental implants simply because of the inherent risk involved with any type of surgery.
Others for whom implant surgery may not be a suitable option include patients with Type I or Type II diabetes, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune disorders, and systemic diseases such as fibromyalgia, Graves disease, and hypertension.
Although dental implants are excellent options for many people do come with disadvantages, for some people, including the following.
- Depending on the complexity of the surgery, dental implants may take several months to heal
- Not all dental implant surgeries are covered by health insurance
- There is a slight chance that dental implants will fail
However, our team will carefully evaluate your individual situation and offer expert advice on whether dental implants are a good option for you.
Dental veneers are thin layers of material that are bonded to the front of the teeth. Unlike implants, veneers aren’t attached to a post, so there’s no need for invasive procedures or extensive treatments. We offer porcelain veneers at Dynamic Smile Designs. Even though porcelain is more expensive than other options, such as resin composite materials, because it lasts longer than other materials, it’s more cost-effective in the long run.
Although veneers are considered cosmetic dentistry with a primary focus on aesthetics, they have some oral health benefits as well, including the following.
- They provide protection from bacteria
- Your teeth will be easier to clean
- They reduce the risk of gum disease
- They reduce tooth sensitivity
The lifespan of dental veneers depends on factors such material, oral hygiene, and lifestyle. Porcelain veneers last longer than their composite resin counterparts, but failure to practice good dental hygiene will shorten the lifespan of any type of veneer.
Lifestyle plays a part as well. If you regularly play contact sports, for instance, there’s an elevated risk that you may have to have veneers replaced on occasion. If you regularly consume foods and beverages that cause stains, such as coffee, wine, and dark berries, you may need to prepare to pay a little extra attention to oral hygiene to ensure that your smile stays bright for the duration. Fortunately, porcelain veneers are far less susceptible to staining than other types, and surface stains are typically brushed away easily.
Dr. Patel will provide you with information on caring for your veneers once they’ve been installed. For instance, some types of toothpaste products will need to be avoided, such as those baking soda and other abrasives.
Are Implants or Veneers the Right Choice for You?
As you’ve seen, whether a patient selects implants or veneers largely depends on the condition of the teeth. Dental implants are often used after a tooth or teeth has already fallen out, while dental veneers are used to protect the teeth that are already in place.
In some cases, however, your dentist may recommend that teeth that have experienced extensive tooth decay be extracted and replaced with dental implants. Other reasons for extracting teeth included the following.
- Overcrowding in the mouth to the extent it interferes with eating and speaking
- The tooth is impacted
- The tooth has been irreparably damaged by an accident
As you can see, dental implants are often the recommended approach when functionality is one of the goals, while veneers are commonly used for cosmetic reasons.
Can Implants and Veneers Both Be Used?
Every patient has different dental care needs, so there are times when a customized combination of dental implants and dental veneers is the best approach. For instance, if you’ve got one or two teeth that have become damaged to the extent that they need to be extracted, your dentist can install implants in those areas and install customized veneers on the other teeth.
Dr. Patel is skilled with both procedures and is ready to help you design the smile of your dreams. Call us or schedule an appointment for a smile consultation today!