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Veneers vs. Crowns: What’s the Difference?

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A man sitting in a dentist's chair, holding up a mirror and smiling with his dentist in the background.

If you’re seeking a way to restore the look and function of your teeth, you’ve likely encountered the terms “veneers” and “crowns” while researching your options. When it comes to aesthetics and longevity, veneers and crowns are 2 of the most common solutions. 

Veneers are less invasive and are used for stains, discolouring, and chips, while crowns are caps for teeth with more decay. How long each solution will last can depend on the materials used as well as your oral health.

To help navigate this decision-making process, we’ll discuss key differences between veneers and crowns

What Are Dental Veneers & Crowns?

Dental veneers and crowns are dental procedures that can improve the appearance and functionality of teeth. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells bonded to the front of teeth to change their colour, shape, size, or length. They can be made of porcelain or resin composite materials and provide a natural-looking solution for stained, discoloured, chipped, or misaligned teeth. 

On the other hand, dental crowns are caps that cover the entire tooth to protect and restore its shape, strength, and function. They can be made of metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all-ceramic, or zirconia materials and help to strengthen weakened or damaged teeth due to decay, injury, or root canal treatment. 

Benefits of Veneers vs. Crowns

While veneer and crowns can both improve the appearance of your teeth, there are some notable differences in their benefits. For example, they differ in how much tooth is removed and the length of the procedure. 

Veneers are typically used for minor cosmetic corrections such as chipped or discoloured teeth, while crowns are better suited to treat more extensive damage or decay. Veneers only require removing a thin layer of enamel, making them a more conservative option.  Veneers are also less invasive and require minimal tooth alteration, making them an excellent choice for those with healthy teeth.  

On the other hand, crowns require more extensive tooth preparation, but they provide more protection for heavily damaged teeth. Ultimately, deciding between veneers and crowns depends on your dental needs and goals. 

Cost Differences Between Veneers & Crowns

Many people wonder what the difference is between veneers and crowns and how they compare in cost. In general, veneers and crowns can be similar in cost, ranging from $1,000–$3,500 per tooth. Some veneers may cost less depending on the material used. The cost of treatment for veneers or crowns will depend on your specific needs and your dental office.

The Process of Getting Veneers vs. Crowns

Getting veneers or crowns involves different steps, but both options can provide long-lasting results. 

To prepare for the application of a veneer, your dentist will remove a small amount of tooth enamel and then bond the shell to the tooth’s front surface. Veneers are a cosmetic treatment and may be considered more aesthetically pleasing because they typically show less gum margin over time.

To prepare for getting a crown, the tooth must be reshaped to accommodate the crown covering the entire tooth. Crowns are thicker than veneers and may last longer. 

Both veneers and crowns require customization to match the colour and shape of your existing teeth, and aftercare is critical to maintain their longevity.  

Oral Care Tips for Veneers & Crowns

Your dental veneers or crowns can give you a beautiful smile, but caring for them is vital to keep them looking their best. 

You can care for veneers and crowns similarly to how you care for your natural teeth:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once daily to help prevent buildup of plaque or bacteria around your veneers or crowns. 
  • Avoid hard or sticky foods that may cause damage. 
  • Always wear a mouthguard when engaging in contact sports. 
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings. 
A young woman sitting in a dental chair and pointing to something displayed on a tablet as her dentist holds the tablet and smiles.

Make an Informed Decision About Your Dental Care

Your mouth is an essential part of overall health—give it the attention it deserves by doing proper research and consulting with your dentist before making a final decision about a dental treatment.To learn more about your options for dental veneers or crowns, Contact Shawnessy Dental Centre for an exam and consultation. Our experienced team can help you decide which treatments can support your oral health and smile goals.

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