WHICH IS BETTER?

Dental crowns and veneers are among the most common cosmetic dentistry solutions. From chipped to decaying teeth, both would be great in bringing your beautiful smile back.

However, the two differ in several ways, which is why choosing between them can be a problem.

First, crowns (also known as caps) are artificial restorations that encase the entire tooth while veneers are meant to cover only the front part of the tooth, much like a false fingernail fits over the nail. Other notable differences are:

Crowns are thick

Crowns are much thicker than veneers. A dentist needs to prepare the whole tooth where the crown will be placed.

This is necessary because when the crown is finally cemented, it would be new outer surface of the tooth. This explains why crowns are used to give teeth both a new colour and a new shape.

In preparing, the dentist determines how much the tooth needs to be reduced before the crown can be fitted. In this, the tooth’s condition and its location in the mouth come into play. The material being used for the crown (metal, porcelain, or a combination) also affects the amount of reduction needed.

The standard is 2 mm or just about one sixteenth of an inch. This considers that most crowns need to be at least 2 mm thick to stay in position long enough while the eroding and grinding goes on within the mouth.

Veneers, in comparison, are wafer thin

Veneers only need to cover the front part of the teeth. Thus, they don’t need to be thick. That’s why most veneers are only about 1 mm in thickness or less.

Given this, there is significantly less tooth trimming needed when placing veneers. Reduction is usually done only on the front of the tooth.

In some cases, however, trimming would not even be necessary. This is when the dentist finds that the veneers are very thin and wouldn’t cause much discomfort.

Pros: Where Does each Procedure Excel?

Crowns and veneers have their respective strong points.

Dental crowns

Crowns re-establish the natural form and function of the tooth. The procedure also greatly improves a damaged tooth’s structure.

Crowns also serve as a quick solution if the tooth needs lightening because of deeper staining. These are the best option even though veneers might be the easier choice.

shutterstock_103324163Placing a crown is also better for back teeth that wear out from biting and chewing.

In a nutshell, crowns;

  • Are great for producing significant colour change;
  • Are better when you need to change the tooth’s shape;
  • Are better when you are rebuilding and strengthening teeth that are broken or has decayed;
  • Are the better option if the tooth (or teeth) in question is exposed to heavy chewing or biting force.

Porcelain veneers

Veneers, on the other hand, are best known to be more attractive. In fact, veneers can make your mouth more beautiful than other cosmetic dental treatments.

In a single treatment, veneers can correct surface flaws such as cracks and chips. They can also conceal dark tetracycline stains which are impossible to treat with traditional teeth whitening procedures. Veneers can also be used to alter the shape of teeth.

shutterstock_387043186Compared to crowns and other cosmetic dental procedures, they are a better choice when;

You want the tooth to look as natural as possible.
You’re only looking for minor shape changes for the tooth. Broken and chipped teeth may need crowns.
The teeth aren’t used heavily. Veneers could crack under excessive pressure.
You may want to reverse the procedure in the future. This is possible if the tooth was not trimmed prior to placement of the veneer.
Shortcomings

Both crowns and veneers are also known for serious disadvantages that should be factored in before choosing.

Crowns

The main drawback of crowns is that you can’t reverse the procedure, given the heavy trimming done on the tooth. Simply put, once you start wearing crowns, you’ll always need to wear one.

This is where the additional option is provided by veneers. People who wear veneers can resort to dental crowns, but those with a crown cannot go back to veneers.

Veneers

Veneers, for their part, have two major drawbacks. One, they aren’t as decay-proof as crowns. Crowns cover the whole tooth, with its edge sitting below the gums.

With veneers, a large portion of the margin sits above or outside the gum line. Plus, three of the four sides of the veneer rest along the sides of the tooth, exposed to bacteria.

Second, users of veneers usually complain about an ‘oversized, bulky’ appearance. Veneers, once fixed at the front of the tooth, appear as an extra layering on the tooth, making the tooth appear oversized.

Conclusion

Dental crowns and porcelain veneers serve different purposes and each are suitable depending on your needs.

Although studies show patients who use crowns are more satisfied with those with veneers, this doesn’t necessarily mean that crowns are always superior to veneers. If anything, veneers are considerably cheaper than dental crowns!

Call us about any specific questions, we are your local Chatswood dentist