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Crowns vs Veneers – Which Is The Best Treatment For Me?

Crowns vs veneers is a dilemma often faced by people wishing to improve the appearance of their teeth. Knowing what you’re looking for can be overwhelming, especially as some dentists may provide differing opinions, making your decision more confusing.

If you have damaged or discoloured teeth due to age, diet, lifestyle, general wear and tear, or cracked or chipped teeth, you could look at restorative dentistry like dental crowns or veneers as a solution depending on the extent of the damage.

While dental crowns and veneers fix similar problems, they are completely different treatments.

Before delving further into the crowns vs veneers debate, let’s first look at the differences between the two.

Difference Between Crowns and Veneers

The main difference between crowns and veneers is the amount of teeth they cover. A dental crown covers the whole tooth, concealing the visible tooth part above the gum line.

pros and cons crowns and veneers sydneyOn the contrary, a veneer is bonded directly onto the tooth’s front surface — what other people see when you smile or the side you see when you look in the mirror.

When considering veneers vs crowns, both offer an element of protection to the teeth. However, a dental crown is twice as thick as a veneer, making it more durable and less likely to crack.

Whether you opt for veneers vs crowns will depend on the condition of your teeth and what you’re trying to fix.

Common problems for people seeking restoration are teeth that are:

  • Decayed or weakened
  • Internally discoloured
  • Crooked
  • Cracked, chipped or broken

A dentist will match the colour of dental veneers or crowns (except for all-metal dental crowns) to the shade of your natural teeth for a seamless smile.

How Are Veneers Made?

A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain around 1mm in thickness bonded to the front surface of an existing tooth. There are two types of dental veneers — porcelain and composite resin. Porcelain veneers are made from a tooth mould, and then the mould is sent to a dental laboratory where the veneer is fabricated.

Composite resin veneers can be made in a dental office using a tooth-coloured composite resin material. The dentist roughens the tooth’s surface and then applies the composite resin material in thin layers. The material is then shaped and hardened with a special light. Once the veneer is in place, it will be polished to match the sheen of the natural teeth.

At No Gaps Dental, we can also create CEREC veneers using our specialised software program and on-site milling machine — this is so you can achieve a bright, beautiful smile in a single session.

How Are Dental Crowns Made?

Dental crowns are around 2mm thick and encase the whole tooth — the visible part above the gum line. There are various crown types, including porcelain fused to metal, all-porcelain and gold.

Typically, the process for traditional dental crowns involves two dental visits. The first visit is to prepare the tooth for a crown by filing down its top and sides and taking an impression to create a mould from which the crown is fabricated in a dental lab. We cover the prepared tooth with a temporary crown, and the patient will return in a few weeks to have the temporary crown removed and replaced with a custom permanent crown.

When discussing the front teeth crowns vs veneers debate, it all depends on the material used. The type of material best depends on your needs and preferences. Porcelain dental crowns are the most natural-looking and can be matched to the colour of your existing teeth.

Metal dental crowns are the strongest type of dental crown and can last many years with proper care. However, they are noticeable when used on the front or back teeth when you laugh.

PFM dental crowns offer an excellent balance between a realistic appearance and durable construction, making them suitable for both front and back teeth.

At No Gaps Dental, we also offer same-day CEREC crowns created on-site using CAD/CAM technology. After scanning the prepared tooth, the data is sent to a software program to create a 3D model. This model is sent to a machine that carves the crown from a monolithic zirconia ceramic block. The dentist then cements the new crown in place.

CEREC crowns are made out of high-quality materials that look natural and are built to last.

Crowns vs Veneers — Which Should You Choose and When?

Dental Crown

Since a crown covers the whole tooth, the dentist files or grinds down the affected tooth to accommodate the dental crown. Don’t worry — the dentist will administer a local anaesthetic so you won’t feel any pain.

If insufficient tooth structure remains, once any damaged or decayed material has been removed, the dentist will build up the tooth to support the dental crown.

Dental Veneer

Veneers cover the tooth’s front portion and are not as invasive as dental crowns. That said, veneers require a thin layer of enamel on the front of the tooth to be ground, roughening the tooth’s surface to help the veneers adhere and enabling it to sit flush within the smile.

So How Do You Know Which One To Choose — Veneers vs Crowns?

If your tooth is healthy and the restoration is cosmetic, a veneer may be your best option. Veneers conceal blemishes and flaws, close small gaps and give the appearance of straighter teeth. They are excellent options for badly stained teeth — particularly ingrained intrinsic staining that can’t be removed with professional teeth whitening, minor cracked and chipped teeth, and small tooth gaps. In each case, a porcelain veneer can greatly improve the look and feel of a smile to ensure teeth are the right colour and remain regular in shape and size.

On the other hand, if your tooth is worn or cracked, has undergone root canal treatment or has a large filling, a dental crown is the best option. Examples could be when the tooth is badly cracked, decayed or damaged, misshapen, infected or when root canal therapy has been carried out. In the veneers vs crowns debate, while a dental veneer acts more like a front cover for the tooth, a dental crown protects the whole tooth as it covers the entire front, back and side surfaces. Without fitting a crown, a badly damaged or weakened tooth may otherwise have to be extracted, so it plays an essential role in preserving the existing tooth underneath.

However, before reaching your final decision, consider other factors when comparing crowns and veneers.

The Cost

Both dental crowns and veneers can be costly. The price varies from one individual to another depending on various factors such as:

  • The size of the tooth
  • Its location in the mouth
  • The dental prices in your area

When considering veneers vs crowns, many dental insurance providers do not offer coverage for cosmetic treatment dentistry like veneers, and most dental insurance plans have an upper limit. Before committing to either treatment, contacting your insurance provider for clarification is best.

National Dental Fee Survey — Veneers vs Crowns

The National Dental Fee Survey of 2020 showed that a porcelain veneer could set you back up to $2,036 compared to up to $836 per tooth for a composite dental veneer. While composite veneers are cheaper, porcelain veneers last longer.

It’s a little harder to give a figure for dental crowns as the price varies depending on the crown type, the tooth size and the amount of prep work needed. The 2020 National Dental Fee Survey showed a cost of up to $2,100 per tooth, but this doesn’t include any other work that might be necessary before the crown is made, such as a root canal treatment or core build-up.

One last thing that may help you decide between veneers vs crowns is the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment.

Let’s Start With the Pros

Dental Veneers

  • More pleasing to the eye in the long run as they don’t show a gum margin as crowns often do
  • Teeth with veneers have minimal movement
  • Some veneers do not need much trimming, so more natural tooth remains
  • Enjoy white teeth instantly that appear natural
  • Increased strength of your teeth long-term

Dental Crownsdental crowns and dental veneers sydney

  • Improve chewing and eating
  • Give a weak tooth back its strength
  • Restore a tooth to its original size and shape
  • Stay where they should over the teeth
  • Protect cracked teeth from bacteria that could get in and cause further damage
  • Conceal several tooth imperfections, including discolouration and minor alignment issues

Now, For the Cons of Crowns and Veneers

Dental Veneers

  • Leaves more areas of the teeth exposed to decay
  • Since getting dental veneers is a cosmetic procedure, it may not be covered by dental insurance. No Gaps Dental offers affordable fees and payment plans to ensure you get the necessary dental care.
  • In most circumstances, a small portion of the tooth must be shaved to ensure the veneer sits flush on the tooth’s surface. This means that the process isn’t reversible, and patients will always have to have a replacement dental veneer should their initial restoration crack, break or come to the end of its shelf life. In this respect, a dental veneer is just as permanent as a crown and, therefore, shouldn’t be chosen on the basis that it may be temporary or that the process is reversible.
  • You may not be a good candidate — individuals with significant dental issues may not qualify for the procedure.
  • Composite veneers only last around five years

Dental Crown

  • More invasive procedure than veneers
  • A crowned tooth may be more sensitive to hot and cold
  • Because the damaged tooth needs shaping to accommodate the new prosthetic crown, your dentist will explain that this is a non-reversible process. As a result, patients will always need a dental crown replacement should they break, damage their existing crown or when it has come to the end of its shelf life.
  • In severe cases, a risk of nerve damage — because the dentist needs to shape the tooth before applying the crown, there is a risk that they may remove too much dental tissue and irritate a nerve.
  • Crowns often cost more than dental veneers, depending on the materials used

What About Shelf Life — Who Wins The Veneers Vs Crowns Debate?

With proper care and maintenance, both crowns and veneers should be expected to last for about ten years — so they have equal longevity. Both are resistant to teeth bleaching, so no hydrogen peroxide will return them to their original white colour. For this reason, it’s important to ensure good oral hygiene and eating habits are followed in both instances. If you want to learn more about preserving the whiteness of your crowns and/or porcelain veneers, ask your dentist to explain.

So, Which Is The Best Treatment For You — Crowns vs Veneers?

If you’re still unsure about the best treatment for you, why not schedule a consultation with the friendly, experienced team at No Gaps Dental by calling (02) 8806 0227? We’ll gladly discuss your best options based on your dental health needs, lifestyle and budget.

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