Smiling is one of the most universal forms of expression used worldwide. It communicates happiness, greeting, and confidence. It sets the tone for the day and the conversation. A crooked or gapped smile is a beautiful smile regardless, but what’s considered as teeth imperfection can lower a person’s self-esteem. Several dental procedures now exist in the market to improve the appearance and functionality of the teeth. The two popular treatments under cosmetic dentistry are dental implants and veneers. Keep reading to know which treatment is best for you.
What are implants?
Dental implants are substitute tooth roots that serve as the foundation for fixed or removable teeth. Procedures for implants are done in the case of gaps caused by tooth breakage or decay. This procedure not only improves the outer appearance of a person’s smile but it can also enhance overall oral health. Speech and chewing is made easier because the implants are permanent, immovable fixtures that work like real teeth. They are long-lasting and convenient as they don’t have to be constantly removed for sanitation, saving a person the shame of taking a set of teeth out in public. There is little to no pain in the procedure and only local anesthesia is required.
Who can get implants?
Patients are required to get a thorough health check before a dental implant procedure. It is a requirement to have healthy gums and sufficient bone to hold the screws. A person’s medical history is also essential as certain conditions such as diabetes and heart disease must be assessed before undergoing the surgery.
How long does the procedure take?
The first step is a comprehensive dental exam. The patient will undergo several health scans with the use of x-rays and 3D scans, if necessary. Patients with chronic diseases and less-than-healthy oral conditions must undergo further evaluation.
The surgery should take about 1-2 hours for every implant set down. Temporary crowns are then put in place until at least 4 to 12 weeks of osseointegration – the fusion between the bone tissue and the implant. Once this process is regarded as complete by the dentist, the abutment will be fitted. This is a small object usually made of titanium and zirconia that serves as a link between the dental implant and the crown. After the gums heal after being exposed for the abutments, new impressions will be taken for proper fitting. New artificial crowns will then be placed to complete the dental implant procedure. Overall, it should take about three months or more to conclude the surgery. It’s not instant, but permanent teeth fixtures make up for the long process.
What are veneers?
Veneers are part of cosmetic dentistry that serves as a permanent solution for teeth imperfections such as stains, gaps, cracks, and chipping. They give the appearance of natural teeth, subsequently improving the overall mouth appearance to a great extent. The two main materials used to make veneers are porcelain and composite resin. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are fitted to the tooth’s outer surface while composite veneers are bonded into the tooth.
Who can get veneers?
Patients must be at least eighteen years old to qualify for veneers. Prep-veneers are available for younger patients but dentists recommend waiting to ensure that natural teeth are intact in case of removal. Similar to getting dental implants, a thorough dental exam is required before attachment of veneers but anyone with good oral health can get the procedure done. If a patient suffers from weak teeth or bruxism, further evaluation from the dentist must be done.
How long does the procedure take?
Duration of the veneer placements depends on the material used. Composite veneers can be completed in a single visit while porcelain veneers could take at least two days to finalize. This is because the fabrication of veneers using the teeth impressions from the patient could take a day, but temporary veneers can be provided.
Implants vs. Veneers: which should you go for?
Both procedures boast their own benefits, but choosing which surgery greatly depends on your needs and finances. Implants might be the best choice for a more long-term solution especially when it comes to gaps on the tooth. They can last at least 50 years if properly maintained. On the other hand, veneers should be your best option if your issue is solely about the appearance of your teeth. They also last for a long time – at least 4 years for composite resin and at least 10 years for porcelain. Dental implants typically cost more than veneers but they are more permanent.
The two procedures have their own advantages but they both serve to improve your smile. Take time in evaluating your needs so you can make the right choice. For best results, consult your dentist to find the right procedure for you.