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Veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment used to correct tooth imperfections. They correct issues like worn-down teeth, uneven teeth, excessive spacing, and tooth discoloration.
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that is permanently bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its shade and shape.
People opt for veneers when they're looking to make a dramatic transformation to a front tooth that treatment like dental bonding can't correct.
Porcelain veneers can be costly depending on the number of veneers needed and the dentist treating you. People will often use dental bonding as a stepping stone before investing in veneers, but the long-term benefits of veneers are undeniable.
Veneers typically take a few visits that include preparation, impressions, and permanent cementation.
Some dental offices offer single-day veneers using CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics). CEREC is an advanced 3-D dental technology that creates custom porcelain veneers in one day, eliminating the need for multiple visits and temporary veneers.
A composite resin veneer can typically be done chairside by your dentist. The dentist will sculpt composite material to cover the front part of your tooth to alter its shape and size.
The steps of a porcelain veneer process typically include:
Dental crowns are full coverage, permanent restorations for teeth that need more support than a traditional filling or bonding.
A dental crown has several advantages over a filling. They are very durable, highly aesthetic restorations that are custom-made and help support weakened teeth.
Crowns are recommended for people who have:
Crowns come in various types of materials depending on the location of the tooth and your budget. People will often opt for porcelain or zirconia crowns in cosmetic areas because they are natural-looking.
For teeth that need more support for chewing and biting, there are options ranging from porcelain fused to metal, all-porcelain crowns, and all-ceramic crowns.
The dental crown process typically requires a few visits for the examination, tooth preparation and impressions, and permanent cementation. Some offices offer CEREC technology so that crowns can be fabricated in a single dental visit, eliminating the need for multiple visits.
The typical process for dental crowns includes:
Veneers are usually recommended more in cosmetic dentistry than dental crowns. For people looking to make a cosmetic change, a veneer is typically the best option. Veneers are only placed on anterior (front) teeth, not posterior (back) teeth.
Dental crowns are a type of dental restoration that treats both front and back teeth. Crowns are recommended for people who need to restore a tooth for more support when it is compromised by tooth decay or trauma.
A crown can also be used for severely discolored teeth, worn down teeth, or when a large piece of a tooth is missing.
The main difference between a crown and a veneer is that a crown covers the entire tooth. A veneer usually only covers the front portion of a tooth.
Veneers and crowns have several advantages to your oral health. Traditionally, if you have a large piece of tooth structure missing, a root canal, or a previously failed filling, a crown is recommended as the best option.
If your tooth is intact and you are choosing a restoration to make an aesthetic change, a veneer is typically recommended.
Veneers are an excellent cosmetic dental treatment for people looking for a dramatic smile makeover or looking to correct an insecurity.
The most common reasons people choose a veneer are to correct intrinsic tooth discoloration, uneven-sized teeth or gums, gaps between teeth, or chips, and fractures.
Some people need orthodontics like Invisalign prior to getting veneers. A veneer cannot change a tooth’s position.
A dental crown is an excellent option for people who need to restore their teeth for more support. This usually occurs after a large filling, a tooth fracture, or a root canal.
If a tooth is severely worn down, a crown can help restore the function and aesthetics of the natural tooth.
Veneers are the better option for front teeth when there is a minor imperfection like spacing or gaps, tooth discoloration, or unevenly sized teeth.
Crowns are recommended for front teeth when they have had root canal treatment, or a tooth has been severely worn down. If a tooth has a failed filling or is broken from trauma, a dental crown is the best option.
Both veneers and crowns require teeth reshaping and enamel removal to make room for the new restoration. Some types of veneers (like Lumineers) require minimal tooth removal, while others require significant tooth reduction. A veneer usually requires around 1 mm of tooth removal.
Crowns typically require a significant amount of tooth removal on all sides to make space for the restoration. Dental crowns need around 2 mm of tooth removal.
Both veneers and crowns require the same type of maintenance. It would be best if you cared for your veneer or crown the same way you would your natural tooth.
Your dental hygiene is important for your overall oral health and will affect the longevity of your dental restoration. These include:
Both veneers and crowns can be costly without dental insurance. Fees will always vary based on the location of the tooth, dental office demographic, and material used.
For veneers, the cost can range from $925-$2,500 (per tooth). Porcelain veneers are more costly than composite or snap-on veneers. Dental insurance will typically not cover veneer treatment because it is considered cosmetic and elective. Most dental offices will offer an in-house discount savings plan or payment plan.
Read more about Removable Veneers
Dental crowns cost will range based on several factors: material used to fabricate the crown, if a specialist is used to create the crown (prosthodontist or cosmetic dentist), and the tooth location.
Crowns can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500 per tooth. This fee does not include any additional procedure like a root canal, post, and build-up.
Insurance will traditionally cover a portion of a dental crown, and you will be responsible for the remainder, including your deductible. If a crown is a treatment planned solely for cosmetic purposes, there is a chance dental insurance will not cover it.