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June 29, 2023

Veneers Vs Dental Crowns: Which Option Is Right For You?

Two restorative choices that can support maintaining a healthy smile are veneers and crowns. They may both make your teeth look as well as work better. Many individuals believe veneers and crowns to be equivalent because they appear to offer the same advantages. There are significant differences between them even if the purpose is the same. 

While crowns are caps that cover the whole tooth to restore its function and structure, veneers are thin shells attached to the front surface of teeth to improve aesthetics. Both can enhance your smile’s alignment and whiteness. Your dental requests and objectives will determine whether you need veneers or crowns. Here is an overview of the distinctions between veneers and crowns, how they function, and when each dental restoration technique should be used to assist you in choosing the one that is best for you.

Patient who is getting dental veneers.

What Are Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin, one-millimeter-thick coatings of dental porcelain that are stain-resistant and specifically made to cover the front of your teeth. They are a non-invasive cosmetic dentistry alternative that keeps the majority of the structure of your natural teeth. In order to provide a rough surface for the porcelain veneer to adhere to, your dentist will normally remove around fifty millimeters of enamel from the front side of your tooth. 

However, depending on the precise type of veneer, different amounts of enamel may be removed. It’s necessary to remember that only teeth with enough enamel can get veneers. Veneers are less intrusive than crowns since they just cover the front surface of the tooth. While the process of grinding the enamel could be uncomfortable, any pain can be managed with a topical anesthetic.

Exactly what does getting a veneer consist of?

  1. The dentist will prepare your teeth and then use either a physical mold or cutting-edge digital scanning equipment to obtain an imprint of the prepared tooth. This mold or impression precisely represents the curves and form of your tooth and is used to create your personalized veneer. If the dentist practice lacks an on-site laboratory, the model will be sent to an off-site dentistry lab, where talented artisans will carefully build your veneer.
  2. In a few cases, a temporary veneer may be applied to the prepared tooth if a large portion of your dental structure was removed during the preparation step. While you wait for the permanent veneer to be made, this temporary veneer protects the tooth. Additionally, it aids in keeping your appearance presentable while you wait.
  3. You will need to make a follow-up appointment with the dentist to complete the permanent veneer’s final insertion when the dental lab has finished fabricating it, which normally takes a few weeks. The fit and look of the permanent veneer will be compared to your tooth once the interim veneer, if any, has been removed. To achieve the best fit and most natural look, adjustments may be necessary.
  4. The veneer will be glued to your tooth via a specific dental cement after you and the doctor are pleased with it. The veneer will be precisely placed on your teeth by the dentist, who will then use a lamp with ultraviolet rays or another type of light to activate and solidify the glue, thereby securing it to your tooth. 
  5. After the veneer is in place, the tooth usually moves very little. However, if you often clench or grind your teeth, particularly while you sleep, your dentist could suggest wearing a night guard. A night protector is a specially made oral device that you put on while you sleep to safeguard the veneer and avoid any potential harm brought on by teeth clenching or grinding.
Image illustrating how dental crowns work.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Before the crown can be placed, a larger area of the tooth will need to be filed in order for the dental crown to cover its entire surface. If the tooth is harmed, fractured, has cracks, or is damaged by decay, this would be the case that the crowns would be needed to get a better result. Your dentist will have to remove the decaying portion of the tooth and maybe reconstruct portions of the tooth so that it can support the dental crown if tooth decay is the cause of your requirement for a dental crown. Dental crowns are often made of all-metal alloys, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal alloys. 

The crown will be fabricated by the specialist to be secured to fit your tooth perfectly and for it to be cemented in its place. The entire tooth is covered by a crown implant. With this implant, to prepare for the placement of it a bigger part of the tooth will be necessary to be removed. If you have decayed teeth, your dentist will first make the crown by removing the decaying portion of the tooth. Your tooth may need to be strengthened in this situation to sustain the crown.

What’s involved with getting a crown?

  1. Either by digital scanning or by creating an old for your tooth, your dentist will provide an accurate impression of your tooth. This mold or image that the expert has produced will be sent to the laboratory for the creation of the crown, or either the dental office will make it in their lab if they have one.
  2. While the permanent crown is being made, you will be provided with a temporary model of a tooth, which will be provided by the dentist
  3. When the finished product is ready to be placed in your tooth, the crown that was placed temporarily will be removed from there. The Permanent tooth that is provided by the lab will be adjusted to your needs and they will make sure that the biting is right, in order to not have any discomfort.
  4. The crown will need to be readjusted if there is an unusual movement, which causes changes in the biting process. 
Dentist talking to a patient about the difference between veneers and crowns.

Veneers vs Crowns: How Are They Similar?

Both of these treatments operate in the same way by making your physical appearance better and fixing the function of the teeth if they are damaged. These treatments are usually applied to fix teeth that have been harmed in some way, whether they are stained, crooked, decaying, chipped, cracked, or shattered. With the exception of all-metal crowns, veneers, and crowns are both created to match the color of the rest of your teeth in order to offer you a seamless, full smile.

It will be impossible to see a difference between crowns and veneers, once they’ve been put to use because of the same effect that they have on your smile. The aftercare will be the same even if you chose to get veneers or crowns. Just like your natural teeth, they will need to be washed twice daily and they need to be flooded in order for food to not get stuck there. Also, frequent visits to the dentist to keep them clean and to check for any possible damage will be needed.

Veneers vs Crowns: How Are They Different?

The main differences between veneers and crowns lie in how they fit your tooth and their respective requirements. A dental crown covers the entire tooth, while a porcelain veneer is only cemented to the front surface of the tooth. This distinction in coverage contributes to the cosmetic attractiveness of veneers, as they show minimal gum edges compared to crowns.

In terms of thickness, veneers are typically one millimeter thick, whereas crowns are two millimeters thick and offer increased durability. Veneers, although resilient, may require replacement after a certain number of years, while crowns have the potential to last a lifetime with proper care.

It’s important to consult with your dentist to assess your specific dental needs and goals, as they will be able to provide personalized recommendations on whether veneers or crowns are more suitable for your situation. Factors such as the extent of tooth damage, desired cosmetic improvements, and long-term durability will influence the choice between veneers and crowns.

Patient wondering whether she should get veneers or crowns.

Is a Veneer or Crown Right for Me?

While veneers and crowns may appear to serve similar purposes, it is important to note that they are recommended based on individual circumstances and dental needs. Your dentist will assess your specific situation to determine the most suitable treatment option.

Dental crowns are often recommended when a tooth is severely damaged, has a large filling, or has undergone a root canal treatment. In these cases, the tooth enamel requires stronger protection, and a crown provides the necessary support and coverage.

On the other hand, porcelain veneers are primarily used for aesthetic reasons. If your tooth is largely intact and requires minor reshaping or cosmetic enhancement, veneers can be an excellent choice. They are custom-made to improve the appearance of your teeth and can address issues like discoloration, minor misalignment, or irregularities in shape or size.

Your dentist will carefully evaluate your dental health and discuss your goals to determine whether veneers or crowns are the most appropriate option for you. They will consider factors such as the extent of tooth damage, functional requirements, and desired aesthetic improvements to provide personalized recommendations and help you make an informed decision.

Dental veneer procedure in Albania.

Procedure for Veneers vs. Crowns

Veneers and crowns are similar in some aspects but differ in the amount of natural tooth structure involved. The procedures are typically done in two separate visits. Anesthetics are used to ensure comfort during the process. Crowns require the removal of a small portion of dental enamel around the tooth since they cover the entire tooth. Veneers usually require minimal or no tooth preparation. Dental impressions are taken and sent to the lab to create the custom veneer or crown. A temporary restoration may be placed to protect the tooth. After a couple of weeks, the final veneers or crowns are cemented in place. Additional procedures may be necessary for crowns on implants or root canal-treated teeth.

Can Crowns and Veneers be Combined?

There are situations where a dental crown is the only viable option when a tooth is extensively damaged or beyond repair. Veneers may not be effective in such cases, and a crown becomes necessary to restore the functionality and structure of the tooth. If you have a single tooth that is broken or damaged while the rest of your teeth are healthy, a crown can provide a suitable solution.

When it comes to cosmetic considerations, using veneers made from the same shade of porcelain can help ensure a consistent and natural appearance. Tooth-colored porcelain is commonly used for veneers to match the color and characteristics of your natural teeth, creating a seamless and aesthetically pleasing result.

For optimal results, it is often recommended to treat all the teeth in your smile zone simultaneously when using veneers or crowns. This approach ensures a harmonious and balanced appearance, as the color, shape, and size of the treated teeth can be carefully coordinated. By treating multiple teeth at the same time, your dentist can achieve the best overall outcome in terms of aesthetics and symmetry.

Dentist consultation for dental veneers.

What to ask your dentist

Some questions you may want to ask include the following:

  • Do you have a lot of experience with veneers and crowns?
  • Is the mouth guard needed after my procedure?
  • How long is the material supposed to last?
  • His experiences with these kind of procedures
  • Are there any further choices, such as dentures or implants, to think about?
  • Is there a special aftercare needed after the implementation of crowns or veneers?

The bottom line

In the end, both of these procedures are very effective but depending on what your needs are you can choose between these two options. For instance, if your front tooth is shattered, we can recommend that you receive a crown to cover the tooth. Meanwhile, a less serious issue, such as extensive discoloration, would merely call for a veneer to restore the appearance of your smile. Schedule a consultation with one of our specialists and they will help you decide which option works best for your specific case.

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Meet Jessica, the compassionate website publisher with a passion for medical tourism, medical procedures, plastic surgery, and uncovering the wonders of Albania. Through her informative and eloquent writing, she guides and empowers readers to make informed decisions about healthcare and explore the beauty of this enchanting country. Let Jessica be your trusted source for all things related to health, travel, and self-discovery.

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