Veneers or Dentures: Which Should You Choose?

Most people focus on one thing they don’t really like when they look in the mirror. If you’re unhappy about your smile, it can affect your self-confidence and change how you interact with the world. Luckily, modern dentistry offers many paths to the beautiful smile you wish you had. 

At Santa Monica Bay Dental in Santa Monica, California, we offer both veneers and dentures, and our patients sometimes ask which is better. Our doctors say that the best option for you depends on numerous factors, such as your oral health, whether you’re missing teeth, and many others.  

The differences

Veneers and dentures have quite a few significant differences. Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells made of durable material that attach to your natural teeth. Dentures are artificial teeth. Choosing between the two is often less a matter of what you prefer than it is of understanding what you need. 


Veneers are an extremely popular choice, and for good reason. Veneers can be used to completely change the look of your smile, but don’t require an invasive procedure. 

Veneers can be made of porcelain or composite resin, with porcelain offering the most natural appearance. When you get veneers, they are custom made to fit your mouth, so you end up with the appearance you want. 

Usually, the process involves at least two visits to our office. During the first, we make sure that you’re a suitable candidate for veneers. You need to have very good oral health before veneers are placed. Then, your dentist takes digital impressions of your teeth that are used to make your veneers. 

When you come back, your dentist slightly roughens the surface of your natural teeth to help the veneers adhere better. Then, they permanently place the veneers over your teeth. 

Veneers can be used to correct the appearance of misaligned teeth, to cover yellowing or graying teeth, to hide gaps between your teeth, and in many other situations. With good care, veneers last for many years. 


In many cases, dentures are a necessity rather than a cosmetic procedure, though you do end up with cosmetic improvements. Dentures are artificial teeth. Traditionally, they were removable, but modern techniques include All-on-4®, a method of placing dentures permanently. 

In order to get veneers, you need to have your natural teeth. Dentures are a better option if you’re missing teeth. 

Dentures offer some big advantages besides the obvious cosmetic ones. For example, dentures mean you can eat foods you may not be able to enjoy with missing teeth, and often are able to speak more clearly. 

Whether you get removable dentures or All-on-4, you need to have any remaining teeth removed. For many patients, the process of getting dentures is longer, more invasive, and more painful than the process of getting veneers. However, once you have dentures, they may well last the rest of your life. 

If you’re ready to make a change, but you don’t know what kind of procedure is most likely to help you meet your goals, schedule an appointment at Santa Monica Bay Dental. We’re happy to evaluate your situation and make a recommendation based on your needs. 

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