23rd February 2022

Dental Crowns Vs. Veneers – What’s The Difference?

Dental veneers infographic

If you want to change a tooth’s appearance or restore multiple teeth, then you’ll have to visit a cosmetic dentist to see what they can do for your teeth to improve your smile.

When choosing cosmetic dentistry in Warrington, the decision between certain procedures can seem quite daunting, with so many cosmetic treatments on offer.

For example, both dental veneers and dental crowns are used to cover aesthetically displeasing teeth – but is there really that much difference between the two options?

It’s important to understand what’s involved in each procedure when deciding which option to use to improve the way teeth look and function, including their pros and cons.

This blog explains the main differences between dental crowns vs veneers, as well as reasons why you might choose one over the other, depending on your dental health.

Dental veneers vs crowns Warrington

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are cosmetic dental enhancements which are thin, shell-like coverings that are attached to the surface of the tooth. These are best used for aesthetic improvements like hiding severe discolouration or minor shape corrections.

If you have discoloured or chipped teeth, veneers are ideal for covering just the front surface of an existing tooth. They are typically only applied to the front teeth, which are most visible when you speak, smile, and eat – known as the ‘Social 6’.

You can choose custom colours, shapes, and sizes to make your front teeth look exactly the way you want them to, hiding any minor flaws like stains, chips, or cracks.

How do dental veneers work?

A veneer can be made from either porcelain or composite material, depending on your preference. Composite veneers that use resin composite materials are cheaper and faster as they are less invasive, not requiring the tooth below to be shaved.

Porcelain veneers use a ceramic material that mimics the translucent colour of natural teeth extremely well. While composite veneers are moulded directly onto the natural tooth in one appointment, porcelain veneers are the shell-like kind that are created separately in a dental lab and bonded to the front tooth surface only.

This requires at least two appointments. At the first, the tooth enamel is lightly shaved, a mould is taken of the prepared tooth to be sent to the dental lab, and a temporary veneer will be applied. At the second, the permanent veneer will be fitted.

Dental crowns vs veneers Warrington

What are dental crowns?

A dental crown is a cosmetic enhancement which encases the whole tooth. While getting veneers involves covering the front of the tooth, a dental crown covers the entire tooth like a cap – protecting a weak tooth or broken tooth underneath.

Dental crowns are more suitable for treating severely damaged teeth or those with severely worn tooth enamel. Instead of treating severe tooth decay with a large filling, a dentist may recommend filing it down and capping it with a crown.

Crowns are also used to hold dental bridges in place and to cover dental implants – restoring the function of the bite, but also improving the aesthetics of the smile by replacing damaged or missing teeth. They replace much more of the tooth structure than veneers.

How do dental crowns work?

It’s possible to get porcelain crowns, ceramic crowns, and metal crowns, but porcelain dental crowns are the most popular crown material because of their natural look. The crown can be matched to the same size, colour, and shape of your other teeth, meaning you won’t even be able to tell which is the crowned tooth. This is a typical dental restoration that uses dental cement to keep the crown in place.

However, getting a dental crown is a far more invasive procedure, as the preparation for a badly damaged tooth can involve root canal treatment if the tooth’s pulp is infected or dental implant surgery if the tooth needs to be completely removed and replaced with a dental implant.

In most cases, the dentist will try to preserve an existing tooth. At the dental clinic, the tooth will be filed down to prepare an anchor for the new crown before a mould is taken. A temporary crown will be applied until the permanent crown is ready to be fitted.

Choosing between dental crowns vs veneers

When it comes to a choice between dental crowns vs veneers, the right choice for you depends on the condition of your teeth and the extent of the aesthetic changes you want to achieve.

A chipped tooth or small imperfection can feel like a big problem, but a veneer is perfectly designed to help resolve this as a solely cosmetic improvement. Whereas more damaged or weakened teeth will require more extensive support from a crown.

Veneers require less of your original tooth to be shaved away in comparison to crowns, as well as only needing a thinner layer to cover the remaining parts of the tooth, which is minimally invasive and very natural-looking. For these reasons, you may prefer a veneer as a less invasive choice (particularly when choosing composite veneers).

On the other hand, in instances where the edge of the tooth is damaged – usually as a result of grinding or accidental trauma – then a crown would be needed to improve the overall appearance, as veneers only cover the front of the tooth surface.

Dental crowns involve a more invasive procedure, but can achieve excellent results when teeth are in very bad condition. They can also look very natural, but sometimes they don’t quite blend in perfectly at the gum line, especially with dental implants.

Both dental veneers and dental crowns can last for upwards of 5–10 years with the proper maintenance, but they will need replacing periodically throughout your life.

Whatever your ultimate choice may be, in both cases, you must practice proper care and oral hygiene to maintain the improved aesthetics of your smile – there is still a risk of gum disease from bacteria gathering in the gum margin if veneers and crowns aren’t cleaned properly.

Speak to a cosmetic dentist

In summary, both crowns and veneers can enhance the appearance of your smile – but veneers are best for cosmetic treatment, while crowns are more suitable if you have a badly broken or decayed tooth (especially if it requires a root canal).

If you’re unsure in any way which of these cosmetic dental procedures would be better for you, the Dental Solutions team is always happy to talk you through the different cosmetic dentistry options during your free initial consultation.

Our highly experienced cosmetic dentists can examine your teeth and explain which treatments would be best to achieve the results you’re looking for. Whether veneers, crowns, or something else entirely, we can develop a full treatment plan to suit your needs.

To reach our dental office, call our dedicated Reception team on 01925 756 565, or email us to book an appointment and we’ll be in touch to confirm the details.

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Initially I was quite apprehensive about having 2 implants, but upon my consultation with Gavin ., i felt encouraged by his knowledge and advice . The whole experience in a very relaxed atmosphere could not have been any better. I am well impressed by their professionalism and expertise in this Practice and would most certainly give them a Top Class recommendation .
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Gill S
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David Partridge
David Partridge
A really Five Star Dental Practice! Upon arrival I was greeted by their most friendly welcoming receptionists. it seems nothing is 'too much trouble' to them. Gavin is similarly very friendly and the surgery is kitted out with the most high-tech modern equipment. On my first visit Gavin examined my teeth and explained my options to me giving me his recommendation for treatment and reasons why. Their Co-ordinator prepared a detailed quote for my treatment and went through it in detail with me, ensuring I understood everything; she had plenty of time for me as a patient. From the outset I had complete confidence in entrusting them with my dental care and the final results are truly amazing. Gavin and Richard could not have been more professional and my treatment was made as painless as possible. Dental Solutions provide a truly outstanding service and I thank them for my new 'long lost' smile and renewed confidence, especially when dining out and talking with people. I can't recommend them too highly.
Carole Dodwell
Carole Dodwell
A first class experience from start to finish. Despite being fearful of visiting the dentist, Gavin put me at ease with his gentle unhurried manner. I was surprised at how relaxed I actually felt undergoing treatment for a crown and the removal/replacement of front teeth veneers. Having felt self conscious about my front teeth for a long time, I decided to have my old veneers replaced. The results were amazing and far exceeded my expectations. What Gavin achieved was nothing short of a work of art, boosting my confidence tenfold. The practice itself is very welcoming, the customer service excellent and the staff are all very friendly and kind. I cannot recommend this dental practise highly enough.
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