What Are Veneers and Crowns?
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. Veneers are used to improve the appearance of your smile by changing the color, shape, size, or length of your teeth. They can also be used to protect the surface of a tooth from damage. If you are considering veneers, it may be because your teeth are unevenly spaced, broken or chipped, dark or stained, or irregularly shaped. Veneers can provide a Cosmetic solution to improve the appearance of your smile.
If you’re interested in getting veneers, your first step should be to consult with a dentist or prosthodontist. During this consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to share your dental concerns and learn more about how veneers can help you achieve your desired results. The doctor may also order X-rays or take a mold of your teeth.
If you are considering veneers, the prosthodontist will assess your individual case to see if they are the right choice for you. If veneers are deemed appropriate, the tooth or teeth in question will be prepared for them. This may involve shaping the tooth so that the veneers fit correctly, and a temporary layer being applied. The final step is bonding the permanent veneer to your tooth or teeth.
A dental crown is a removable cap that fits over a tooth, while veneers are thin overlays that cover half of a tooth. Crowns are typically used to cover teeth that are damaged, decayed, or to hold a bridge in place. Veneers are used to fill gaps between tooth enamel or to disguise discolored teeth.
There are several different materials that can be used to make crowns:
Metals – These are strong and durable, making them ideal for long-term wear. They can be made from gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium, and only require a small amount of tooth removal for placement.
Porcelain fused to metal – Metal is the primary material used for dental implants, however, a porcelain overlay can give the tooth a more natural appearance. It is important to keep in mind that the metal may be visible on the edge or back of the tooth. Since the porcelain is an overlay, it may be more susceptible to chipping.
Resin – Resin is a more affordable option, but it may not last as long as other crown options.
Ceramic or porcelain – When it comes to choosing the right type of crown for your teeth, ceramic or porcelain options offer the most natural color. However, keep in mind that these crowns may wear down the teeth around them if they are placed in the front of the mouth where they are more visible.
Pressed ceramic – Similar to metal crowns with metal inlays or a porcelain overlay, pressed ceramic crowns to have a ceramic core as opposed to a metallic one. They outlast prefabricated ones that are only made of porcelain.
Veneers vs Crowns: How Are They Different?
The two main types of dental restoration are veneers and crowns. Veneers are thinner pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the front surface of your teeth, while crowns are thicker and cover your entire tooth. The reason you may need one or the other depends on the extent of damage to your tooth. While veneers may be more aesthetically pleasing because they show less gum margin, crowns are thicker and more permanent. Once you get veneers, you may eventually need to replace them after a few years. In contrast, crowns can last much longer – potentially for the rest of your life.
Benefits of Veneers and Crowns
Self-esteem – The appearance of your teeth can have a significant impact on your self-esteem. If your teeth are damaged, discolored, or otherwise not looking their best, it can really affect how you feel about yourself. Veneers and crowns can improve the appearance of your teeth, giving you a better smile and a boost to your confidence.
Protection – Veneers are mainly used for appearance and function, yet they cannot enhance function for teeth that can’t be saved. Crowns may help with appearance, but they also safeguard teeth from further damage. Your dentist might recommend a crown for your severely damaged tooth, so as to prevent further degeneration.
Preservation – A veneer obstructs less of your natural tooth, which preserves your tooth’s basic structure. Additionally, your gums may be better positioned to respond to veneers rather than crowns. But if a veneer cannot cover the damage to your natural tooth, a crown may be a better option.
Risks of Veneers and Crowns
Not for everyone – Veneers aren’t recommended for individuals with poor gum health or those who clench or grind their teeth.
Regret – You should be aware that veneers cannot be undone, and that crowns, while they may help protect teeth, can also increase sensitivity and discomfort. Allergic reactions to materials are possible.
Wear – Veneers may not last forever and may need to be replaced over time. If a veneer cracks, it cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced. Crowns are also susceptible to chips and breaks, which may necessitate replacing the entire crown. The cement holding the crown in place can also wear down over time, causing the crown to feel loose or even fall off.
Is a Veneer or Crown Right for Me?
There are some key differences between veneers and crowns that may impact your dentist’s recommendation for treatment. Veneers are thinner than crowns, so they may not be as durable. Crowns can also be used to support a dental bridge, while veneers cannot. Ultimately, your dentist will assess your individual needs and make a recommendation based on what will provide the best results. Porcelain veneers are recommended if your tooth’s structure has suffered as a result of decay or injury that has eaten through the tooth enamel, or if your tooth has undergone a root canal. An appliance repair crown, however, is the best option if your dental pulp is badly damaged. If your tooth only needs minor changes in shape or appearance, your dentist will likely recommend a porcelain veneer.