veneers and crowns

Veneers Vs. Crowns – Which Option Is Best For You?

Both dental veneers and crown are options to restore the functionality and appearance of teeth. The most important difference between them is that a veneer covers only the front surface of the teeth whereas a crown will replace the entire visible portion of the tooth.

No matter what the restoration process is, they involve some cost. So it makes sense to understand which is the most suitable option for you. Both crowns and veneers are great options, but completely different. They are recommended based on the specific problems of the patient, success rates, the patient’s budget etc.

In this article we talk about veneers and crowns, so you get a basic idea of each option.

Dental veneers

Veneers are teeth coloured fillings made of porcelain and composite resin. They are applied to the surface of the teeth to protect the teeth from staining.

Veneers bring about a dramatic transformation to the teeth and provide long lasting effects. They look just like natural teeth and provide maximum stain resistance. The dentist helps the patient in deciding the best type of veneer suitable for him or her.

There are mainly two types of dental veneers available to the patient – resin and porcelain. During the procedure, your dentist will remove a thin top layer of your enamel and will fix the veneer on the surface. Veneers are permanent and you can perform your daily dental routine without interruption.

Who should receive veneers?

If your teeth have heavy staining, cracks and dents, mismatched and crooked teeth as well as worn out teeth, you can opt for veneers.

Veneers are only suitable for people who already have healthy gums and teeth since during the veneer application process, a small layer of enamel has to be removed. If sufficient amount of enamel is not present, the procedure cannot be continued.

If you have a habit of grinding or clenching teeth, veneers may not be a suitable option for you. Veneers are very thin and continuous grinding can make them chip and break. However, you can still opt for veneers and protect them by wearing a night guard during sleeping.

What are the different types of veneers available?

There are 4 basic types of veneers available for patients – porcelain, composite, Lumineers, and temporary veneers.

Porcelain veneers – Veneers made from porcelain are strong and last for a very long time.

Composite veneers – These veneers are also very strong but they are not as durable as porcelain ones.

Lumineers – They are made of super thin porcelain laminate material. They have a shorter lifespan than porcelain veneers.

Temporary veneers – These veneers can be removed by the patient himself without assistance from the dentist. These temporary veneers may be convenient but they don’t blend in with the teeth and provide an un–natural appearance.

Veneer pros and cons

Pros include long lifespan of veneers, colour customization, resistance to stains and a renewed smile. Once applied, porcelain veneer type can last up to 15 years, if they are properly maintained. The smooth surface of the veneer also ensures all the stains don’t stick to the teeth.

The cons of dental veneers include cost inefficiency, fragile nature, irreversible nature and artificiality.  Porcelain veneers are hard to afford and require maintenance or they may break or chip. Unfortunately, if due to some reason the patient wants to remove the veneers, there is no option to do so.

Dental crowns

Dental crowns are coverings or caps for your teeth to protect them from damage. They can also restore the shape of the teeth as well as strengthen them. With proper care and good oral hygiene practices, dental crowns can last for 5 to 15 years. A dental crown covers the part of the tooth that is visible from the outside. The crown can be made of many materials like stainless steel, metal, porcelain with metal, resin, all ceramic, all porcelain and pressed ceramic.

Who should receive dental crowns?

People with weak teeth that need protection, broken teeth that need restoration, to cover discoloration, to make some cosmetic modifications, to hold a dental bridge correctly or teeth that have undergone root canal treatment.

Cracked tooth also need crowns since the vertical cracks can lead to the gum and cause severe damage.

Types of crowns available for patients

There are a few basic types of crowns available for patients that are – stainless steel crowns, metal crowns, porcelain with metal crowns, all resin crowns, all ceramic crowns, all porcelain crowns and all pressed ceramic crowns.

Stainless steel crowns – These crowns are used as a temporary fix while a permanent crown is being created. This crown type protects the tooth from decay and is generally advised for children.

Metal crowns – The metal crowns are generally made of alloys which are composed of platinum or gold. Such crowns can withstand almost all types of wear and tear and last a very long time. They are also resistant to chipping or breaking.

Porcelain with metal crowns – Porcelain metal crowns can be customized to match with your teeth’s natural colour. They can blend in very easily with the natural teeth. These porcelain metal crowns are good for front and back teeth. However, these crowns are prone to chipping and breaking, reducing the life span of the crown, since porcelain is a delicate material.

All resin crowns – These crowns are made of organic resin material. These crowns have a probability of fractures and are easily affected by wear and tear. However, these crowns are a good option if you are on a budget.

All ceramic crowns – These crowns are very good at blending in with the natural teeth. People who are allergic to metals can opt for this crown type. However, they are weaker than porcelain fused with metal crowns. All ceramic crowns are suitable for the front teeth.

All pressed ceramic crowns – These crowns are capped with porcelain so they blend in very easily with natural teeth. The pressed ceramic crowns also have a longer lifespan than the porcelain crowns.

Dental crown pros and cons

The pros or advantages include – restoration of chipped or broken teeth, improvised appearance of teeth, reshaping of teeth and protection of the teeth. The disadvantages include – teeth sensitivity just after the procedure, permanent filing of tooth and falling and chipping of poorly fitted crowns.

To make a final decision, get a dental consultation where you can discuss your expectations with the dentist.

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