You already know that you want a natural-looking, beautiful smile, but when you are considering veneers vs. implants, how should you decide which one is right for you? These two procedures can offer you a shining smile, but they work best for very different conditions. Here’s what you need to know.

Veneers vs. implants: The basics

Both veneers and implants are dental restorations used for better oral health, but that is where the similarities end. At their most basic level, veneers rest on top of your natural tooth (or teeth), while implants become your new tooth, all the way from the root to the crown.

Keep reading for more on each type of restoration.

Veneers

Dental veneers are a thin shell of material affixed to the front of each tooth (or teeth), giving the natural appearance of bright white teeth.

Whether you have direct veneers (fixed to just one tooth) or indirect veneers (used most often to fix multiple teeth), this cosmetic restoration can quickly change the look of your smile.

Conditions treated

If you have stains, cracks, and chips but teeth that are otherwise healthy, veneers may be the best option for you.

In addition, veneers address minor spacing and alignment issues. This can help you avoid braces or, if the issues are so slight, as to eventually make braces unnecessary.

Procedure

The veneers procedure is simple and can be done in one or two visits. There are a few variations, depending on what material you choose, but in general the first visit is for a consultation and to take a mold of your teeth. Your veneers will be custom-made based on this mold.

When your veneers are ready, your dentist will remove a small amount of tooth material and reshape the tooth if necessary. They’ll then affix the veneer to the tooth with a thin layer of dental cement. Lumineers (a type of veneer) do not require removal of the tooth material at all. They can be simply placed on top of your natural tooth.

Once your bite is checked and adjustments are made, you are ready to go!

Materials

You have many options when it comes to the materials you can use for veneers. Dental veneers materials include:

  • Feldspathic: Layers of glass-based powder that is hand-formed for a gorgeous, natural look
  • Zirconia: Made from zirconium oxide and also used for dental crowns
  • Lumineers: A specific type of veneer that consists of thin sheets of porcelain
  • e-Max: Molded and pressed porcelain veneers
  • Composite: Made of composite resin

Appearance

The appearance of each type of veneer varies. Feldspathic veneers are beautiful and luminous, while zirconia veneers are more opaque for people with darker stains to cover.

Lumineers may feel thicker because there is no tooth removed to affix them, but they can provide a natural look for patients. As with all veneers, the appearance of e-Max ve