Are you finally taking steps to restore your teeth to get the beautiful smile that you’ve always wanted? If so, you may be debating between crowns and veneers to achieve your dream smile. Both options are popular and can resolve many of the same problems, so how will you choose which option is right for you? While your dentist can help you to make this selection, knowing more about each option can help to take the stress out of your decision.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are one of those topics that aren’t talked about in public and in recent years, we have had many patients come to us with questions about veneers. This is why we’re writing today – to clear up the misconceptions about what they are used for, what the process is to fabricate them, and how long they last.
Veneers are small porcelain fittings that gently go over your teeth. They can be used either on single teeth or throughout the mouth and the overall effect is one that instantly changes the shape and brightness of your smile. Not all veneers are the same. A small amount of enamel will be removed from the tooth so that the veneer can be bonded to the surface. The result is a beautiful smile with no changes to your bite.
It’s important to preface this by saying that dental veneers aren’t necessarily right for every situation. It takes a visit to our office to determine whether they are right for your situation. The major appeal of veneers is that they are used to make your teeth brighter and more attractive, all without undergoing a major cosmetic dentistry procedure. Veneers can dramatically improve the look of your smile in a matter of mere minutes.
An ideal choice for many, they have increased in popularity in the past few decades for their simplicity and versatility. They are highly resistant to coffee, tea, and even cigarette stains. The quality of look remains unsurpassed by other restorative options. This is the closest a person can come to essentially having full teeth replacement without undergoing surgery. The patients that have opted in for veneers always come out of our office with a smile on their face – which is exactly what we want to see!
What Are Crowns?
A crown is a dental restoration that completely covers or surrounds a tooth or dental implant and it is typically fixed to the tooth using traditional dental cement. Crowns can be made out of numerous materials, which are usually fabricated using out-of-mouth method. Crowns are frequently used to improve strength or appearance of teeth.
Zirconium crowns are so strong they can be used anywhere in the mouth. They can withstand the biting pressure of the front teeth as well as back teeth grinding. The look of zirconium crowns is so close to natural teeth that it is hard to tell the difference. It is this quality which makes it very useable within dental work.
Zirconium crowns have quickly become the preferred material for dental crowns. Zirconium is a very strong substance that can endure wear and tear of everyday use. When looking at these types of crowns from an aesthetic point it is clear and very similar to a natural tooth and reflects light the same way. This may be important if your new crowns are on the front of your mouth and it is particularly relevant in cases where the crown will be seen next to the natural teeth.
Moreover, zirconium crowns won’t corrode. The normal black gum line that you can see around a porcelain fused metal crown, won’t happen because of the strong ceramic material used. Also the normal too hot/cold sensations you can feel with other crowns does not normally occur because of the lack of electrical conductivity.
What Can Crowns and Veneers Fix?
Porcelain veneers and crowns are designed to fix different problems, so understanding the difference between these two restorations can help you to choose one or the other. Veneers are often selected by patients because they are primarily a cosmetic restoration. They won’t change the function of your teeth, but they can provide a great service in changing the appearance of your smile. Minor cracks and chips, stains, misalignments, and enamel damage can all be repaired and covered up with veneers.
Crowns go a step further to fix or correct the function of your teeth. If you were in an accident and chipped a tooth, a crown can get the tooth to return to its normal structure. If you have problems with your bite or need to protect a tooth that recently went through a root canal, crowns are also a better option than porcelain veneers.
Choosing Between Dental Crowns and Veneers
The great thing about dental crowns and porcelain veneers is that both options are lifelong commitments. With proper dental hygiene, the lifespan of these restorations are long-term. Both options are made from porcelain that is resistant to stains, but failing to properly brush and floss can still cause them to be discolored. Unfortunately, restorations can’t be whitened or bleached like natural teeth, so it is important to be diligent with your oral hygiene routine to prevent these problems before they occur.
Interested In That Bright and Beautiful Smile You’ve Always Wanted?
We recommend coming in for a consultation to begin with. If you are a candidate for dental veneers or crowns then we schedule an appointment to get them put in. It’s as simple as that. With veneers, you’re getting a look that is very natural. Though the lifespan can vary depending on the lifestyle of the patient, the high quality porcelain veneers that we use can last many years. They make it impossible to distinguish them from your real teeth and ensure a natural, clean look to your smile. With crowns, you can correct the same issues as those fixed with veneers, but they go a step further to fix the function of your teeth.
If you are still having a difficult decision choosing between the two options, contact us today to set up your evaluation. We can help you to select the restoration that will leave you with a smile that you are proud to show off for years to come.
Last Reviewed by Dr. Eli Friedman on 11/30/2020