Porcelain Veneers vs Crowns: What Are Their Differences?

porcelain veneers vs crowns

Do you need a dental restoration but are unsure about choosing porcelain veneers vs crowns? Dental crowns and veneers are two of the most widely used restoration procedures. Dental veneers enhance your appearance by covering uneven or fractured teeth, while crowns are crucial for repairing broken or damaged teeth. It’s important to educate yourself on the benefits of each restoration type.

At Parkwood Dental, we want to help you achieve the perfect smile you’ve always wanted. Our dental specialists share a few important points so you can learn exactly what kind of cosmetic dentistry is right for you.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin, stain-resistant shells crafted to cover the front surface of teeth, enhancing aesthetics and concealing imperfections. Made from durable dental porcelain, these custom-fitted veneers are made specifically for each patient. Veneers are also minimally intrusive, providing patients with a seamless and radiant smile.

Veneers effectively disguise stains, chips, gaps, and misalignments, offering a versatile solution for cosmetic dental concerns. Their translucent quality mimics natural tooth enamel, granting a lifelike appearance. Typically, the process involves minimal tooth preparation and is a popular choice for those seeking transformative yet subtle smile enhancements. 

What Are Porcelain Crowns? 

Porcelain crowns are dental caps designed to encase and protect damaged or weakened teeth, restoring both function and aesthetics. Crafted from durable porcelain, these crowns mimic the appearance and strength of natural teeth, blending seamlessly with the smile. 

Dental crowns are used to restore teeth that have suffered significant damage from fractures, cracks, or decay. If your dental crown is necessary due to tooth decay, your dentist will need to reconstruct part of the tooth and remove the decay so that the tooth can support the crown.

Proper oral care is crucial when deciding between porcelain veneers vs crowns. It supports a long-lasting smile and enhances confidence and oral health.

Porcelain Veneers vs Crowns: How Are They Different

One of the main distinctions between porcelain veneers vs crowns offer is the way they fit your teeth and the circumstances affecting their necessity. A dental crown covers the entire tooth, whereas a porcelain veneer is attached to just the front surface of the tooth. Because veneers have less gum margin visible than crowns, they tend to be more aesthetically pleasing. Compared to veneers that are only one millimeter thick, crowns are more permanent and have a thickness of two millimeters.

Purpose and Coverage

Porcelain veneers are primarily used for cosmetic enhancements, covering only the front surface of teeth to conceal imperfections like stains, chips, or gaps. In contrast, porcelain crowns encase the entire tooth, providing both cosmetic improvement and structural support for severely damaged or weakened teeth.

Tooth Preparation

Veneers typically require minimal tooth preparation, often involving slight enamel removal to ensure a proper fit and natural appearance. On the other hand, crowns necessitate more substantial tooth reshaping to accommodate the crown’s full coverage and ensure a secure fit.

Thickness

Veneers are ultra-thin shells, usually about 0.5mm thick, while crowns are thicker, ranging from 1.0mm to 2.0mm or more. This difference in thickness reflects their respective coverage areas and functional requirements.

Extent of Restoration

Veneers address primarily cosmetic concerns, such as discoloration, minor chips, or slight misalignment. Crowns, however, are used for more extensive dental restoration, including cases of severe decay, fractures, large fillings, or after root canal therapy.

Durability and Longevity

While both veneers and crowns are durable, crowns typically offer greater strength and longevity due to their full coverage and thicker construction. With proper care, porcelain crowns can withstand biting forces and last for many years, whereas veneers may require replacement sooner, especially if subjected to significant wear or trauma.

Treatment Time

Compared to porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers generally require fewer dental appointments and less time to complete. Veneers typically involve impressions, fabrication, and bonding, while crowns may involve additional steps like temporary crown placement and adjustments.

Porcelain Veneers vs Crowns: Cost Comparison

The average cost of porcelain veneers varies from $925 to $2,500 per tooth. Conversely, dental crowns often cost between $1,000 and $3,500 per tooth. Crowns made of porcelain or ceramic material cost more than crowns made of metal.

Sadly, cosmetic dentistry procedures are typically not covered by insurance. Therefore, veneers must be paid for out of pocket by the patient. Dental insurance only pays a portion of the cost of crowns. Your dentist should be able to offer you a payment plan to help you afford dental care, regardless of whether you’re still deciding between porcelain veneers vs crowns. 

Porcelain Veneers vs Crowns: Which Is Better for You?

Veneers and crowns can be used interchangeably as they appear to serve essentially the same purpose. However, not everything at all. Based on your unique circumstances, your dentist will prescribe one dental treatment option over porcelain veneers vs crowns. 

If your tooth is severely broken, has a large filling, or has had a root canal, dental crowns are usually the best choice because the tooth enamel is more compromised and requires greater protection. Porcelain veneers work best for cosmetic needs. Your dentist will probably suggest porcelain veneers if your tooth is largely intact and just needs a little bit of shape correction or aesthetic enhancement.

porcelain veneers vs crowns

FAQs

Which option is more cost-effective?

Porcelain veneers are generally less expensive than crowns since they require less material and tooth preparation. However, the long-term durability and functionality of crowns may justify their higher initial cost for some individuals.

Are porcelain veneers reversible?

While porcelain veneers involve minimal tooth preparation, they are not entirely reversible. Some enamel may be removed to accommodate the veneers, and replacing them may require additional tooth modification.

How long do porcelain veneers and crowns last?

With proper care, both porcelain veneers and crowns can last for many years. Veneers typically last between 10 to 15 years, while crowns can last 15 years or more, depending on factors such as oral hygiene and habits like teeth grinding.

Can I get porcelain veneers or crowns if I have gum disease or other dental issues?

Address any underlying dental issues, such as gum disease or tooth decay, before undergoing either procedure. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health to determine the suitability of veneers or crowns and may recommend treating any existing conditions beforehand.

Conclusion

If you still can’t decide between porcelain veneers vs crowns, our professional dentists at Parkwood Dental can help you choose the right one for your needs. We’ll help you improve the look of your teeth and fix broken teeth. If you have questions or concerns about the cosmetic dentistry procedure, our experts will guide you every step of the way and support you during the procedure. Contact us today.

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