It’s always best to have options, right? Even if you’re simply ordering an ice-cream cone, it helps ensure that your dessert isn’t just okay or good—it’s delicious. Having options is even more important in the medical field, including in dentistry, because it allows you to find a treatment that fits your unique needs, wants, and budget. By finding a treatment that gives you the best results for the health and appearance of your smile, you’re also able to increase your confidence. issues
Veneers and crowns are common dental treatments that can do just that. Though these two treatments can address many of the same issues, they do so in different ways. But is one method better than the other, and how do you know which is right for you? To help you make an educated decision about your treatment, we’ve broken down each option for you so that you’ll better understand how veneers and crowns differ.
Dental veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are permanently secured to the front of your teeth to restore their appearance. In some cases, they’re also used to revitalize and protect the health of a tooth as well as its appearance. Veneers are completely customizable, so you can place a single veneer, an entire set, or any number in between.
Porcelain can be tinted and buffed to match the shade and gloss of your natural teeth, and you get to work with your dentist to choose the size, shape, and shade of your new veneers. This ensures that they’ll form a natural, cohesive smile. No one will even realize that you have veneers! Porcelain veneers are also durable and stain-resistant, so they’ll last around 10 or 15 years if you practice great oral hygiene. This includes flossing at least once a day, brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, and using mouthwash according to the directions on your bottle.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that are fitted over your natural tooth. They cover the entire visible section of your tooth, which allows them to restore its appearance, function, and health. While dental crowns are traditionally considered restorative dentistry, they’re increasingly being used in cosmetic dentistry. Some dentists consider them to be the “new veneers” if you’re looking for an even longer lasting solution than porcelain veneers. Crowns can be made from a wide range of materials, but two of the strongest are zirconia and e-max. Zirconia crowns are made from a metal alloy, zirconium dioxide, which is very similar to titanium, while e-max crowns are an all-ceramic crown.
Each of these materials has its strengths, but they’re both durable and look incredibly natural. Just like veneers, these crowns can be buffed and tinted to match the exact shade and gloss of your natural teeth. Zirconia and e-max crowns have an added benefit, though: they’re both slightly translucent, just like natural dental enamel is. This allows them to achieve a new level of natural beauty. Since they’re also incredibly durable, they can last a very long time. E-max crowns can last 15 years or more with great oral hygiene, and zirconia crowns have the potential to last even longer since they’re made from a metal alloy. Since zirconia crowns are very new, however, there isn’t a lot of data on exactly how long they’re likely to last.
Porcelain veneers and dental crowns can both relieve tooth sensitivity from enamel erosion and treat teeth that are permanently stained, chipped, irregularly shaped, or uneven. While both treatments can also restore teeth that have been broken, cracked, or worn down, veneers can only resolve these problems if they’re mild. Since they’re used in restorative dentistry, dental crowns are better suited to restore teeth that have suffered more severe dental injuries. Veneers have their own unique strengths, though. A set of veneers can completely transform a smile with minimal dental work and two veneers can resolve a gap-toothed smile by bridging the gap between two teeth.
Everyone’s case is different, but there are situations where it may be better to get one treatment over the other. It’s almost always best for your long-term oral health to remove as little of your natural tooth as possible. As a result, when your tooth is healthy and needs minor cosmetic changes, it’s best to use veneers if you can. This means that permanent stains, small chips or cracks, a gap-toothed grin, or changes to the size and shape of your tooth are often best resolved using porcelain veneers. Plus, the minimal dental work required on your natural teeth makes veneers ideal when you want to change the appearance of multiple teeth at once. That said, there are also instances when dental crowns might be a better option than veneers.
One major reason you may want dental crowns instead of veneers comes down to strength and durability. Veneers are durable enough to withstand the daily wear and tear on the teeth towards the front of your mouth, but your molars need to withstand a surprising amount of force when you chew. Crowns are incredibly durable and designed to take this kind of force, so they’re usually the best option for molars. For similar reasons, crowns are also the better option if you habitually clench or grind your teeth—even if you’re restoring a front tooth. If your tooth is severely worn down, has suffered a major break or crack, or already has a large dental filling, you should also likely opt for a crown instead of a veneer.
Everyone is different, so it’s best to look at your unique treatment needs, wants, and oral health to determine which option is right for you. When you’re trying to reach a decision, listen to your dentist; they can guide you by providing you with vital insight and advice about your unique situation. Your dentist wants your new smile to be healthy and beautiful, so they will do their best to help you find the ideal solution for you. At the end of the day, however, the choice is always up to you! Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist a ton of questions to help you reach your decision. After all, we want you to love your results for years to come!
Even if decisions are sometimes difficult, it’s actually nice to have options. It ensures that you’ll end up with a smile that looks and functions exactly the way you hoped it would. If you have any questions or would like to get started on the road toward a healthier, more confident smile, feel free to call our office and schedule an appointment at any time.