Veneers and crowns are dental restoration procedures that help improve the look and function of your teeth. The one thing that makes both these options different is that a veneer is made to cover only the front of your tooth, while a crown is placed upon an entire tooth to cover it completely. 

Dental restoration procedures are expensive. This makes it essential to know which option is the best for you. Although dental veneers and crowns have different procedures, they both have an excellent success rate. 

What’s the difference between veneers and crowns?

A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain, composite or other material that is just 1mm thick and made to be bonded to the front of your tooth. 

A crown is like a cap covering the entire tooth, which is about 2mm thick. Crowns can be made of different materials like porcelain, porcelain fused to a metal alloy or an all-metal alloy. 

Whether you must choose a veneer or a crown for your tooth depends on your tooth condition. Some common reasons why you would require restoration are: 

  • Discoloured tooth 
  • chipped, cracked, or broken tooth 
  • decayed or weakened tooth 
  • crooked tooth 

Both crowns and veneers can be colour matched to your teeth, making it difficult for others to spot their existence. However, it is essential to know that colour matching of all-metal crowns isn’t possible.

Cosmetic Dentistry

More About Veneers and Crowns

Dental veneers – The dentist bonds dental veneers to your teeth to improve their function and smile. They match your teeth’ colour and are mostly made of porcelain or a combination of materials. Dental veneers are resistant to staining and ideal for fixing broken, stained, irregularly shaped, and unevenly spaced teeth.  

Fixing dental veneers involves various steps. First, your dentist will examine your mouth by taking X-rays of it. They will then take impressions of your teeth to get permanent veneers made. Meanwhile, your prosthodontist will prepare your teeth for veneers by scraping and shaping them. As permanent veneers take time to be created, your teeth will be covered with temporary veneers.  

Dental crowns - Dental crowns are different from veneers because they are caps that cover the entire tooth. Crowns are ideal for patients who want to protect a weak tooth from decay or damage, restore cracked, worn, or broken teeth, cover a severely damaged tooth, or cover a tooth that is stained or discoloured. 

Dental crowns are available in different materials like:
  • Metal – Crowns can be made of metals like gold, nickel, palladium or chromium.  
  • Porcelain fused to metal — These crowns are mainly made of metal. However, they have a porcelain overlay that gives them a more natural appearance. 
  • ‌Resin — Crowns made of resin are cheaper, but they wear down faster than other crown options. 
  • Ceramic or porcelain — These are the most natural-looking crowns. They are ideal to be placed on the front teeth, which are more visible when a person smiles. 
  • Pressed ceramic — These crowns are similar to metal crowns with a porcelain overlay. However, the difference is that these crowns are made of ceramic, not metal.  

To fix dental crowns, your dentist will digitally scan your tooth to take an impression. Some may also make a mould. The image or mould will then be sent to a lab for preparing customised crowns. Until your crowns are ready, the dentist may place a temporary crown on your tooth. Once the permanent crown is ready, your dentist will call you to the clinic to remove the temporary crown and fix the permanent one.  

Pros and Cons of Veneers and Crowns

Veneers Pros
  • Aesthetic Longevity: Veneers may offer long-term aesthetic benefits. Unlike crowns, they maintain their pleasing appearance over time without displaying a noticeable gum margin.
  • Conservation of Natural Tooth: Some veneers require minimal trimming of your natural tooth, preserving more of your healthy tooth structure.
  • Stability: Teeth with veneers experience minimal movement, helping keep your smile consistent and well-aligned.
Veneers Cons
  • Susceptibility to Decay: Veneers may expose more areas of your tooth to potential decay, as they don’t encapsulate the entire tooth.
  • Limited Lifespan: Composite veneers are cost-effective but have a shorter lifespan (around 5-7 years), while other materials may last longer but could necessitate replacement.
  • Irreversible: Veneers are a non-reversible treatment. Once applied, alterations are not possible.
  • Insurance Coverage: Dental insurance may not fully cover the cost of veneers, making them potentially more expensive for the patient.
Crown Pros
  • Comprehensive Protection: Dental crowns cover the entire tooth, providing substantial protection against decay and damage.
  • Natural Appearance: Porcelain crowns closely mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, ensuring a seamless smile.
  • Durability: Crowns are relatively permanent and do not require removal for cleaning, as dentures do.
  • Insurance Coverage: Dental insurance plans often cover a portion of the cost of a crown, making them more financially accessible.
Crown Cons
  • Natural Tooth Removal: Crowns entail removing more of your natural tooth structure to accommodate the crown, which can be a drawback.
  • Sensitivity: Initially, a crowned tooth may be sensitive to temperature changes (heat and cold). If sensitivity worsens, a follow-up visit may be required.
  • Porcelain Fragility: Porcelain crowns can be fragile and may sustain damage over time, leading to potential replacement.
  • Visible Line: Porcelain fused to a metal alloy (PFM) crowns may show a thin dark line between the natural tooth and the crown, affecting aesthetics.

Which option is the best for you?

Dental crowns are ideal for a tooth with a large filling, a root canal, or very worn out or cracked. However, if your tooth is intact and you want to fix the way it looks, you may choose a dental veneer. Dental veneers are best for fixing minor aesthetic issues with teeth. At the same time, dental crowns are ideal for fixing tooth function and aesthetics. 

When deciding whether to choose veneers or crowns, you also must consider other things. This includes the procedure’s cost, the dentist’s experience, and what’s covered in your insurance. It would help if you questioned your dentist on both these procedures to understand the best for your situation. You may ask questions like:

  1. How long will both these options last for you?
  2. What will the after-treatment routine be like?
  3. Will you need to visit the clinic repeatedly after the procedure is complete? 

Depending on what answers you get to the questions mentioned above, you may decide whether you would want to go for veneers or crowns. 

How Much Do Veneers and Crowns Cost?

Factors affecting veneer cost include:

  • Type of Veneers: The cost of veneers can vary depending on the type you choose. Porcelain veneers are typically more expensive than composite veneers. On average, you can expect to pay about $1100 for Porcelain veneers, depending on how many teeth require them.
  • Brand Name: Different dental practices may offer veneers from various brands, and the brand’s reputation and quality can affect the cost.
  • Geographic Location: The cost of veneers can differ significantly from region to region. Areas with a higher cost of living often have higher dental prices.
  • Dentist’s Expertise: The experience and expertise of the dental professional performing the procedure can impact the cost.

Factors affecting crown cost include:

  • Type of Crown: The cost of dental crowns varies based on the material used. Porcelain crowns are common and may be more expensive than other materials.
  • Geographic Location: Similar to veneers, the location of the dental practice can influence crown costs due to variations in the cost of living.
  • Dentist’s Expertise: The skill and experience of the dentist performing the crown procedure can be a factor in pricing.

To get an accurate cost estimate for veneers or crowns, we recommend contacting Sunshine Dental Group. Our experienced team can provide personalised assessment and pricing information per your needs and preferences.

If you want expert advice on choosing between veneers and crowns, speak to us. Feel free to call us on (03) 9133 8657 or drop an email at [email protected].

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Should I get veneers or crowns?

Dental crowns and veneers both help in improving the appearance of your teeth. However, crowns are like caps that cover the entire tooth and are a better option if tooth damage is too severe. For example, dental crowns are your ideal choice if the tooth has a large filling or has undergone a root canal. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are best for a tooth that is stained or discoloured, crooked, chipped or broken. Veneers can address only aesthetic issues and cannot improve the functionality of your teeth. However, dental crowns can do both, improve the teeth’ appearance and help restore the functionality of your teeth.

What lasts longer, veneers or a crown?

The lifespan of your crown or veneer depends a lot on its material. Moreover, how you care for them also plays a crucial role in determining their lifespan. In general, dental veneers and crowns are both very durable if looked after well. However, the chances of veneers lasting a little longer are high mainly because they are too thin. Occasionally, crowns may fall off while chewing something hard or due to an injury. However, most dentists fix the crowns perfectly well to prevent them from falling off.

What costs more, veneers or crowns?

Dental crowns are usually costlier than dental veneers. In some cases, the cost of crowns or veneers may be covered by your insurance. However, you need to prove to the insurance company that a dental crown or veneer is a medical necessity. If you want to fix issues like stained or discoloured teeth, it is best to go for dental veneers. This will cost you lesser than a crown. However, if you are looking to fix the appearance of a tooth that has undergone a root canal, you will have to choose dental crowns and pay slightly higher prices for them. In some instances like these, dental veneers are not your option.  

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