Veneers vs. Crowns

Veneers and crowns are two types of dental restorations that provide an artificial covering for existing teeth to improve the appearance and function of your smile. When it comes to choosing between veneers vs. crowns, it comes down to the condition of your teeth and your desired results.

When Would I Need a Crown or Veneer?

If your teeth are otherwise healthy but you are looking to improve aesthetics, then a dental veneer might be the ideal and least invasive option. If you wish to improve your smile, but the structure of your teeth also needs to be reinforced because of decay or damage, then you may benefit from a dental crown.

Your dentist may recommend veneers if your existing front teeth are mostly intact and have:

  • Uneven spacing
  • Minor chips or cracks
  • Enamel stains or darkening
  • Irregular shaping

A crown is the ideal solution to:

  • Protect a weak tooth from decay or damage
  • Restore a tooth that is cracked, worn down or fractured
  • Cover a tooth that has severe damage
  • Hold a dental bridge in place‌
  • Cover a tooth that is discolored or stained 

Veneers: What to Expect

Veneers are ultra-thin coverings that are bonded to the front surface of visible teeth to create a white, uniform smile that looks and feels natural. Porcelain-designed veneers are the most popular option, thanks to porcelain’s translucent properties and durability. This type of material provides beautiful, natural results and can last up to 15 years with proper care. In some cases, only one veneer is needed to cover a chipped tooth. However, in more severe cases, patients may choose to get multiple veneers to create a seamless, symmetrical appearance for the front teeth. 

To prepare your tooth for a veneer, the dentist will shave a very small amount of enamel from the tooth to make room for the porcelain covering. An impression is made of the tooth and sent to a dental laboratory. When the veneer is ready, your dentist will bond the veneer to the surface of your tooth or teeth.

Pros

  • Less invasive than crowns and leave more of the original tooth intact
  • Teeth with veneers have minimal movement
  • When applied to multiple front teeth, veneers can provide a complete smile makeover

Cons 

  • Usually not covered by insurance
  • Veneers are not reversible
  • Teeth covered with veneers are still susceptible to decay

Crowns: What to Expect 

A dental crown completely covers, or caps, the entire existing tooth. Crowns are typically used to restore teeth that have been badly damaged by decay, cracks or fractures. To prepare the tooth for a crown, the dentist may need to first remove decay and fill the tooth or file down tooth enamel to make room for the new crown.

Dental crowns today are commonly made of porcelain or ceramic material to provide a natural-looking and natural-feeling crown that matches the rest of your teeth. Once the crown has been fabricated in the dental lab, the dentist can cement the crown to the prepared tooth.

Pros

  • Crowns cover the entire tooth, protecting it from decay
  • Some costs are usually covered by insurance
  • A failed crown can be repaired without the need for replacement 

Cons 

  • More of the original tooth must be filed down to make space for a crown
  • A newly placed crown may cause temporary gum discomfort or tooth sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Porcelain crowns may show signs of wear and tear over time

The Cost of Veneers and Crowns 

Factors including the size of your tooth and how many teeth are being treated will determine the cost of your veneers or crowns. In many cases, insurance policies will not pay for veneers since they are generally an elective procedure. However, a portion of dental crowns may be covered under your policy. You should be able to work with your dentist to coordinate a payment plan that can help spread the costs over the course of one or two years.

Learn More Today

Whether you need to restore damaged teeth with dental crowns or you want to improve the appearance of your smile with natural-looking porcelain veneers, Sycamore Hills Dentistry can provide the restorative and cosmetic dentistry services you need to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Contact our office today to learn more.

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