How do porcelain veneers differ from crowns?

Be honest, how do you feel about the appearance of your teeth? For many people, teeth stains and other cosmetic imperfections dull their smiles. To help patients obtain a stunning smile, two solutions are commonly employed, porcelain veneers and crowns.  Both dental procedures can alter the appearance of your teeth in as little as one or two visits. Patients often ask how veneers differ from crowns.

How do veneers differ from crowns?

Looking closely, it is impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a crown. In the new world of cosmetic dentistry, both restorations are made of the same porcelain. They are made in the same way. The only real difference between the two is the amount of the existing tooth the restoration covers.

The thickness of the restoration is the main difference

Veneers range in thickness from 1 millimeter down to 0.2mm. Dentists don’t need to drill much of the tooth to provide room for them. The standard veneer prep doesn’t really extend to the back side of the tooth either.

The standard tooth reduction for dental crowns is 2mm or more. Crowns cover the entire tooth and basically remove all of the enamel from the tooth. More skilled cosmetic dentists tend to be more conservative and often are able to maintain some enamel.

When are veneers the best choice?

Veneers are a great choice when the issues you want to address are relatively minor and aesthetic in nature. Veneers are an excellent solution for problems such as badly stained teeth, chipped teeth, minor cracks in teeth, small gaps between the teeth, and superficial misalignment. In these cases, veneers can significantly improve the overall color and regularity of the appearance of the teeth, delivering a much-improved smile.

Except in some very specific circumstances, once a veneer has been applied to a tooth, it will always require covering going forward. You might need a replacement veneer, or the tooth could be further reduced allowing the placement of a crown. Veneers are just as permanent as a crown and shouldn’t be chosen with the thought that they are temporary or reversible.

Both crowns and veneers are beautiful and natural looking

Veneers and crowns can cover a multitude of imperfections with teeth, from staining to jagged or worn edges, and even minor alignment issues. They can also help to enhance your smile by creating uniformity in your teeth’s size and shape.

Just as importantly, though, carefully and custom crafted porcelain restorations are designed to be both gorgeous and lifelike. This enables you to smile confidently knowing people won’t be looking at your dental work, just the natural beauty of your smile.

What to expect from a veneer dental restoration

Your custom veneers will be crafted to match your ideal size and shape of teeth. They’ll also be designed in your ideal shade, which is why many patients choose to whiten their teeth before getting veneers placed. Once your veneers are completed, you will care for them as you would your natural teeth. With proper care, veneers can last for over a decade.

Porcelain Veneer Quiz

1. True or False: Veneers provide instant smile transformation.

2. True or False: Dental veneers address several common cosmetic issues.

3. True or False: Dr. Fondriest also offers no-prep veneers.

4. True or False: All veneers are custom made.

Answer Key

1. True. Veneers are crafted from dental porcelain. After removing a minuscule portion of your enamel, the veneers are placed using a powerful bonding agent. Porcelain mimics the translucent qualities of tooth enamel, so your restoration blends seamlessly with your smile.

2. True. These thin layers of porcelain can cover permanent teeth stains and close unsightly gaps between teeth. Veneers can also be used to reshape damaged or malformed teeth or even lengthen a worn down tooth. Finally, veneers are sometimes place to correct the appearance of minor dental misalignment.

3. True. Our no prep veneers are crafted from ultra thin porcelain, which means they can be placed without removing any enamel from your teeth.

4. True. Each veneer will be designed and crafted from impressions taken of your teeth. They will then be shaded to better match surrounding teeth. If you have questions about our life like crowns and veneers, then contact Dr. Fondriest today.

Learn more about how veneers differ from crowns

Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is a former adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.