How to Tell Dental Crowns and Veneers Apart
Crowns and dental veneers can help improve your smile’s appearance. Both conceal flaws in your teeth and can restore them in different ways.
It’s pretty easy to get them confused since they produce similar results. However, their procedures are very different.
So, to know which one is better for you, you must understand how both work and know what is the difference between crown and veneer.
What is a Dental Veneer?
Veneers are usually constructed of different materials, such as porcelain, composite resin, or zirconia. They’ve become a Hollywood hit thanks to their ability to seamlessly change a smile without being invasive.
Dental veneers can cover damaged, chipped, misaligned, irregularly spaced, or poorly formed teeth.
They look like tiny shells that are bonded to the frontal surfaces of your teeth. Before applying them, though, your dentist will custom design them according to the features of your smile.
Shape, size, and color will be the closest to your other teeth. It will be almost undetectable to tell you to have veneers.
The preparation that goes into making veneers will depend on the material you chose. For instance, composite resin veneers are the least invasive option.
On the other hand, porcelain or zirconia veneers require removing a small amount of enamel from your teeth before gluing the thin ceramic layer to your teeth.
What Is A Dental Crown?
A dental crown looks more like a cap and enhances the appearance of your smile by concealing flaws such as misshaping, misalignment, or discoloration.
Dental crowns’ goal is also to cover and protect cracked teeth, improve comfort, and provide additional support for weak or damaged teeth.
This type o restoration is pretty much indistinguishable from natural teeth. The best part is that they function and look like them.
Dental crowns cover the entire tooth down to the gumline. For their fabrication, you can choose from various materials such as porcelain, ceramic, zirconia, gold, etc.
Since they’re meant to protect the entire tooth down to the gum line to act as a protective layer, they require a little more enamel removal before being glued in place than veneers.
But they are stronger and more long-lasting, which is a crucial factor for patients who clench or grind their teeth.
Veneer Preparation vs. Dental Preparation
In some ways, the two preparations are quite different yet also quite similar. However, some folks think that getting veneers requires the same level of preparation as getting crowns, which is totally wrong.
To understand the differences, here is a quick comparison:
Porcelain veneer preparation:
- The dentist removes a little bit of enamel from the front and sides of the teeth to prepare them. This opens up space to place the veneers.
- The dentist takes an impression, or mold, of the teeth they have shaved down. They choose the perfect shade of color for your veneer.
- The impression goes to a dental lab, where your porcelain veneers will be custom-design to fit your teeth. Since this could take a few days, the dentist may provide you with temporary veneers to wear in the meantime.
- When they’re ready, the dentist will place the veneers on your teeth by bonding them. They’ll check the veneers fit correctly, and that’s all!
Dental crown preparation:
- Your dentist will prepare your tooth by shaving down the top and sides of it. This requires some more enamel removal to properly fit the crown and eliminate any damaged parts of the tooth.
- Then, your dentist will digitally scan your tooth to create an impression. They’ll send the picture or mold to a lab to custom-design it.
- You may also get a temporary crown while you wait for the permanent one.
- The dentist will remove the temporary crown once the permanent one is ready and place it on your tooth. When it’s properly adjusted, and your bite is correct. Your dentist will cement the new crown in place.
Which One is Better for You?
The needs that each restoration covers are quite different. As you may imagine, dental crowns are a little bit more invasive, and that is because they fix more severe issues, specifically, those that put your tooth at risk.
If your teeth are severely decayed, broken, you had a root canal, or you’re getting a dental implant, dental crowns are the way to go.
On the other hand, if your teeth are overall healthy, but they’re discolored, very yellow, chipped, or have minor misalignment, veneers will do a great job revitalizing them.
Remember dental veneers are mostly cosmetic, although depending on what your dentist concludes, they may also be restorative.
The choice will really depend on what your dentist advises you and the route you want to take with your smile, so it’s important to visit a dentist before making up your mind on any of them.
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