Over half of all Americans feel insecure about their teeth. Even people with healthy and clean smiles may feel too self-conscious to show them off.

Can you relate?

If you don't love flashing your pearly whites, why not make a change? Regardless of what your dental concerns are, there are solutions. Two of the most popular solutions are dental veneers and dental implants.

But if you're choosing between veneers vs. implants, how do you know which is best? What makes these two procedures unique?

Read on to learn about porcelain veneers and dental implants so you can make an informed decision.

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are like little porcelain shields that go over your natural teeth. They can fix various aesthetic dental issues and are growing increasingly popular.

At one time, veneers were mostly for celebrities who wanted perfect smiles on camera. Now, many people have veneers so they can feel confident about their smiles.

Veneers look more natural than ever, and getting them is pretty straightforward. The porcelain variety can last a long time depending on your oral hygiene and bite.

Benefits of Dental Veneers

So why would someone choose to get dental veneers? They're indeed on the more expensive end of cosmetic dental procedures, so what makes them so worthwhile?

There are plenty of reasons that people are so excited about dental veneers. Here are a few of the top reasons our patients get them.

They Fix Hard-to-Fix Issues

There are many ways to approach the majority of cosmetic dental issues. Some issues, however, are a bit more complicated. Not everything can be fixed with some quick bonding or a whitening session.

For example, what happens if someone has teeth that they think aren't the right size?

Most people have teeth that fit their mouths reasonably well, but having teeth that look too small isn't uncommon. You can't fix small teeth by shaving them down or straightening them, so what should you do?

Porcelain veneers are the perfect solution. The cosmetic dentist will craft perfectly-sized veneers for each tooth to give the patient an ideal smile.

Another unique issue that can be solved with veneers is extreme discoloration. Mild tooth discoloration is easily fixed with whitening, but dark and stubborn stains aren't so superficial. Veneers will cover the stains to make your teeth look shiny and white.

If you have a unique cosmetic issue and you've been unable to find a suitable solution, talk to your local cosmetic dentist to see if porcelain veneers might work for you!

Immediate Results

One of the best things about veneers is that the results are quick. You need several appointments, but this still takes less time than many other dental procedures that make such a significant impact.

Let's say you have slightly misaligned teeth, and you've been planning on getting Invisalign. Invisalign is a fantastic option for most people, but it can still take several months for a minor adjustment.

If you want results right away and you only have a cosmetic issue to fix, it makes sense to consider porcelain veneers instead.

They Look and Feel Like Natural Teeth

At one time, porcelain veneers looked artificial. This is no longer the case. You've likely seen people with veneers and had no idea!

They look and feel just like natural teeth. They're slightly off-color to eliminate that "artificial perfection" that comes with pure white veneers.

You also treat them like natural teeth. Brush and floss them as you would usually but be sure to avoid staining them. Unlike natural teeth, you can not get a teeth whitening treatment on veneers.

Process of Getting Veneers

So what does the process look like? This will vary slightly between dental spas, but overall, here's what you can expect.

During your consultation, you'll discuss your smile goals with the dentist, and they'll determine whether or not you're a good candidate for veneers. The dentist will assess the current health of your smile to make sure that your teeth and gums are in good condition.

During the next appointment, the dentist will shave a bit of enamel off each tooth that a veneer will be placed on. Don't worry; this shouldn't be painful (but you may feel some discomfort).

The dentist will take a mold of your teeth and start making your veneers. In the meantime, you'll get temporary veneers to protect your newly-fragile teeth.

During the last appointment, your dentist will roughen the surface of your teeth to make it easier for the permanent veneers to adhere. Then, they'll cement the veneers in place and cure your mouth with a special light.

You'll leave the office with your perfect new smile.

Who Should Get Dental Veneers?

So who are dental veneers for anyway?

Dental veneers are for anyone who wants a cosmetic upgrade to their smile. They're effective for fixing a variety of cosmetic dental issues such as:

  • Discoloration
  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Slight misalignment
  • Small size
  • Large size

Dental veneers are primarily cosmetic, so they're best for people with healthy teeth and gums. They can provide an extra layer of protection to teeth but can't repair serious damage.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are another great cosmetic dental option (with plenty of non-cosmetic benefits).

Dental implants come in several varieties, but they all replace your natural teeth. Depending on your needs, you can get a full mouth of dental implants, individual implants, or something in between.

People choose to get dental implants so they don't have to continue living with damaged teeth or gaps that can be either unsightly or dangerous (or both).

Dental implants look like natural teeth. The actual "implants" look like metal screws that go into the jaw. On top, the dentist places a custom crown that looks just like a natural tooth.

Dental implants are perfect replacements for natural teeth.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Like dental veneers, dental implants are expensive. For a single implant, they can cost thousands of dollars, so why would people choose to get them? Are they that much better than the alternatives?

We think so. Here are a few benefits of getting dental implants.

Long-Lasting Results

While this will vary depending on how old a patient is and how they treat their dental implants, you can expect implants to last for a long time. Some people get permanent results. This makes the cost more than worthwhile.

Consider the most popular alternative: dentures.

There's nothing wrong with dentures. They're a practical and somewhat affordable option for many people. However, they don't last as long as dental implants, so the cost increases over time.

While the upfront cost of implants is high, you're unlikely to need any replacements in the future. You also don't have to worry about losing them or breaking them.

Added Jawbone Protection

Did you know that not having teeth can damage your jawbone? When there's no tooth root in your jaw, you may experience bone resorption.

Your teeth keep your jaws solid and healthy. Without that added pressure, the bones weaken. Even if you take great care of your oral health, this could lead to a "sunken-in" appearance around the jaw over time.

It may also lead to the surrounding teeth getting damaged and causing further problems for the jaw.

The metal implant replicates your natural tooth root when you get dental implants. So when you eat and talk, the pressure against the implant strengthens your jaw and prevents bone resorption.

Look and Feel Like Natural Teeth

If the idea of having "fake teeth" seems unusual, don't worry. When you have dental implants, you won't notice the difference soon enough (and neither will anyone else). They look and feel like natural teeth (except better).

When you get dentures, it can be challenging to adjust. Even after you've had them for a while, they can make it difficult to eat, drink, and speak. You may need to get new dentures if they no longer feel comfortable in your mouth.

This isn't to say that dentures aren't viable. We fit many patients with dentures, but implants are the preferred option for many people.

Dental implants, however, are different. They look and feel just like natural teeth. You can eat, drink, and speak with them like your natural teeth.

There will still be an adjustment period, and it may be challenging to adapt to your new smile, but once you adjust, you won't even know that you have the implants.

You don't have to give up any of your favorite foods. But, again, be careful and try not to stain your dental implants. They do not benefit from professional teeth whitening.

Process of Getting Dental Implants

Your first appointment with your cosmetic dentist will be a consultation. During this consultation, the dentist will evaluate your dental health to see if dental implants are a viable option for you. In addition, you'll discuss your smile goals, and they'll offer you potential solutions.

The process will begin when you determine that implants are the right option for you. If you need teeth removed, this has to happen first, and you'll have to go through a brief healing period. Some patients also need jaw grafting.

During the first appointment for the implants, an oral surgeon will make an incision in the gums and drill a hole for the implant. Then, they'll place the metal implant, and the patient will allow it to heal while bone osseointegration occurs.

The oral surgeon will then place an abutment. This is the piece of the implant that the crown (or tooth) will attach to. Your surgeon may do this at the same time as placing the implant, but this is not always the case.

Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth so they can start creating your perfect new teeth. They'll then make your crowns and place them. You'll leave your final appointment with a beautiful smile.

Who Should Get Dental Implants?

So what types of patients benefit best from dental implants?

People of all ages can get dental implants, but they're more popular than dentures for younger patients due to their long-lasting results. They're the perfect solution for replacing broken or otherwise damaged teeth.

If someone has a condition that causes them to lose teeth, they may choose to get a full mouth of dental implants to get ahead of the problem.

Dental implants are perfect for anyone with more than just cosmetic concerns with their teeth. While veneers can fix minor issues, implants are far better for more in-depth problems and missing teeth.

Veneers vs. Implants: Is One Better Than the Other?

Neither implants nor veneers are "better" than the other. They're different tools for different purposes, and our patients are happy with both.

Veneers are best for people who need minor corrections and want to improve already-healthy smiles. Implants improve the aesthetic of your smile, but they're for patients with more serious dental concerns.

A good dentist can tell you which of these options is best for your situation. Then, they'll discuss the cost of each procedure, how each system can improve your smile, and more.

Are You Interested in Veneers or Implants?

If you want to improve your smile, it might be time to consider a visit to your local dental spa to discuss your options. When it comes to veneers vs. implants, both are viable solutions, but for different issues. Talk to us to learn which would be the right choice for you!

At Aura Dental Spa, we want to give all of our patients the confidence that comes from having a beautiful smile. Request an appointment to get started today.