It can be difficult to maintain the set of teeth you’re born with throughout your entire life. Due to neglect, unfortunate accidents, or old age, your teeth may lose their health and luster as you grow older. Luckily, your dentist can enhance your teeth’s health and appearance with crowns and veneers. Although crowns and veneers are both usually made out of porcelain and can improve the aesthetics of your smile, they serve two different functions. Learn the difference between crowns and veneers so you can make an informed decision if you’re presented with both options.
The Difference Between Crowns and Veneers
Basic Similarities and Differences
Before discussing the difference between crowns and veneers, it’s important to understand their functions. Dental crowns are protective coverings for a tooth, while veneers are cosmetic coverings that hide gaps, misshapen teeth, and discolored teeth. Both devices look like natural teeth, with the exception of silver crowns. Because they serve different functions, however, they vary in structure:
- Dental crowns cover all exposed surfaces. While veneers only cover the front of a tooth, dental crowns fit around your tooth like a cap. This is because a dental crown protects a frail filling or root canal site, while veneers simply enhance your smile.
- Veneers are thinner. Since veneers typically just improve a tooth’s appearance, they are much thinner than dental crowns.
Application Processes for Crowns and Veneers
If you’re having a custom crown placed, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth and order the crown from a lab. In order to prepare your tooth for a crown application, your dentist may have to complete restoration work, like a filling. Next, he or she will numb the tooth and the gum around it and will file down all the surfaces. Then, your dentist will apply either a custom or temporary crown and cement it into place.
The application of veneers is also a multi-step process. Before applying the veneers, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth and order your custom veneer from a lab. It typically takes two to four weeks for a lab to finish the veneer. Once it is ready, you’ll go back to your dentist’s office. Your dentist will prepare your tooth for the application by removing a small layer of your tooth’s enamel. This procedure may or may not require a local anesthetic. After cleaning and polishing your tooth, your dentist will bond the veneer to your natural tooth using cement. A special light beam may be used to activate the chemicals in the cement (source).
Which Is Best?
We can’t claim that veneers are better than crowns or vice versa – it all depends on the situation. If your tooth needs more support than a veneer can provide, a crown remains the better option. However, if you just want to enhance the look of your smile and you have enough healthy enamel, you can benefit from veneers. We encourage you to discuss these options with your dentist so that you can receive an expert’s personalized opinion.
Now that you know the basic difference between crowns and veneers, you should feel a little more comfortable communicating about them with your dentist. And if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
Looking for a new dentist? If you live near Springfield, Missouri, visit Wilkinson Dental. We are committed to your comfort and proud to offer a relaxing office environment while providing the care you need for a happier, healthier smile. If you’re ready to set up an appointment or if you have questions you’d like to go over first, please give us a call at 417-708-0556 or click here. We look forward to hearing from you!