There Is No "One Key" To Great Dental Health

What Are The Differences Between Dental Crowns And Veneers?

If you need work on a tooth, then dentists sometimes recommend dental crowns or veneers. While these treatments share some similarities, they also have differences.

Read on to learn more about these two treatments and when you might need them.

Dental Crowns: What to Know

A crown is a type of false tooth. However, rather than replacing a missing tooth, a crown fits over an existing one. It fits over the entire tooth like a cap.

Before your treatment starts, your dentist takes a molded impression of the tooth. They then order a crown.  Crowns are made from porcelain, acrylic, resin, or metal. Your choice of material depends on your preference, tooth position, and budget.

Before your dentist fits the crown, they do some work on the tooth. They drill it down to reduce its size while ensuring that you have enough teeth to hold the crown. This procedure ensures that the crown fits over the tooth without looking large or bulky. It will look more natural.

Dentists use crowns for different reasons. In some cases, they are part of a wider treatment. For example, you might need a crown to restore and strengthen a tooth after root canal work. Or, you might need a crown on a damaged tooth with a large filling that can't be restored any other way.

Crowns also have cosmetic uses. They improve the appearance of a tooth. However, dentists typically recommend crowning as a cosmetic solution if your tooth also has an underlying problem that makes it unsuitable for other treatments such as veneers.

Dental Veneers: What to Know

Dental veneers also cover a tooth's surface. However, they typically only go on the front of a tooth. While you can crown any of your teeth, veneers usually only go on visible teeth at the front of your mouth.

Veneers are made of porcelain or composite resins. Here, your choice of material affects the look of the veneers, their longevity, and your costs.

While your dentist needs to shave away some of the tooth to fit a veneer, this work is less invasive. Veneer shells are slimmer than crowns and they only cover the front surface of your teeth. So, your dentist removes less surface enamel on the front of a tooth to make room for a shell. The rest of the tooth stays intact.

Veneers have a more cosmetic purpose than crowns. For example, many people use them to whiten discolored teeth. However, they can also cover minor damage such as chips or cracks. You can also use them to correct slight misalignments and problems such as crooked or shortened teeth.

To find out more about crowns and veneers, talk to your dentist.