Which is Better: Crowns or Veneers?

Which is Better: Crowns or Veneers?

Want a better smile or healthier teeth? You can choose between a crown or veneer. Learn about the differences between the two options.

Chipped, broken, oddly shaped, or severely decayed teeth can be restored successfully with several dental techniques. Two of the most common types are crowns and veneers. But deciding which one best fits your needs depends largely on the condition of your teeth and what you want to accomplish with the procedure. It’s important to note that both crowns and veneers are effective and safe, so you can’t go wrong with either one. Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about each to help you make an informed decision if you’re choosing between crowns and veneers.

What are crowns and veneers?

Before you get a crown or veneer, your dentist will make an impression of your mouth. Because the veneer or crown will be made from that mold, you’ll wear a temporary one before the permanent veneer or crown is cemented into place. 

The main difference between the two options is size. A veneer is a thin shell of roughly one millimeter in thickness. It typically covers only the front of the tooth and is made of either porcelain or composite resin. Of the two materials, composite veneers are less expensive but last five to seven years, while one study found that more than half of porcelain veneers were still viable at ten years. 

Meanwhile, a crown is thicker at about 2 millimeters and is placed over the entire tooth. It can also be made of porcelain and constructed of porcelain fused to a metal alloy or an all-metal material. With proper care, a crown can last 10 to 15 years.

Crowns vs. veneers: The pros and cons

Veneers are best suited for chipped, discolored, or slightly misshapen front teeth. Crowns can also restore badly broken teeth, but they are used mostly for severely decayed teeth. That’s why crowns often cap a tooth after a root canal treatment. Both will be made to match your natural tooth color closely. Here are some things to consider when deciding between crowns and veneers:



  • Less tooth enamel is removed to make way for the veneer, so more of your natural tooth remains intact.
  • A better aesthetic choice.
  • Porcelain veneers are stain resistant. 


  • Cannot be reversed once cemented on the tooth.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity due to less enamel.
  • Not recommended for people with severe tooth decay, gum disease, or those who grind their teeth at night.



  • Can restore a significantly decayed or broken tooth to its normal function.
  • Protects the tooth from further decay.
  • Often used to support a dental implant.


  • More of the natural tooth must be shaved down before the crown is placed.
  • The tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold after initial placement.  
  • Porcelain crowns are vulnerable to chipping.

Crowns don’t require any after-care limitations. If you have a veneer, be careful not to chip it by biting or chewing on hard objects. In either case, continue good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily. 

Both techniques cost about the same. However, unlike crowns, veneers may be considered a cosmetic procedure and not covered by your insurance. Check with your insurance carrier about potential costs before you decide. 

Restore your smile today

Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Oklahoma City, OK, location today! Our team of highly trained dental professionals can walk you through the nuances of crowns and veneers to help you decide which is right for you. Don’t live near our Oklahoma City, OK, office? Find one of our other locations near you.

Oklahoma City, OK
12448 St Andrews Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73120