When it comes to veneers and crowns for dental restoration, it’s not necessarily a question of whether one is better than the other. They both serve very important purposes and have their pros and cons.
Here we show the similarities and differences between these two treatments.
What is a porcelain veneer?
Veneers are made of very thin porcelain that are custom-designed to blend in with surrounding teeth and cover the fronts of teeth that need adjustments in size, color or shape. Common reasons for getting veneers include covering stained teeth, closing gaps between teeth, and covering chipped or misshapen teeth. Patients love veneers because they resist stains from coffee, tea and cigarette smoke.
Veneers are custom-made moldings tailor-made in the dentist’s office and produced by a dental laboratory. Once you return to our office for placement, the dentist reduces a small portion of the tooth enamel and applies the veneer to the tooth using a special adhesive. They can last for 10 to 20 years with proper care and regular dental cleanings.
What is a crown?
If a tooth is cracked, decayed or seriously damaged, a dental crown is going to be a better option than a veneer. A crown is a “cap” that covers a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening the tooth and improving its appearance at the same time. They can be made of a variety of materials, including porcelain fused to metal, resin, ceramic, stainless steel and other metals. They can last 10 to 30 years with daily care and regular dental checkups.
During this two-stage treatment, the affected tooth is reshaped with a small drill to make sure the remaining tooth is strong and able to support a crown. Similar to a veneer, a crown is custom-made in the dentist’s office with a mold that is sent to a laboratory to create a permanent crown. When you return to the dentist’s office, the surface of the affected tooth will be etched to make it rougher and help the dental cement bond with the crown. The crown is then placed over the tooth and fixed into a secure position.