If you aren’t completely happy with your smile when you look in the mirror every morning, it may be time to visit your dentist for a smile makeover. When deciding on cosmetic options, you should know the pros and cons for treatment options when it comes to crowns vs veneers.
Both types of restorations can fix cracked and chipped teeth and make stained enamel appear white and bright, but some problems may require the strength of a crown.
What’s in a dental crown?
Crowns encase the entire tooth to replace and restore its outer structure while preserving the function of the natural tooth. All crowns require that some of the existing tooth structure must be removed.
This dental restoration is ideal for those whose existing tooth structure is severely compromised, such as after root canal surgery. Patients need a crown when they have extensive tooth decay, dental trauma, or large existing fillings that are failing.
While crowns are a more invasive option than veneers, they are best for restoring decayed and weakened teeth to their natural brilliance and function.
The Ease of Veneers
Rather than encasing the tooth, porcelain veneers cover the front surface of a tooth with a thin layer of porcelain. There are several options when it comes to the types of veneers, but each offers a natural look.
Veneers are ideal for those who have enough existing tooth structure to support them. These tooth covers can restore weak, stained, and crooked teeth to a beautiful, pearly white smile.
If you are interested in the least invasive veneer option, you will want a dentist who provides no-prep veneers. This option allows patients to forgo the removal of tooth enamel.
When deciding which treatment option is best for you, consider the following:
The Location of the Tooth
If your problem involves a molar or premolar, veneers are not your best option. Veneers are meant to treat teeth in the “smile zone.”
These wafer-thin porcelain shells are not designed to bear the pressure of crushing food. Because of this, veneers are typically only used for front teeth.
Dental crowns, however, are an excellent option for both the front and back teeth. Depending on your needs and the location of the tooth, you can choose between porcelain, zirconium, metal, or porcelain fused to metal crowns. Each option has advantages and disadvantages.
What Is My Dental Problem?
If your concern is purely cosmetic, both crowns and veneers are options.
However, if your tooth has restoration needs, a crown is the better option. Crowns add strength and support to weakened and damaged teeth. For instance, if you have a large cavity that weakens your tooth, a filling will only weaken it more. A dental crown is the best option in this scenario.
In other words, crowns restore strength and function to a tooth, while veneers are purely cosmetic.
For minor cosmetic problems, such as a severely discolored tooth or a small chip or crack, your dentist will probably recommend a veneer. These tooth-colored shells are great for covering deep stains and hiding minor flaws.
In general, dental crowns cost more than veneers. In fact, the most expensive veneer on the market may cost less than the cheapest crown. If the thought of spending $1,000 to $3,500 per crown seems like too much, you may want to see if a veneer is an alternative.
The biggest deciding factor when it comes to cost is the expertise of your dentist and the quality of materials used for your restoration.
While the beauty of your restoration may not be important for a back tooth, front teeth require perfection. For the best results, you will want a dentist with an eye for art who uses a high-quality dental lab.
It takes about the same amount of time to receive most veneers and crowns. They will both require at least two visits after your consultation and exam.
The first appointment is to prep the teeth and make impressions to send to the dental lab. It will take approximately two weeks for fabrication. During this time, you should receive temporaries to protect the prepped tooth (teeth).
Once the dental office receives your permanent restoration(s), you will return for placement.
Candidates for no-prep veneers, however, should be able to receive their permanent restorations in one visit.
Do I Mind Losing Tooth Structure?
Aside from no-prep veneers, both options require the removal of small amounts of tooth enamel.
While the amount of enamel removed is small, it does permanently alter your natural tooth. Therefore, these procedures are not reversible.
Anesthesia is used for tooth preparation, but some patients do not like the idea of irreversible tooth reduction. For these patients, no-prep veneers are the best option.
What to Expect During Your Consultation
The best way to decide the best treatment for you is to schedule a consultation. At this appointment, your dentist will perform an examination and determine your options. After a discussion that includes your personal goals and situation, you and your dentist can determine your treatment plan together.
You should never feel rushed or pressured to undergo a treatment that is not in your best interest. Crowns and veneers require a commitment, both in terms of time and money.
Many people enjoy professional and personal benefits after undergoing these treatment options. An attractive smile is connected to beauty, intelligence, youth, and leadership abilities.
Helping with the choice: Crown vs veneer
At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we will never pressure you into a treatment plan. We believe that investing in your smile is an investment in yourself and your future.
We use only the finest porcelain and metal materials for our crowns and veneers. In addition, we use a world-class ceramist who will customize your handmade veneers and crowns to give you the smile you have always dreamed of.
For any of your cosmetic or restorative dentistry needs, call our Chicago dental office today at (847) 234-0517 to schedule your consultation. One of our team members will be happy to answer all your questions, including those involving dental insurance.
Dr. Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist serving clients from throughout the United States