Two dental restoration methods to improve the look and function of your teeth are veneers and crowns. Veneers only cover the front surface of your tooth while crowns encase the entire tooth. Dental restorations can be expensive and therefore it is important to understand which one may be the best for you. Remember, both procedures are different and are equally successful.
Here is information about the differences between veneers and crowns and the benefits and downsides of each and how they are used.
A veneer is an extra-thin layer of porcelain or other materials with a thickness of 1 millimeter that is bonded to the front of your existing tooth.
A crown is approximately 2 millimeters in thickness and encases the entire tooth. It can also be from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or all metal alloy.
Whether you want to have dental veneers or a dental crown will depend on the condition of your teeth and the reasons why you are trying to have them. Some of the common conditions that people look to restore are:
Crowns and veneers are both color-matched to suit the natural appearance of your teeth except in the case of all-metal crowns.
As a veneer only covers the front surface of the tooth the treatment for having them placed is not as invasive as crowns and leaves more of your natural tooth intact. The dentist will remove half a millimeter of enamel from the front of the tooth to roughen the surface for cementing the veneer. New introductions into the market do not need grinding of the tooth surface like traditional veneers but you may need a local anesthetic during the procedure because the grinding can be painful.
An impression of your prepared tooth will be taken by the dentist by digitally scanning it or using a mold. The mold or image may be sent to a laboratory if the dentist does not have the facility for making them on-site. You may have a temporary veneer placed on the tooth until your new one is ready depending on how much of your tooth was trimmed.
When the permanent veneer is ready it will replace the temporary placement. It will be cemented to the tooth and hardened with ultraviolet light. After the veneer is in place minimal movement of the tooth can be expected. However, you may need to wear a nightguard if you have a problem with bruxism.
Dental crowns encase the entire tooth and therefore more of the tooth needs to be ground down or filed to prepare it for the placement. If you have tooth decay the dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth before fabricating the crown. In such cases, your tooth will need to be built up to support the crown. It will also be the case if your tooth is damaged. You may be administered a local anesthetic during this procedure.
Your dentist will make an impression of your tooth either by making a mold or digitally scanning it and send it to the laboratory to develop the crown if the facility is not available at the dental office. A temporary crown will be placed on the ground down tooth to allow you to use the tooth as the crown is being fabricated.
After the permanent crown is ready the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent one will be placed on your tooth. The crown will be cemented into place after making any adjustments needed to make sure it fits correctly.
If you have a chipped tooth a dental veneer may be the best option for you because they can also be used for correcting the shape of your teeth.
If your tooth has a large filling, has undergone a root canal or is severely worn or cracked dental crowns that can encase the tooth up to the gum will be the best option.
Veneers and crowns can be expensive and individual expenses may vary according to the size of your tooth, the location of the tooth and the average prices in your geographic location. You will not receive help from most dental insurance programs that won’t cover cosmetic dentistry. Therefore it is suggested that you inquire with your insurance company to understand if they will cover the costs.