If you?re considering enhancing your smile and/or bettering your dental health, a decision you may have to make is whether or not you should get a crown or a veneer. It?s a popular topic in the dental space and most likely something that your dentist will recommended to you.
But, there is a lot of information out there, and you probably just want a simple breakdown of the two. . .So, in today?s post, I?m going to share the differences between a crown and a veneer so that you can make an informed decision about which one is going to be the right fit for you.
What Is A Crown and Who Is It Best For
A crown is designed to fit over your entire tooth–all surfaces, meaning the front, the back, and the sides. ?It?s going to be the best option if a lot of the tooth structure is gone, or is not able to be repaired. In order to get a crown, some prep work or “filing” has to be done to your natural tooth. ?Your natural tooth is prepared and space is created for the crown. ?
This means that once you decide to go that route for that tooth, there?s no going back. The procedure is irreversible. ?This also means that because your tooth is being prepared for a crown (“filed” down for a crown), you can change the size and shape of the tooth significantly to give you a more consistent and presentable look with your teeth.?
With a crown you can change the entire color of your tooth. It’s the best option when your teeth have been greatly damaged, or if there is little tooth structure left. ?
With a crown, two appointments will be needed. ?The first one is where the tooth is prepared, impressions are taken, and a temporary is made to hold the space and protect the underlying tooth structure. ?
In the second appointment, the temporary is removed, and the crown can be permanently cemented on. (note: Once you have a crown, you will always need a crown. You cannot switch to having a veneer because the tooth structure has already been removed)
What Are Porcelain Veneers and Who Are They Best For
A porcelain veneer usually only covers the front surface of your existing tooth, and a tiny bit of the back your tooth. Because veneers are thinner they don?t require as much prepping of your existing natural tooth. In fact, depending on the technique that is used there may be no preparing, or “filing” of the tooth structure that is needed in order for your veneer to be placed.
Porcelain veneers tend to look more natural than crowns because they are thinner and allow for your underlying tooth structure to show through a bit. ?I personally love veneers because they are more conservative than crowns, meaning less of your existing natural tooth structure is sacrificed for the restoration.
If your teeth are prepped for veneers (which in most cases they should be and they are), it is also an irreversible procedure. ?So once the tooth structure is removed, you won’t be able to walk around without the restoration. ?You should note that once you have veneers placed, you can progress to having a crown if you ever need to.?
Much like crowns, veneers can also help to change the color of your teeth for you. They can also change the shape of your tooth.
The procedure for a porcelain veneer is the same as the procedure for a crown. ?At the first appointment, the tooth is prepared, impressions are taken, and a temporary is made to cover and protect the underlying tooth structure. ?At the second appointment, the temporary is removed, and the veneer can be permanently cemented.
How Long Do They Last?
Both crowns and veneers are very strong. ?Since we are dealing with a human body, we can’t say how long they will last. ?I’ve seen veneers last over 30 years, and I’ve also seen them break after a month! Their longevity is dependent on so many factors–how they are done, how they are cemented, etc.
One thing I can tell you though is that they both act much like your natural tooth structure once they are permanently cemented in. ?The same things that can break your natural teeth can break your veneer or your crown. ?So be mindful of your eating habits, and don’t use your teeth as tools!
Which To Choose
So to make it easier for you, the difference between a crown and a veneer has to do with the amount of tooth structure that is removed. Making the decision between crowns and veneers can be a personal choice if your teeth are not already prepared for any restorations. ?As I mentioned before, if you already have a crown, you cannot switch to having a veneer, but since a veneer is more conservative, if you already have a veneer, you can choose to have a crown. ?
In my opinion, in most cases, it’s best to start more conservative with a veneer. Here’s the thing, your crown can be made to look exactly like your veneer! So if you need a crown on one tooth, and a veneer on the one next to it, don’t worry! They can look the same!
If you plan on having any work done with your teeth, remember that most dental procedures are irreversible, and expensive! Make sure that you?ve done your research on the procedures and have consulted with your dental professional about it. Make sure you choose a dentist that you trust, and is experienced with the procedure you are having done. ?
Your dentist will be able to tell you the best option for you based on the current state of your teeth and dental health. It?s best to use their professional opinion to help you make a decision about veneers vs crowns.
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