Choosing Between Veneers and Crowns

dental veneerA lot of people get confused about the difference between veneers and crowns.

Porcelain veneers and crowns are both incredibly revolutionary techniques to fix chipped, cracked, discolored, gapped, or mishappen teeth.

They’re created in a way that mimic natural teeth, so you can have a beautiful and natural-looking smile.

Typically, both forms of restoration will look and function so naturally that you won’t be able to notice an aesthetic difference. While crowns and veneers are both helpful to fixing the cosmetic appearance of your tooth, they can’t fix tooth position or a poor bite.

Veneers and crowns are incredibly similar in function, but they’re also substantially different. There are a number of things you and your dentist will need to take into account when choosing between veneers and crowns as a restoration to improve your smile.

What is a Crown?

We’ve talked a lot about porcelain veneers on this site, but we’ve yet to discuss how you can restore your teeth with crowns. Like the cap of a pen, crowns replace the outer layer of a tooth and encase the entire tooth to the gum line.

You might’ve heard of a crown referred to as a “cap.” This is because the crown covers the entire external surface of the tooth. Sometimes a cosmetic dentist will place the crown over the core of a tooth that’s been destructed from trauma or tooth decay. Crowns are designed to replace a large amount of missing tooth structure.

Sometimes dentists will put crown the teeth of patients who have worn them away by bruxism. Sometimes crowns are used with dental implants to replace lost teeth. Crowns are similar to veneers in that they’re the same shape and color of natural teeth.

Porcelain crowns are used when more of the tooth’s surface needs to be replaced. Porcelain is also typically used in the front teeth, because they receive less biting force. Ceramic crowns are used in the back teeth, because they can receive stronger impact from bite force.

Like a veneer, a crown is bonded to underlying tooth enamel. Typically, the crown remains in place better when it is bonded to enamel instead of the under layer, dentin.

Veneers and Crowns Compared

Both forms of restoration or cemented with a resin that absorbs light, so that it looks like a natural tooth under direct light. However, crowns are made from thicker porcelain, so they’re harder to match to your natural tooth color. On the other hand, veneers are a thin layer that work with your underlying tooth color to restore it to a beautiful sparkling white color.

When it comes to choosing between a crown or a veneer to restore your smile, you should look at the amount of tooth that needs to be repaired. Crowns are a lot thicker than veneers. They need at least 2 mm of tooth structure to be placed, because they don’t bond well to the dentin layer of the tooth.

Crowns are usually used to restore back teeth, because they are stronger and can resist high bite pressure. Crowns are also more suitable for those who suffer from bruxism, because veneers don’t hold their integrity as well.

Crowns also have better results for patients with severe tooth decay. Crowns can be incredibly successful for preventing further dental health problems. For instance, if you have a weak tooth, the crown will help hold the cracked pieces in place and prevent further tooth decay. They’re also incredibly useful to stop decay in teeth that can’t support a filling.

On the other hand, veneers are a better cosmetic solution when you’re trying to fix discolored or misshapen teeth. Porcelain crowns also tend to last longer than dental veneers. Veneers last between 5-15 years, and crowns last between 10-15 years.

While crowns and veneers are placed for different reasons, they’re both successful ways to restore your smile to a beautiful smile. If you’re strictly looking for a cosmetic fix to your teeth, then you should opt for veneers. When it comes to veneers and crowns, one isn’t better than the other. Instead, it’s a matter of deciding which will suit your individual need.