Veneers vs Dental Implants

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

People who are tired of looking in the mirror and seeing teeth that are chipped, crowded, cracked, discolored or missing have several options to choose from to return their teeth to their former beauty and utility. Two of them are veneers and dental implants.


Of the two techniques, veneers are the easiest on the patient. They are very thin, custom made shells that are placed over the patient’s teeth after the teeth are prepared by a dentist. They can be made from resin or from porcelain, which is very strong, stain-resistant and can be made to match the patient’s other teeth exactly. Resin has the advantage of being thinner and easier to place than a porcelain veneer. Because of this, not as much of the tooth’s enamel has to be etched or removed before a resin veneer is placed.

Even before the procedure, the patient and the dentist have a consultation where the patient tells the dentist which teeth they want improved and how they want the teeth to look when the procedure is done. The dentist in turn examines the patient’s teeth, orders X-rays and takes impressions of the patient’s mouth. Veneers are like dental implants in that both treatments require multiple trips to the dentist. In the case of veneers, the dentist first takes a very thin layer of enamel from the teeth that are to be treated. This adds up to about a half a millimeter per tooth. This is done after the dentist gives the patient a local anesthetic to keep them comfortable.

After the teeth has been prepared, the dentist makes another impression of them and has the impression sent to a dental laboratory in order for veneers to be created. They will also put temporary shells over the patient’s treated teeth to protect them and enhance their looks. Dental technicians create the veneers for the teeth after they receive the impressions from the dentist. This takes about two weeks.

The patient returns when the veneers arrive at the dentist’s office. The dentist places the shells temporarily on the teeth, trims them and adjusts them until they are a perfect fit. Then, the dentist etches the patient’s teeth to create a surface for the veneers to cling to securely. The dentist puts dental cement on the tooth, then fits the veneer. The dental cement is cured by a special light the dentist focuses on the teeth. Then, the excess cement is cleaned off, and the dentist may make more tiny adjustments before the visit is over. The patient returns for a follow-up appointment after two weeks so the dentist can check the veneers.

Dental Implants

Actual oral surgery is needed to give a patient a dental implant. These implants are made of artificial crowns that fit on an abutment that fit on a post that has fused with the patient’s jawbone. Getting a dental implant can take months and requires commitment on the part of the patient.

After the consultation, dental exam, X-rays and impressions are done, the patient returns to the dentist’s office. They are given anesthesia, and the dentist plants a post into the patient’s jaw. The post is most often made of titanium, an extremely strong, corrosion-resistant, biocompatible metal. The dentist closes and sutures the gum over the post. The sutures are removed after about 10 days, and the patient waits for the post and bone to fuse together.This fusion makes the post permanent and immovable and can take a few months. The patient visits the dentist regularly
to make sure that everything is proceeding as it should.

When the bone and post are fused, the patient returns to the office. The dentist opens up the area over the post, inserts an abutment then places the crown. As in veneers, the crown can be made of porcelain and can match the patient’s other teeth in size and color. Porcelain crowns are most often found on the front teeth, but back teeth can have crowns of metal, including gold, porcelain and metal or ceramic.

Both of these procedures allow a person to recapture their smile, which has benefits for their self-esteem as well as their social and work lives. Porcelain veneers last about 10 to 15 years with proper care, and dental implants last about that long as well.

For more Information on Cosmetic Dentistry visit King of Prussia Periodontics and Dental Implants website at

Patients in the King of Prussia area who have unsightly or missing teeth shouldn’t hesitate to call our dentists. Dr. Marissa Crandall Cruz is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Periodontology, the Academy of Stomatology of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley Academy of Osseointegration. She’s also a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

Dr. Mana Nejadi was the Director of the Predoctoral Periodontics program at the University of Pennsylvania from 2013 to 2015 and had a three year residency in periodontics, implant dentistry and esthetics. Dr. Rimple Sandhu began her professional life as a dentist in her home country of India. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Periodontology and the Delaware Valley Academy of Osseointegration.


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