If you want (or need) to restore your teeth or fix your smile, you have two great options: veneers vs. crowns. Although both options can give you a more beautiful smile, there are differences between the two. Each has risks and benefits.

Both veneers and crowns are forms of solid dental restoration. They both will leave you feeling better about the way you look and feel, and they can each improve your smile. However, the main difference between the two is the fitting and procedure to bond them to the tooth that needs fixing.

Understanding these differences will help you make the right decision about which is right for you and your situation.

Sometimes Veneers or Crown Are Necessary

When you have a chip, crack, or deformity on the exterior of a tooth, you have an option to repair it.

The dentist can fill the area with a composite material, though sometimes the issue warrants a larger project for your dentist. Then, your dentist will cement or bond a veneer or crown onto your filed down existing tooth. Before your dentist places your veneer or crown, he'll have to do more grinding and filing.

The more extensive damage done to a tooth usually requires a crown.

But what are the main differences and benefits between porcelain veneers and crowns?

Porcelain veneers


Reasons for Veneers

There are several issues that may make you want to consider veneers. As we've mentioned previously, the main issue is whether or not you're looking for purely cosmetic improvements.

If your teeth are fairly healthy but you're just trying to make your smile prettier, veneers may work for you.

Some of the issues that can be corrected with veneers:

  • Cosmetic restoration
  • Discolored teeth
  • Simple cracks
  • Minor alignment adjustments
  • Minor chips

If you're looking for repair work, your dentist will probably recommend that you go with crowns instead of veneers.

Reasons for Crowns

Dental crowns are a ceramic or stainless and porcelain combination that fit over your tooth. They can fix every problem from cosmetic to alignment issues of your bite. They make your teeth function better and can fix your problems if you have had any trauma causing large cracks and decay areas. Your dentist will grind down your existing tooth and place a crown.

It takes longer to get a crown but is an option that lasts several years longer than a veneer, which can wear out in just seven years. Sometimes if decay is terrible, you may need a root canal, and this will require a crown.

Some of the problems that can be fixed with crowns are:

  • Larger repairs
  • A sizable crack
  • Large chip
  • Severe alignment issues
  • Tooth needs full repair; doesn't need a root canal

Insurance Coverage and Cost of Veneers vs. Crowns

dentists are checking the result of dental xray

Photo by EVG photos from Pexels

Veneers and crowns are very similar in cost. Typically, crowns are between $1,000 and $3,500 per tooth. On the other hand, a veneer costs between $1,000 and $2,000.

Veneers are not usually covered by dental plans and are a full out-of-pocket expense because they're a cosmetic solution. Dental insurance plans typically don't cover cosmetic dentistry.

However, most dental insurance plans cover at least a portion of a crown. Some plans may only cover the portion of one or two crowns per year, though, so it's important to plan carefully with your dental care provider. Although a lot of the cost is an out-of-pocket expense, some of the cost will be covered because they are for both function and aesthetic purposes.

Furthermore, some dentists will give you a discount depending on the amount of work you need to have done. Not only that, many dentists offer payments plans or CareCredit, a medical financing option.

The best way to know what your dentist can work with is to simply ask them.

Veneers vs. Crowns: Which One Is Right for You?

If your tooth issue is fairly extreme or you have badly damaged teeth, you will need a crown. If your issue is purely cosmetic and involves primarily your front teeth, consider a veneer.

Both veneers and crowns are permanent, but veneers only last about seven years. Consider the options carefully, as it would be more money and time in the dental chair if you make the wrong decision.

If you're concerned about your bite, consider a crown. A crown is practically an entirely new tooth. If your goal is to save as much of your tooth as possible, a veneer is a better option. However, if your tooth needs to be ground down to save, a crown is a good long-term fix.

Issues to Consider When Choosing Veneers or Crowns

Whether you choose veneers or crowns, there are some important issues to keep in mind.

After fitting, you can only have minor adjustments

Good oral hygiene is essential

Durability of veneers vs. crowns

The Preparation for Veneers vs. Crowns

Veneers need less work to make them fit on your tooth. Also, less tooth enamel is taken away from the original tooth. Your dentist will file a thin layer off of the tooth so the surface can attach the veneer easier with cement. The veneers also don't touch the back part of a tooth.

Alternatively, a crown requires your dentist to take up to 75 percent of the tooth away with a grinding tool. Then, the crown is fitted over the remaining tooth.

However, sometimes a tooth being prepped for a veneer needs more tooth shaved down, depending on the layout of your teeth.

Fixing Your Teeth

Person's teeth with crowns

Image by John Oliver from Pixabay

With the correct hygiene, eating habits, and care for your crowns and veneers, they should hold up for around 10 and 7 years, respectively.

They are both fairly stain-resistant but you need to still brush and floss regularly. Most dentists recommend brushing and flossing minimally twice per day.

Remember not to bleach your crowns or veneers as this could cause damage and they won't match your other bleached teeth. Also, always be mindful of the hardness of the food you're eating. This will make your dental purchase last longer and help you maintain a healthy bite and smile.

Whatever you decide, whether veneers or crowns, make sure it fixes the problem so you don't need more dental work down the road.

What kind of tooth issue are you facing? Do you have any questions for Your Caring Dentist about crowns or veneers? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image by usushiorei from Pixabay

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