If you are looking for dental procedures to whiten or reshape your teeth, you have probably considered veneers and dental crowns as possible solutions. While both veneers and crowns can be effective for these purposes, they each have unique characteristics that will make one or the other more suitable for your specific needs. Here is a comparison of veneers and dental crowns to help you determine which is right for you.
If you have teeth that are cracked or chipped, you have likely thought that crowns are the only option for repairing your teeth. You may be surprised to learn that veneers can be used to make minor shape changes to your teeth if the underlying enamel is still healthy. Because crowns require significantly more enamel filing to install, your dentist may recommend veneers to correct small chips and cracks.
Dental crowns are typically the solution of choice in cases of malocclusion. Malocclusion is the term that is used when teeth are misaligned or oversized in such a way that they cause problems when your teeth are clenched. Dental surgeons will file the problem-causing teeth until the jaw can close properly, and then place a crown over the filed tooth that is the correct shape and size.
Veneers are the most common means of dental color correction after traditional tooth whitening methods have failed. In cases of extreme staining, however, veneers may not be effective. This is because very dark stains may still show through the wafer-thin veneers after they have been applied to your teeth. The greater the color gap between your natural teeth and the veneers, the less realistic the veneers will look.
Dental crowns are effective for whitening teeth of any shade. Because crowns are much thicker than veneers, none of the original staining from your enamel will be able to show through. In many cases, the stained sections of enamel are completely filed away to make room for the crown installation.
If your teeth have suffered from advanced decay, or if you have lost a tooth from trauma, dental crowns, as part of a dental implant, will be the only option for creating a replacement. Veneers must be applied to existing enamel, as they are too thin and fragile to be used with a dental implant.
To replace the tooth, an oral surgeon will permanently implant a titanium rod into your jawbone, and a crown will be placed over an abutment that sticks out of the gum where the tooth was lost. If the teeth adjacent to the lost tooth have received minor damage but still have healthy enamel, your dentist may choose to use veneers to repair them.
If you are choosing between veneers and crowns for whitening purposes only, your budget may be the deciding factor for the procedure that you choose. Because dental crowns require more material to make, as well as more filing to install, the cost of crowns will be higher on average than veneers. The average cost for porcelain crowns ranges from $1,000 to $3,500 per tooth, with higher-end crowns often containing precious metals such as gold or silver.
The average price range for porcelain veneers is $925 to $2,500 per tooth. Alternatively, you may choose veneers made from composite resin, with an average cost between $250 and $1,500 per tooth. It is important to remember that even though composite veneers can be much cheaper than porcelain veneers, they have a shorter lifespan and will be more expensive in the long run.
Now that you have read up on the differences between veneers and dental crowns, you are ready to have an informed discussion with your dentist about the best solution for your teeth.