What’s the Difference Between Veneers and Crowns?

What's the Difference Between Veneers and Crowns?
Author: Posted: March 25th, 2022 Category:

Veneers and crowns are both popular solutions for a variety of dental problems. But which one is right for you?

You’ve finally decided to fix a chipped tooth that’s been bothering you for months. Great! Now the question is: Should you get veneers or a dental crown? Both are restorative dental procedures that brighten your smile and improve your overall oral health. Yet veneers and crowns are quite different in how each is applied to your tooth. The condition of your teeth also affects whether veneers or a crown is more appropriate.

Understanding the pros and cons of veneers and crowns can help you make the right decision. 

Veneers vs. Crowns

Veneers and crowns both correct a multitude of dental issues, including chips, cracks, discolorations, gaps, or decay. To determine which is the best solution for you, you’ll have to take into account the extent of your tooth damage, the cost of each procedure, and how long each takes to complete. 

Veneers. Veneers cover stained, chipped, or discolored teeth with a thin coat of porcelain or composite material of about 1 millimeter in thickness. Most of your tooth remains intact because the dentist trims off a minimal amount of enamel — about half a millimeter — to prepare the tooth for the veneer. You’ll be given a local anesthetic to make this process more comfortable.

The veneer will be matched to your tooth’s shape and color. If a composite resin is used, the dentist will apply the material to your tooth and harden it with a high-intensity light within just one office visit. Porcelain veneers require a mold of your mouth, which is sent to a laboratory where the permanent veneer is made. You’ll wear a temporary veneer until the permanent one is placed. 

Porcelain veneers last between 10 and 15 years, while composite veneers hold up for five to seven years. But nothing is completely perfect — veneers come with some drawbacks too! If a veneer chips, you will need the entire veneer replaced. And because more of your tooth is left intact, your tooth —  even with a veneer — can be hit with decay. If you want to keep your veneers pearly white, be sure to limit consumption of staining drinks such as coffee, tea, and wine.

Crowns. Crowns are typically reserved for heavily damaged or decayed teeth. That’s why crowns, or caps, are put over a tooth receiving root canal treatment. Made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or an all-metal alloy, crowns cover the entire tooth and are about 2 millimeters in thickness. More of your natural tooth will be removed to make way for the crown, but you’ll be given a local anesthetic to dull any pain as the tooth is shaved.

To create a perfectly-fitted crown, the dentist will take a digital image of your mouth. Good news: Dentists no longer need to fill your mouth with goopy substances to create a mold! Even better, dental crowns can be fitted in one visit with a CEREC machine that can then create a crown from that image. You no longer have to go through several painful and time-consuming visits to get your crown.

Depending on the material, crowns can last up to 15 years. Crowns not only refine the appearance of your teeth, but they can also improve the function of your mouth if you’re replacing badly damaged or missing teeth.

So How Much Will It Cost?

Veneers and crowns are expensive dental procedures. Your cost depends on how many teeth are being treated and the severity of the damage. If the procedure is for restorative purposes, such as a root canal, your insurer may cover most of the cost. Veneers for cosmetic reasons may not be covered. Check with your carrier and dentist first about the cost.

Granted, the cost may be well worth it if a veneer or crown can restore your smile or replace badly decayed teeth. To make the most out of the investment, be sure to always practice good dental hygiene so you can maintain healthy teeth and the longevity of your veneer or crown.

Let’s Talk More About Veneers & Crowns

Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Fort Collins location today! Our highly trained dentists can check your teeth and recommend the proper dental procedure to improve your smile. Don’t live near our Fort Collins, Colorado office? Find one of our other locations near you.

Fort Collins
2117 Custer Dr
Fort Collins, CO 80525