If you have missing teeth or other imperfections you would like to change about your smile, porcelain veneers and dental implants are two excellent options to consider. While both procedures are considered cosmetic dentistry, each serves a different purpose. Read on to learn more about how veneers and dental implants are used to help patients achieve the smile they have always wanted.
Porcelain Veneers: Your Teeth — Improved!
Porcelain veneers use a thin porcelain shell to cover your existing teeth and create a smile that builds confidence. Veneers are a popular way to restore teeth that may have become discolored, pitted, stained, or chipped. Most patients report feeling very little discomfort during the application.
How are porcelain veneers applied?
Your dentist will begin the process by taking molds of your existing teeth. During the next phase of treatment, your dentist will prepare your teeth for application. This is usually done while your veneers are being created in the lab. The dentist will remove a thin surface layer from your teeth and affix temporary veneers to give you time to try your new smile on before it becomes permanent. Temporary veneers also protect your teeth while you await your final appointment. In your final appointment, your dentist will permanently affix your new veneers to your teeth.
What do porcelain veneers cost?
One common patient concern is, how much do porcelain veneers cost? The cost for porcelain veneers will vary from patient to patient. There are multiple factors to consider when creating a treatment plan for dental veneers:
- How many teeth will require veneers? Veneers are priced per tooth. Not every patient will need a full set of veneers. Some patients choose to restore one or two teeth. Others may only require a full set on the top teeth. You and your dentist will work together to figure out which solution works best.
- What type of veneer will be used? The thinner the porcelain, the greater the cost for tooth veneers. The thinnest veneers are very popular because they look so much like natural teeth. Thicker veneers still look great; it’s really a matter of price and personal preference.
- Can you pay out of pocket? Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic procedure. Most insurance will not cover the cost of veneers.
Porcelain veneers can last up to 15 years, making them a worthwhile investment. Veneers can help you close gaps between your teeth or cover pitting and discoloration that regular dental treatment simply cannot hide. Maintaining your veneers is as easy as caring for your natural teeth. In most cases, it may even be easier, since porcelain is not as easy to damage.
Porcelain veneers are a great solution for surface-level imperfections. When it comes to treating patients with missing teeth, however, dental implants are one of the top solutions for restoration.
Dental Implants: A Permanent Replacement for Missing Teeth
Dental implants are designed to mimic the function of a natural tooth. They are a permanent solution that is mounted solidly in the natural bone of the jaw. This level of permanence is one of the top reasons patients prefer implants when choosing between dental implants vs. bridges or other options. They are an effective option for reconstructive dentistry to replace teeth that are missing due to accident, injury or genetics.
Dental Implant Steps
Dental implants are installed using three different components: post, abutment, and crown. First, your dentist will embed titanium posts into the bone of your jaw. The post serves as the “root” of the implant. For some patients who desire dental implants, bone grafts may be necessary to ensure your posts have a solid seating.
After placing the post, you will be given time to heal. This time allows the bone to grow around the post (osseointegration) and ensure it is firmly seated. You may be given a partial or other temporary replacement, if your missing tooth is in a highly visible location.
While you are healing, your dentist will begin the next step in the dental implant process: creating a crown. They will take impressions and design a perfect replacement. Once you have shown appropriate bone growth, the next phase of your treatment will begin. An incision will be made in the gums to expose your implant posts and attach the abutment. After another healing period (a much quicker process), it will be time to place your crowns!
Are dental implants covered by insurance?
As with porcelain veneers, dental implant costs can vary. Whether or not dental implants are covered by insurance depends upon the reason for the implant. Some insurance companies will deny a claim if it is deemed purely cosmetic. Your dentist can submit a pre-authorization to determine eligibility. You can also request more information about out-of-pocket payments to cover dental implant prices.
Restore Your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry
Both porcelain veneers and dental implants offer excellent options for patients who want to transform their smile. If you would like to learn more about either of these treatments, give our office a call to set up a consultation. We are the dentist for implants and porcelain veneers in Southern California. We will help you create a treatment plan that will give you a reason to smile.