Crowns vs Veneers - What's the difference?

Digital render of a porcelain crown and porcelain veneer

What’s the difference between crowns and veneers?

Both crowns and veneers are protective covers that go over the outsides of your teeth. Both are thin, yet very durable and made mostly out of porcelain. Both crowns and veneers can be made to match your existing tooth shade or be made whiter to give you a brighter smile. Both can be considered for cosmetic purposes such as:

  1. Gaps between teeth
  2. Yellow, stained or discolored teeth
  3. Chipped teeth
  4. Change in tooth appearance or smile

 

Crowns

Crowns are like a “cap” that covers the whole top part of the tooth. Teeth have to be prepped in order for there to be enough room for a crown to fit and in many cases built back up so the crown has enough tooth surface to bond to.

 

Why would I need a crown?

Crowns are used when trying to save the tooth structure and give it stability. Since crowns encase the top parts of teeth, they are used when there is significant decay and a simple filling would not suffice (large fillings can make teeth split or crack) or if you’ve had a root canal on that tooth and need to seal the top of the tooth. Crowns are also placed on top of a dental implant. Crowns can also be used in place of fillings or veneers if you are a grinder or clencher since they are more substantial and less likely to pop off.

 

Veneers

Veneers are like “faces” that cover just the front surface of the tooth, leaving the back open. For the most part, veneers are considered to be a “cosmetic” procedure under most insurance companies. Some veneers require very minimal prep, meaning the underlying tooth does not need to be taken away to make room for the veneer material.

 

Why would I need a veneer?

Because veneers cover the front part of the tooth, they are used for some of the cosmetic reasons listed above without having to shave or drill part of the tooth away. Veneers are good for those with substantial existing tooth and/or teeth that do not have decay.

 

Bottom line

If you’re wanting to update your smile for cosmetic reasons and your teeth are in good shape, veneers are usually your best option. If you have issues with your teeth and are needing dental reconstruction, crowns will most likely be for you. 

 

Dr. Mark Davis has been placing crowns and veneers in the Tulsa area for over 30 years. He and his highly trained staff at Perfect Smile Tulsa are ready to help you achieve YOUR perfect smile.

 

*For the month of May only, we are offering $100 off crowns. To schedule your appointment, click the “Request Appointment” button above or call us at 918-212-8300.

Author
Mark M. Davis, DDS General and Cosmetic Dentist in Tulsa since 1982

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