Our smile is one of the first things that other people notice. Because of this, we can be very self-conscious about how our teeth look to others. Are they white enough? Or has tea, coffee, and other elements cause staining over time? Perhaps you have cracks or chips that don’t look very good. Fortunately, dentistry has come a long way over the last several decades. We have several options available to improve our smiles – including making them look better than they ever have! Among these options are dental crowns and veneers. Both procedures have the ability to make a huge difference for your teeth and smile, but they are completely different.
What are crowns?
Dental crowns are a type of dental procedure that adds a covering made of metal, porcelain, or both and covers your entire tooth. They are very durable and made to match the color of the rest of your teeth. It is common for people to get only one or two crowns at a time after a tooth has been cracked or chipped. People often get crowns following a root canal, which can be a painful, lengthy procedure. The application of a crown often involves multiple visits to the dentist’s office because of the additional procedures that can be involved prior to actually installing the crown itself.
What are veneers?
Veneers are a type of dental restoration that involves attaching a very thin porcelain cover to your teeth. They can be much easier to damage than crowns because they are so thin. Typically, people will have veneers applied to their entire mouth rather than just one or two teeth. Because veneers are bonded to healthy teeth, the procedure is much quicker, virtually painless, and doesn’t require any recovery time.
What are the pros and cons?
Veneers can be a great option for many people. They can protect your teeth from future damage while also looking amazing. Or do they? When someone looks at you straight on, your teeth will look absolutely fabulous. However, when you open your mouth wider, such as to laugh or yawn, they can easily see what you hiding behind those pearly white veneers – because veneers only cover the front of your teeth, not the entire tooth. Whereas dental crowns do cover the entire tooth and therefore protect the entire tooth as well.
If you have missing teeth, unfortunately, veneers are not a viable option. Veneers do not actually replace teeth and are considered more for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes, such as stains and minor chips and cracks. A dental bridge made from crowns will replace the missing tooth. Dental crowns are usually used for badly damaged teeth due to breaking, cracks, or decay. If your teeth are damaged from grinding them, dental crowns are usually the best solution.
Probably one of the most common reasons that people don’t get veneers is simple – the cost. Veneers are expensive because typically it involves outfitting your entire mouth. Because of their cosmetic nature, veneers are not usually covered by health insurance either, so you will end up paying completely out of pocket. Like crowns, veneers typically last about ten years if cared for properly. Also like crowns, veneers will have to be replaced – they are not a temporary solution.
Although veneers and dental crowns may seem similar, they are really quite different. Most people get crowns out of necessity due to severely damaged teeth, whereas veneers are generally for cosmetic purposes. Additionally, the lack of insurance coverage is often a significant deterrent for most people when considering veneers.