Veneers and crowns are excellent dental restoration methods to consider if you want to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. They have become two of the most popular dental restorative options, and many patients attest to their wonderful results.
But while both procedures can help you enhance your smile and the appearance and function of your teeth, there are several key differences between them. And whether one or the other is the right option for you depends on your particular situation.
This overview aims to provide all the information you need about porcelain veneers and crowns, so you get a better idea of what these treatment options entail even before consulting with a dentist.
Porcelain Veneers and Crowns – What are they?
Both dental crowns and veneers are effective in improving the aesthetic appearance of your teeth. They are generally made of porcelain, used to cover gaps and holes in the teeth to make them look and work better.
Veneers are usually a thin layer of porcelain, bonded to the surface and covering the front of an existing tooth. The procedure leaves more of the original tooth intact, and is less invasive than dental crowns.
Dental crowns encase the entire tooth and are thicker than veneers. They can be made out of pure porcelain or porcelain fused to a metal alloy. Crown procedures are performed on teeth with more substantial damage. The dentist will have to file down or remove any decayed parts of a tooth and then build it up again before performing the replacement.
The most apparent difference between veneers and crowns is their thickness. Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, often only a millimeter thick, or even less. Dental crowns, on the other hand, are two or more millimeters thick, making them suitable for teeth with more damage.
What Porcelain Veneers are For
When preparing a tooth for veneers, dentists only trim a little of the tooth material. Most of the time, they don't have to trim the backside of the tooth, either. Thus, veneers don’t alter the tooth’s shape too much. But because they’re very thin, they’re somewhat brittle and easier to fracture or dislodge.
Veneers should be an excellent choice for addressing relatively minor tooth issues, especially those with mostly aesthetic concerns. Dental problems like tooth-stains, slight gapping, chips and cracks, and superficial misalignment in teeth can be solved with the application of porcelain veneers. The procedure can improve the color and appearance of the teeth, for a brighter and more beautiful smile.
The Purpose of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns, on the other hand, often trims down the tooth to its core, which results in a significant change in shape. Crowns are thick and strong, and that's why they're perfect for restoring decayed and badly broken teeth. It is the restorative procedure of choice when dealing with more fundamental teeth issues.
When a tooth is severely cracked or broken, the application of a dental crown can keep the tooth intact and prevent further damage to avoid extraction. Dental crowns are cemented firmly into the teeth, enclosing and protecting the nub of the original tooth within.
Crowns are an effective solution for restoring damaged teeth in a variety of circumstances. While both veneers and crowns lead to significant aesthetic improvements, the latter is highly recommended when dealing with teeth heavily compromised by damage, decay, or root canal.
After a restoration, the tooth becomes durable enough for performing its normal functions like biting and chewing, as well as withstanding the stronger forces of clenching and grinding.
Finding the Right Option for You
Veneers and dental crowns can both help you in your quest for a healthy and stunning smile. However, whether a dental crown or veneer is the right option for you will depend on the condition of your teeth and the problem you want to address.
The idea is to choose the best and most natural fix possible so that your teeth look better, work better, and remain protected for many more years to come.