Dental Veneers vs. Crowns: What's the Difference?

When it comes to dental veneers vs crowns, both have value to offer for overall oral hygiene. It all depends on the patient and their specific needs. 

Both of them offer a way to cosmetically improve the look and overall function of teeth. The main difference is how they are placed and what they cover. With veneers, only the front of the teeth is going to be covered. With a crown, the entire tooth or teeth will be covered. A veneer is about 1 mm thick compared to 2 mm for a crown. 

Either veneers or crowns can be the ideal solution when a patient has any of the following:

  • Discoloration
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Crooked teeth 
  • Space between teeth
  • Weakened teeth due to decay

Are you looking for the top veneers and dental crown services in San Diego? A consultation with Allred Dental can determine which of the two options would be best for specific needs. Understanding each of the concepts, the benefits, anything to be concerned about, and the procedure involved can help you make an informed decision. Call Dr. Allred today to schedule your consultation!

What are Dental Veneers?

With a dental veneer, no one is going to know they aren't your real teeth they see! This type of cosmetic dental change can help a person feel more confident about their smile. It can also make them look younger. Dental veneers are thin layers of porcelain bonded to the front of a tooth or teeth. The color of the material will be carefully selected to blend in well with any teeth that won't be covered with the veneers.

Benefits of Veneers

Veneers tend to be faster to complete than crowns. This is because more of the original tooth or teeth will remain. This is also because candidates for them have healthier teeth overall. Veneers last longer than crowns and tend to look natural, even up close. The teeth are less likely to have additional damage with veneers as the materials can protect them. They are also less likely to shift or become loose.

Care for Dental Veneers

It is essential to continue to good oral hygiene with veneers though or it could introduce decay to areas where it wasn't a problem before. Some patients find they are sensitive to food and drink that are cold once part of the enamel is removed. This sensitivity should go away after a short period of time, but some patients find it lingers. 

Depending on the materials they are made from, they may have to be repaired or replaced after about 7 years. Composite veneers cost the least but they have to be replaced after about 5 years. It is best to go with a long lasting material as it will cost less in the long run. Veneers are permanent, so you must work closely with a professional. Verify their reputation and experience before you allow them to complete the work.

Procedure for Veneers

A mold will be made of the tooth or teeth where the veneers will be placed. Sometimes the veneers are done the same day by an in-house lab. In other situations, it will require another appointment once they are ready. In some offices, you will get temporary veneers until the permanent ones are completed. In others, you will only do the mold and nothing further at that visit.

Some of the enamel will need to be removed from any teeth that the veneers are going to cover. The amount of enamel to be removed depends on the method the professional uses. Many of the newer methods are less invasive as they don't require a great deal of the enamel to be removed. Local anesthesia may be given in order to help reduce the risk of any pain or discomfort during this process. 

The amount of time it will take depends on how many teeth need to be repaired and how much enamel has to be removed from each of them. Once the teeth are prepped and cleaned, the veneers can be bonded to them with special cement. An ultraviolet lamp is used to help the cement set and hold the veneers in place properly. 

As a precaution, your dentist may fit you for a custom mouthguard. This is going to protect the veneers. If you grind your teeth at night, it can cause damage to them. It is less expensive to protect them with the night guard than to have them repaired or replaced once damage takes place.

What are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown is going to cover the entire tooth. The materials used to create them vary and will influence the price. Most dental offices rely on materials to match your natural teeth so the crowns don't stand out. This includes porcelain or metal alloy. Sometimes they are both used, with the porcelain covering the metal alloy. 

Benefits of Dental Crowns

With a dental crown, you have protection for a tooth. It is less likely to have additional problems. The crown can make it stronger and reduce the risk of it shifting, getting loose, or having to be removed. They feel like natural teeth and you should be able to eat and drink what you normally do without any trouble.

Care for Dental Crowns

Over time, crowns can start to wear away. The porcelain on them can crack and break off, allowing the metal below them to be exposed. Depending on the location of the crown, it can be hard to hide it when you talk or smile. The cost to fix it can be expensive. Crowns can start to show more space between them and the gums as the years pass by. This can reduce the ability of the crown to look like a natural tooth. 

It isn't uncommon for a crown to cause a tooth to become sensitive to heat or cold. This should go away after a short period of time, but it can make it hard to enjoy our favorite foods and drinks for a bit. Good oral hygiene is important to reduce the risk of the gums getting irritated and infected around the crown. 

Procedure for Crowns 

Your dentist will take a mold of the tooth or teeth that need a crown. The item can be created in-house if they have their own lab. If not, it will be sent out to a lab and you will get a temporary crown. Once the permanent one is ready you will need another appointment for it to be put in place. 

Depending on the condition of a tooth, it may need to be filled before a crown can be placed on it. A root canal may be necessary to remove any damaged part of it and then the tooth closed up again. This is going to reduce the risk of any further damage or decay to the tooth. In other situations, part of the tooth will have to be shaped and ground in order for the crown to be placed on top of it. 

Before the permanent crown is cemented in place, the dentist is going to make sure it fits correctly. They may need to make some minor adjustments to it. They will take their time to get it right, and need your help. Follow the instructions they give you to bite down on it so they can see how it fits. Speak up if it causes pain anywhere or it doesn't fit well. Such issues need to be resolved before it is cemented in place and permanently in your mouth.

Consultation with a Professional

When it comes to dental veneers vs dental crowns, not every patient is a good candidate for both of them. It is best to consult with a professional. Such a consultation should be done without any cost to you and without any obligation. Once the professional can see your unique needs they can share what they feel should be done and why. If you are a candidate for both, they can let you decide how you wish to proceed. 

For most patients, a crowd is considered when there are only one or a few teeth to be concerned about. This tends to be the best solution for teeth that are decaying or damaged. Veneers tend to be a better choice when you want to improve the look or shape of your teeth or you have several teeth that need attention.

Make sure you ask questions and gather information. Good oral hygiene is essential for overall health. These options can help you look and feel your very best. With advances in how the procedures are done, they can be completed in less time and without much discomfort at all! Being able to save your teeth is important. Both of these options can prevent tooth loss or the need for dentures in the near future.

Now that you know all about the powerful advantages of veneers and crowns, it’s time to schedule your appointment with Dr. Allred. Call today to schedule your appointment!

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