The Difference Between Veneers and Implants

Dental veneers and dental implants are both tooth-restoration options, but that’s where the similarity ends. Each is used in a very different context and requires a different approach to treatment.

At the office of Dr. Kiran Rapal in Saratoga, California, we specialize in many different forms of tooth restorations. In an effort to educate our patients about veneers and implants, two newer and popular treatments with which you may not be overly familiar, we’ve put together this guide so you can understand how and when each of them may be used.

Veneer basics

Dental veneers are often a cosmetic solution that enables you to redesign your smile, though they can be used for many non-cosmetic reasons as well.

Veneers are extremely thin shells made out of either porcelain or a resin composite that are bonded permanently and completely to the front surface of your teeth. They’re custom-made to change the size, shape, or length of your tooth, and Dr. Rapal matches the color of the veneers to your surrounding teeth.

Veneers are widely used to fix teeth that are:

While veneers can be used on any tooth, those most commonly applied are for the top front eight teeth, mostly because they’re highly visible.

While many people get veneers to reinvigorate their smiles or correct small flaws, Dr. Rapal may recommend them to patients for a number of non-cosmetic reasons. These include:

Dr. Rapal only needs to shave a small amount of the tooth’s enamel to place the veneer, so the procedure is quick and easy.

Dental implant basics

Your mouth functions best when all parts are present and work together, so when you’re missing teeth, it can negatively impact both your oral and your overall health.

You have several options to replace missing teeth, including bridges, partial or full dentures, and implants. But while bridges and dentures are easy and relatively inexpensive choices, one of their biggest drawbacks is they replace just the tooth crowns, not the roots. Dental implants, on the other hand, replace the complete tooth structure. That’s important, since roots firmly anchored in the bone of your jaw are what hold your teeth in place.

Your jawbone is also a living tissue that needs stimulation from bite-created pressure to remain dense and strong, but bridges and dentures don’t provide that pressure, meaning your jaw atrophies over time. Dental implants, though, contain a biocompatible titanium rod implanted directly in your bone, which is topped by a dental crown, so they behave just like your original teeth, including providing the bite pressure necessary for maintaining healthy bone tissue.

Since dental implants provide equivalents for all parts of your teeth, your mouth will remain healthy and strong. And as long as you maintain good dental hygiene, those implants should last you a lifetime.

Wondering what kind of restoration option is right for you? Give Dr. Rapal’s office a call at 408-864-7010 to set up a consultation, or book online with us today. You have questions, and  we have solutions.

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