“Which is better, veneers or crowns?” We hear this question often, and the answer depends on each person’s unique dental needs and desires. Though porcelain veneers and crowns are both dental restorations with roughly similar processes, design stages, and lifespans (typically 10 or more years with proper oral hygiene and care), they are different in several key ways.
A Dental Veneer:
-Covers the front of a tooth only.
-Is custom-made for your smile and usually made of porcelain.
-Leaves most of a tooth’s existing structure intact - only a very small portion of the front of the tooth must be removed to fit the veneer over the tooth securely.
-Is primarily used for cosmetic changes, such as: changing discolored teeth, closing gaps between teeth, altering the shape of teeth, and correcting minor chips.
-Because veneers are primarily used for aesthetic purposes, they are unlikely to be covered by dental insurance.
A Dental Crown:
-Completely covers the entire tooth.
-Is also custom-made for your smile, and can be made of a variety of materials including: porcelain, porcelain fused to metal (PFM), or all-metal alloys like gold and silver.
-Requires a significant portion of the tooth to be removed and reshaped in order to fit the crown over it.
-Is ideal for restoring and protecting teeth with structural damage, such as: cracked and broken teeth, decayed or weakened teeth, and restorations for root canals and implants.
-Because dental crowns are used for functional as well as aesthetic purposes, they are more likely to be covered by dental insurance.
If you are interested in improving your smile with veneers or crowns, ask yourself (and your dentist!) the following questions:
How much of my tooth is intact?
What dental issues do I want the veneer or crown to fix?
Are they mainly cosmetic improvements, or does the restoration also need to improve the strength and/or function of my teeth?
Still unsure whether crowns or veneers are the best option for you? Call us at 206-324-1100 and we will be happy to help!
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