If you’re looking to improve your smile, then it’s highly likely that you’ll be talking to your dentist about dental implants or veneers. Both dental implants and dental veneers are restorative treatments aimed at improving your smile, but which is better, dental implants or veneers?
Before we dive into the pros and cons of veneers vs implants type, it’s worth noting that the level of tooth decay you have, and/or the impact of each procedure on your oral health issues is a key factor to consider and discuss with your local Sydney dentist. There is also a significant cost difference that you’ll need to take into consideration too, but more about this later. In the meantime let’s weigh up the pros and cons of both veneers and dental implants to give you the information you need to make an informed dental decision.
Minor vs major cosmetic treatment
Dental veneers work better in circumstances where a patient needs minor dental cosmetic work. This includes intrinsic (ingrained) staining or slight chips or cracks. You can even use porcelain veneers to adjust any slight tooth spacing or alignment issues. This can in some circumstances be achieved without the use of orthodontic braces. However for major tooth problems such as fractured or teeth that are broken at the gum line, then dental veneers aren’t the best solution. Instead, implants are likely to provide the better long-term benefits. While porcelain dental veneers cover up problem teeth providing both aesthetics and protection, implant-based restorations will replace a tooth or teeth on a like for like basis. As such they provide a long-lasting solution with long-term benefits.
Aesthetic imperfections or bite corrections?
If you’re simply looking to resolve an aesthetic imperfection such as unnatural tooth spacing or staining that can’t be removed by professional teeth whitening, then porcelain veneers are likely to be your best option. However, if you’ve lost a tooth and need a direct replacement to improve your ability to chew, talk, and smile, then dental implants should always be your preferred option. In addition, however, a dental implant will fill the gap so that your remaining teeth remained well aligned and evenly spaced. It’s worth remembering that veneers won’t rectify bite issues but will improve aesthetics, whereas, implant-based restorations can do both.
Longevity and procedure of veneers vs dental implants
Did you know that if dental implants are cared for correctly, they can easily last for several decades or more? As such, they’re considered the gold standard of missing teeth replacement. Alternatively, porcelain dental veneers normally have a shelf life of around 10-12 years before they need some form of adjustment or replacement. While veneers are quick and easy to replace – the bulk of the work is carried out in the initial fitting stages – your age at the time of placement may determine whether you opt for dental implants or dental veneers.
Veneers vs dental implant costs
Many people ask the question ‘which is cheaper, dental implants or veneers?’ and if it was a straight battle between initial costs then dental veneers are cheaper. Patients can expect to pay somewhere between $500 and $1200-1600 per tooth for veneers. Alternatively, dental implants will set you back anything between $2000 and $6000 per tooth, depending upon what work needs to be done.
However, if you take a long-term view, the financial costs for implants vs veneers might actually work out about even, depending upon any number of factors including:
- Age upon initial placement
- How well your dental implants are looked after and
- The experience/skills of your dentist
In addition, you may want to take into consideration your time commitments. If you require bone grafting or sinus lifting for example, not only will this add extra costs to your implant placement – hence the large price variations – it will also increase the time you need to spend chairside. While both veneers and implants are low maintenance, hassle free options, once fitted, it’s worth considering the time commitments required for each type of tooth replacement.
Problems with dental veneers vs problems with dental implants
When it comes to the dental implants or dental veneers debate, you may be forgiven for thinking that because implant-based restorations involve a more complex procedure, there’s a greater risk of issues arising during or after the event. In truth, implants have been around for over 50 years and during that time, techniques and technology have improved greatly to ensure the absolute minimum risk to patients.
Alternatively, although veneers may simply be bonded on to the front of an existing tooth, they aren’t always problem free! For example, veneers can shift when they aren’t bonded correctly. When this happens, they can recede from the gum leaving you a prime target for tooth decay and gum disease in the future.
In addition, veneers can also cause slight tooth sensitivity as the dentist needs to prepare the tooth by removing a thin layer of the enamel in order that any covering will sit flush with the rest of your teeth. As a result and in some cases, patients may need to be careful when drinking extremely hot or cold beverages.
In other cases, veneers can chip or crack, particularly when the chewing edges of the teeth aren’t aligned with the strongest parts of the veneer, and sometimes, if a dental veneer is attached to a less than perfect tooth it can compromise it in the future, leaving it prone to problems later on. In these instances, your dentist may otherwise opt to fit a crown instead.
Conversely, provided that you choose an experienced dentist, many of the problems with dental implants occur because the patient doesn’t look after them properly. This may be down to:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Lifestyle habits such as smoking/excessive drinking
- Non-commitment to ongoing dental visits.
As you can see, when it comes to comparing dental implants and dental veneers both have their pros and cons. In reality what might suit one patient may not be the best option for another. With this in mind, it’s well worth booking a consultation with an experienced dentist who can explain your options based on your individual needs and requirements.
If you’d like to find out more about your veneers vs implants options, contact the team at Evergreen Dental today and book a consultation with us. Call us on (02) 8074 3849 and let us help you take the first steps towards transforming your smile.