Your Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry Options: Veneers versus Crowns

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‌Your Island Dental dentist has told you that you need to get some work done. It’s not that you need to replace your tooth and a filling isn’t going to solve the problem you have. The options presented to you are either a veneer or a crown but what are the differences between the two? ‌

Crowns and veneers are both considered dental restoration procedures. They can help to improve the appearance and function of your teeth but a veneer covers the front of your tooth and a crown covers your entire tooth. 

Veneers

A dental veneer sometimes referred to as porcelain veneers, is a very thin layer of tooth-colored material that is bonded to the front of your existing tooth. A veneer is used to correct teeth that have been discolored as a result of:

  • Root canal treatment
  • Stains from the use of tetracycline or other medications
  • Fluoride use

Veneers are also used to repair teeth that have been worn down, chipped, broken, misaligned, or have gaps between them. In order for a veneer to adhere to your tooth, you need to have enough tooth enamel for the veneer to bond to it. 

Veneers can provide several advantages, including:

  • Providing a very natural appearance
  • They are tolerated well by your mouth
  • They are stain-resistant
  • Your surrounding teeth may appear whiter

Some of the disadvantages with veneers include:

  • They cannot be removed
  • Your teeth may become more sensitive
  • Once it’s placed, the color of the veneer cannot be changed
  • While rare, veneers can fall off
  • You can still experience decay in your tooth
  • If you clench or grind your teeth, you cause your veneers to crack or chip

Crowns

A crown covers your entire tooth. It can be composed of either all porcelain, porcelain fused to a metal alloy (PFM), or all-metal. Crowns are tooth-shaped and color-matched to your teeth with the exception of an all-metal crown.

If you have tooth decay, your Island Dental dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth prior to making your crown to prepare your mouth for the placement of the crown.

Crowns can provide several advantages, including:

  • Protecting a weakened tooth from breaking
  • Covering a tooth that has a large filling
  • Holding a dental bridge in place
  • Covering a dental implant
  • Covering a misshapen or badly discolored tooth
  • They can last up to 15 years depending on the care they are provided

Some of the disadvantages of crowns include:

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold 
  • Potential to chip, specifically porcelain crowns
  • A crown can become loose
  • An allergic reaction, while rare, to the metal in the crown

In conclusion

Veneers are used primarily for appearance and function. They do not improve the function of your teeth if they are unable to be repaired. Crowns can help with the appearance of your teeth but they also protect your teeth when protection is needed. 

If your tooth has a large filling, is heavily damaged, worn or cracked, or has had a root canal, your Island Dental dentist may suggest a crown. If your tooth is in good condition and your restoration is specifically designed for cosmetic purposes, a veneer may be the best solution.

Regardless, veneers and crowns will improve the appearance of your teeth. Your smile will be improved and your self-image will improve too. 

If you would like to discuss a veneer or crown with an Island Dental dentist, please contact us to schedule an appointment, or you can call us at 516-565-6565. The dentists at Island Dental Associates will discuss your dental history and your concerns with you and explain treatment options so you can make an informed decision.

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