Cosmetic Dentistry: Crowns Versus Veneers
If you are looking for cosmetic dentistry options to restore your smile, a dentist might recommend veneers or crowns. These two options are popular and will improve the smile’s appearance, but they have major differences. You need to learn about these options so you can make an informed decision.
Understanding veneers and crowns
Veneers and crowns are both cosmetic dentistry restorations. They improve the appearance and function of the tooth by adding an external structure. The major difference is how much of the tooth’s structure is removed during placement, the thickness of the restoration material and the area of the tooth covered.
A veneer is a thin porcelain shell that is bonded to the tooth’s surface. The dentist will match the color of the veneer to that of existing natural teeth. Veneers are strong but fragile, which means excessive or recurrent impact can damage them.
A crown covers the tooth completely. It can be fabricated from porcelain, metal or both. It is often twice the thickness of a veneer, making it stronger and less vulnerable to damage than a veneer. It is customizable and can completely alter the shape and size of the tooth.
Differences in tooth preparation
Veneers are regarded as a more conservative treatment than crowns. The placement of veneers requires the removal of less tooth structure. The dentist will only scrape away a thin layer of tooth enamel on the front of the tooth and will not have to reach the center or back of the tooth.
Dental crowns necessitate the removal of 60 to 75% of the existing tooth structure before fitting the crown. This means two to four times more tooth reduction than veneers.
In cases where veneers are meant to change tooth alignment, the trimming of the teeth being prepared may be more extensive, as commonly seen with crowns.
Dental veneers are a good choice when the dental problem in question is relatively minor and mostly cosmetic. Veneers are excellent for issues like badly discolored teeth, minor tooth cracks, chipped teeth, minor misalignment and small gaps between teeth. In these cases, veneers can produce dramatic changes in the color and uniformity of the teeth for a better-looking smile.
Crowns are usually required when there is a major issue with the teeth. The cases include badly cracked or broken teeth or teeth where a root canal is required. The dentist will use the crown to preserve the tooth and protect it from further damage that might necessitate removal. After the crown is cemented to the teeth, it supports the original tooth so it can withstand biting and chewing forces.
Crowns are also preferred over veneers when the tooth’s edge is damaged from grinding. Veneers cover the tooth’s surface, not the edges. Therefore, a tooth with compromised edges will need a crown to improve its appearance and structure.
Dental veneers are generally considered an aesthetic treatment in cosmetic dentistry with restorative functions as a side benefit. However, a dental crown is mostly for restorative purposes and just happens to improve the tooth’s appearance. Talk to your dentist to know which would be the best choice for you.
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