Have you ever wondered how so many celebrities have such straight, even, and white teeth? Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Demi Moore and others all have perfect smiles. Well, it's because most of them have dental implants or veneers. Both improve the appearance of teeth, but only implants improve teeth's function.
A veneer is thin porcelain or ceramic that is glued to a tooth. This makes them appear straight and white. They're extremely durable and can last many years with proper care.
Implants are much more complicated. First, the natural tooth is completely removed, if it's not already missing. Then an oral surgeon places (or implants) a titanium post into the jaw. It is long enough that it peeks over the gums. Titanium is biocompatible, so the immune system doesn't attack it. In fact, your jaw bone will grow around it.
Before you leave, the oral surgeon will cover the post with a temporary cover and prescribe painkillers. You'll have to come back for more appointments to check the implant.
After several months, the titanium post is securely surrounded by bone. At this point, a dentist caps the post with a crown made of porcelain or ceramic. The crown is shaped to look like a tooth, and the color is matched to the neighboring teeth. This process, as you can imagine, is very expensive.
Who Should Get Veneers? What About Implants?
Because veneers don't provide much structural benefit, they are only used to improve the look your teeth. Yellowed, chipped, and uneven teeth can look white and straight with the help of veneers. Veneers can change your smile dramatically, but your teeth need to be relatively healthy first.
Implants replace badly broken or missing teeth. Because they are rooted in bone, they are just as strong as natural teeth.
Implants also keep your teeth from shifting and bones from disappearing. If you lose a tooth, your other teeth will slowly shift to compensate for the hole. This shifting weakens the bone. Weak bone can lead to losing other teeth. Not getting an implant to fix one tooth can cost several other teeth.
If you're considering veneers or implants, see your dentist. They can answer all your questions and evaluate your dental needs. Your regular dentist can also refer you to a specialist such as an oral surgeon or cosmetic dentist.
With a little help from your local dentist, such as someone from Centre Family Dentistry, you can have the perfect straight and white smile, just like actors in Hollywood.