Dental work can be expensive, but taking good care of your oral health is important for many reasons. Good oral health is good for your overall physical and mental health. Gum disease can lead to other physical health problems, and an unsightly smile can cause you to feel unattractive and even depressed. Crowns and veneers offer similar benefits for both your oral health and aesthetics but are also a bit different and have different advantages and disadvantages. Before you decide which option is best for you, let’s take a look at the options and what they mean. Typically, crowns do cost more than veneers, but to understand why we will break down the differences between them and the costs.
What is a dental crown?
Dental crowns are thin layers of material, usually porcelain, that covers the entire tooth. Some crowns may be all porcelain, all metal, or a combination of porcelain fused to metal. Crowns are considered to be more invasive than veneers because more of the original tooth must be filed down due to decay or damage. The dentist may also need to “build up” the existing tooth before applying the crown.
What is a dental veneer?
Usually made of porcelain, a veneer is an extremely thin layer bonded only to the front of an existing tooth. Veneers are considered less invasive than crowns because the process involves only a tiny bit of grinding of the original tooth. The grinding creates a bondable surface for the porcelain to adhere to.
Why would I need a crown or veneer?
People get crowns and veneers for several reasons. For some, it is because they have discolored teeth; rather than whitening them, they choose to cover the teeth instead. Other people may have chipped, broken, or crooked teeth that need to be covered up. Even still, there are those that have weakened teeth from decay that aren’t strong enough to function properly any longer. All of these are perfectly acceptable reasons to seek out dental work and ask about veneers and crowns. Crowns are typically used more often for teeth that are more damaged from decay, fillings, and root canals, whereas veneers are more common for minor chips and cosmetic fixes.
How much do crowns and veneers cost?
As mentioned earlier, dental work can be expensive, and veneers and crowns certainly fall into that category. There are several factors that affect the cost, including how many teeth are being fixed, where they are located within your mouth (such as front or back), and the prices in your city or region. Additionally, depending on why you want dental work affects whether dental insurance plans will cover them. For example, a crown that is needed because of a root canal is likely to be covered, whereas veneers purely for cosmetic reasons will not be covered.
Specifically, in the United States, crowns can cost anywhere from $950 to $3,500 per tooth, and veneers can cost from $250 to $3,000 per tooth. The materials used and the amount of work needed prior to the application of crowns and veneers greatly affect the total cost. For example, porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers. Crowns can be made from porcelain, ceramic, or a metal alloy, with metal costing the least. Crowns can also involve costly procedures such as root canals and building up the tooth, which adds to the total cost.
It all depends…
Although, generally, veneers cost less than crowns, it is important to check with your dental insurance to see if some of the cost can be offset.