The Difference Between Dental Crowns and Veneers

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People visit Smile On Dental Salon for many reasons, but our approach to each of them shares one thing in common: our first goal in providing dental care is to ensure the health of your natural teeth. We have many tools at our disposal, and two of the most important (and most misunderstood) are dental crowns and dental veneers.

How They Work

Dental crowns and veneers are similar insofar as each is applied to your teeth. However, there are some important differences between the two, reflected in the pre-procedural preparation and the cases in which each option is appropriate.

Dental Crowns Explained

Dental crowns are familiar to many people. You may have had one or more done, and even if you haven’t, you know someone who has. Just like a crown goes over the wearer’s head, a dental crown goes over the tooth. There are two common types: a full crown, which covers the entire tooth surface, and the three-quarter crown, which covers slightly less surface area.

Unlike the dental crowns from years past, which were made of metal, modern crowns use porcelain for better adhesion and a more natural look. In order to fit the crown, your tooth surface may have to be reshaped, and an impression made of your mouth so the crown can be custom-fitted.

Understanding Dental Veneers

Like dental crowns, the “dental veneer” name gives us a clue how the process works. Similar to wood veneer — where a thin layer of wood goes over another surface to improve its appearance — dental veneers use a thin layer of porcelain to cover the frontal surface of your teeth.

The preparation for dental veneers tends to be less invasive. Additionally, even though they use porcelain the same as a crown does, the smaller size allows them to be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

Dental Veneers or Crowns: Which is Better?

The answer here isn’t very clear-cut. In fact, each is better suited to certain circumstances than the other.

Dental veneers are suitable for a number of common issues. This includes cosmetic uses (stained, gapped, mildly asymmetrical or slightly misaligned teeth) and even some functional problems, such as teeth with minor chips or cracks.

For all the versatility offered by dental veneers, dental crowns still have their place. If you’ve ever had a root canal, a crown is recommended over a veneer. Similarly, in instances where a tooth is severely damaged (especially in cases where the damage worsens or recurs), a crown is going to provide much better integrity and protection.

With this said, each patient who comes to Smile On Dental Salon has a dental history and profile as unique as their fingerprints. The only way to know for sure whether you’re better off with crowns or veneers is to consult with a Chicago dental professional. Call 773-525-5545 to arrange your appointment today, and let us set you (and your smile) straight.

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