What is the Difference Between Crowns and Veneers?
Veneers vs Crowns: What's the Difference?
When it comes to revitalizing your smile, veneers and crowns reign supreme. But what are the difference between veneers vs crowns? Click here to learn everything you need to know.
When you think of crowns or veneers, chances are, you probably think of your grandparents.
But crowns are more common than you might think--a single crown is the most common restorative dental procedure, with 2.3 million single-crown implants performed annually.
Still, when it comes to the question of veneers vs crowns, you may not know which one is better for your mouth. Here, we're breaking down what veneers and crowns are, the key difference between them, and how to know which one you need.
Let's get into it!
What Are Crowns?
First, let's start with the one you've probably heard of.
Dental crowns, sometimes called caps, are tooth-shaped "caps" placed over a tooth to restore its appearance, strengthen the tooth, and restore its shape and size.
Crowns serve a variety of restorative and cosmetic purposes. In fact, one of the most common reasons patients get crowns is to restore structure and strength to severely damaged or cracked teeth. They may also be used to restore a tooth after a root canal.
This has cosmetic purposes--it keeps your smile looking good, for one thing, but it also helps maintain your bite and keeps your teeth from shifting when a tooth is severely damaged.
What Are Veneers?
Then, there are veneers, which have a similar basic premise to crowns.
Dental veneers, sometimes called porcelain veneers, are custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of your tooth. Like crowns, veneers are bonded to your teeth and are meant to last for many years.
They are often used for cosmetic purposes, like hiding a chipped tooth or hiding stains that cannot be removed. But they also help protect vulnerable teeth from further chipping and cracking.
Veneers vs Crowns: The Differences
Now that you know the basics of crowns and veneers, let's talk about the differences.
At their root, crowns and veneers serve the same basic purpose: protecting damaged teeth from further harm, maintaining the soundness of your bite, and giving you a cosmetic boost in the process.
That said, crowns and veneers serve different practical purposes. They're also designed with different purposes in mind, require different preparation, and, of course, have different costs associated with the procedure.
Design and Purpose
The design of crowns and veneers tell you something about their intended purposes.
Crowns are caps that fit over a tooth to provide protection to a severely damaged or decaying tooth. They can also be used to anchor dental bridges and cover dental implants.
Veneers, on the other hand, are only a thin layer of porcelain cemented to the front of the tooth.
As such, veneers are intended more for cosmetic purposes, as they are a surface-level fix, sort of like spackling a hole in a wall.
Crowns, on the other hand, are designed to be used for structural repair and support. They have cosmetic uses, but the primary goal of crowns is to maintain the integrity of the damaged tooth as much as possible.
Crowns and veneers cover dental problems of varying severity, and as such, the cost of producing them and placing them is different.
You might think that caps would cost more than veneers since they cover more severe damage, but it's actually the other way around.
Caps generally cost somewhere between $800 to $1,500 or more per tooth, depending on the location of the tooth, the severity of the damage, the dentist you use, and your dental insurance coverage.
That said, they tend to last between 5 to 15 years depending on how well you maintain them, so you're making a long-term investment.
Veneers are a bit more expensive--they usually cost between $1,000 to $2,000 per tooth, again dependant on the location of the tooth, your dentist, and your insurance coverage. That said, they also last longer (10 to 15 years or more), though it depends on how well you maintain them.
So if you're a smoker or can't live without your daily cuppa Joe, you're going to have to change up your habits if you want to make the most of your dental investment.
Preparation and Placement
Since crowns and veneers treat different tooth issues, the preparation for each is different.
Crowns, as a rule, are a more extensive process. Your dentist will always begin by treating the damaged tooth, though this can look like a number of different things. It often involves filing down the damaged tooth to adjust the shape of the tooth.
Once this is done, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth and send it to a lab to make your crown. They will give you a temporary crown while you wait for the permanent one, both for cosmetics and so that your teeth can't shift.
Veneers, on the other hand, are far less intensive. Your dentist will take a thin layer of enamel from the tooth being treated and will apply temporary veneers to hold you over while you wait for the permanent ones.
Sometimes, your dentist will have you wait a little longer so your gums can heal before the permanent veneers, but this generally takes about 10 days or so.
Selecting Crowns vs Veneers
If you think you need crowns or veneers, your first step is to talk to your dentist.
This will give your dentist a chance to assess the situation they're dealing with, whether it's a damaged tooth or a cosmetic fix. This will help them decide whether a crown or veneer is more appropriate in your case.
This will also give you a chance to discuss your options with them, particularly regarding what your insurance will and won't cover.
The Dental Care You Need for a Better Smile
With all of this in mind, are you ready to move beyond veneers vs crowns and take the next step towards a better smile?
Whatever you choose, we've got you covered. We offer porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers to the Tonawanda and North Buffalo areas.
If you're a new patient, click here to access new patient forms. If you're a current patient, get in touch via our contact page to schedule your appointment.