Traditionally, dental crowns have been considered a restorative technique while porcelain veneers have fallen into the category of cosmetic dentistry. However, thanks to advances in dental materials and techniques, the line separating veneers and crowns is blurring. Use our simple guide to understand the ins and outs of these two restorations.
Advantages of Dental Crowns
Modern dental patients want dental work to look true-to-life, so dentists have responded by offering more choices in crown materials. All-porcelain crowns offer unmatched esthetics and are indistinguishable from natural teeth. Zirconia, a type of porcelain infused with zirconium oxide, offers exceptional strength and a natural look. Crowns are appropriate for a number of restorative issues, including structural damage like breaks, cracks, or deep cavities, and can be used cosmetically to cover severely stained or unsightly teeth that need additional support. Crowns cover the entire surface of the tooth.
First and foremost, your dentist will have to remove some healthy tooth structure to place a crown. Tooth preparation can lead to vulnerable areas at the margin (the border where the crown meets the tooth structure) and an increased risk of tooth decay. Crowns may be overkill for moderate or minor cosmetic imperfections that can be addressed though other, more conservative procedures like veneers or teeth whitening.
Advantages of Porcelain Veneers
Veneers are primarily thought of as a cosmetic procedure, able to mask a wide range of cosmetic imperfections, like chips or discolorations that don’t respond to teeth whitening. However, due to their strength and reliability, they can provide some restorative help. For instance, if you have a tooth with a significant chip (but not so significant that a crown is needed), a porcelain veneer offers better esthetics and a longer lasting restoration than resin bonding.
Simply put, veneers are thin (approximately .3mm- .5mm thick). This is a cosmetic advantage and a restorative disadvantage. They adhere to the front surface of a tooth and cannot address problems like cracks or substantial breaks.
About Mansfield Dental Associates:
At Mansfield Dental Associates, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris share the same vision and philosophy when it comes to patient care. We provide thorough, compassionate preventive dental services in addition to a full menu of restorative, cosmetic, and prosthetic dentistry. Contact our Mansfield, TX dentist office at 817-473-6227 to schedule your next appointment.