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There’s more than one way to fix a tooth or enhance your smile. Two popular solutions for repairing cracked or unsightly teeth are dental veneers and crowns, or caps.

But which one is right for you? What is the difference between crowns and veneers? Which option is right for you?

This guide will answer your questions and help you make the right choice.

What Are Crowns and Veneers?

Crowns and veneers are both restorations that can make damaged teeth look whole and beautiful again. They both can be made from materials that blend in perfectly with the surrounding teeth to create a natural look.

'A dental crown is a tooth-shaped restoration that covers the entire tooth from the chewing surface to the gumline.'

Crowns can be made from metals like gold or from tooth-colored materials like porcelain which help them to blend in with your smile.

'Veneers are thin shells of restorative material that fit over the front of teeth.'

They’re made from a material that matches your teeth because their goal is to make teeth look naturally beautiful. Porcelain veneers are the most traditional and longest lasting type, but composite veneers are also available for a cheaper price.

The process for getting a crown or a veneer is similar:

The Difference Between a Crown and a Veneer

If you’re trying to decide between getting veneers or crowns, then you first need to know what the differences between the two restorations are.

The primary difference between crowns and veneers is the amount of coverage they provide. While dental caps average about 0.5 millimeters thick and cover the whole tooth, snap on veneers replace only half a millimeter of enamel on just the front of the teeth. Some veneers don’t require any tooth preparation and are only 0.2-0.3 millimeters thick.

differences between crown vs veneer

When you get a crown, your tooth is gently shaped into a cone-like nub so that an entire cap can easily slip over it. That nub will have to be covered by a cap at all times. But when you get veneers, you only need to have a little bit of enamel from the front of your teeth trimmed away. This amount is so slight, in fact, that you may hardly notice it and won’t need to wear temporary veneers while you wait for the final product.

crowns vs veneers differences

Another difference between crowns and veneers is that any tooth can get a crown while only certain teeth can get veneers. This is because dental crowns are designed to provide strength and support to weak teeth. Veneers, on the other hand, are very thin and can only provide cosmetic enhancements.

Lastly, crowns and veneers differ in their intended use. Crowns can certainly improve the looks of a tooth, but their main purpose is to restore and protect compromised teeth. Veneers are strictly cosmetic. They’re not meant to bear the force of biting so they only go on front teeth.

In comparing porcelain crowns vs veneers, you can’t necessarily say that one is any better than the other. Both crowns and veneers are excellent restorations that can last a long time and change your smile for the better. They just impact your smile in different ways.

Crown vs Veneer Cost

You likely want to know the cost of veneers vs crowns since the price could impact your choice of treatment.

Veneers and crowns cost close to the same amount, but the actual price depends on the materials used and on where you get the treatment.

Dental Veneers Cost

$250 - 2,500 per tooth. Despite costing just about as much as crowns, dental veneers are known for being expensive because they are considered a cosmetic luxury instead of a dental health necessity. If you’re interested in veneers, ask your dentist if they can arrange a payment plan that will make it easier for you to afford the procedure.

Cheap dental veneers are made from dental composite, or resin. The more expensive porcelain veneers at the other end of the price range last longer, however

Tooth Crown Cost

$800 - 1,700 per crown. The price of a dental crown usually doesn’t include other procedures that are needed to prepare the tooth for the crown such as root canals or building up the tooth. The upside to dental crowns is that their cost is often covered by dental insurance.

Crowns vs Veneers: The Pros and Cons

This list of the pros and cons of both restorations can help you determine whether you need a dental crown vs veneer.

Dental Veneers

Pros

Cons

Dental Crowns

Pros

Cons

Crown vs Veneer: Which Option is Better?

As discussed above, you can’t really say that a crown or veneer is the better option because they’re both reliable and beautiful restorations, if made well.

The important thing is to simply choose the restoration that your teeth need the most and then make sure it’s done by a skilled dentist.

crowns to prevent cavities and infection

You should probably get a crown if you have a tooth with large cracks or chips or spots of decay. Crowns can keep a damaged tooth intact and prevent cavities and infection. A crown is also ideal for back teeth like molars which have to hold up to the forces of biting and chewing.

veneers cosmetic alternative

Veneers work best for front teeth that have only minor cosmetic damage. They’re an excellent way to fix all kinds of things about your smile you might hate including the color, size, spacing, and positioning of your front teeth.

veneers alternative to teeth straightening

Veneers are actually a great alternative to teeth straightening. If you have only minor orthodontic involvement in your front teeth, then you can make them look straighter instantly with the help of veneers instead of waiting months for braces to adjust them.

You should know, however, that it’s not always enough to just cover up crooked teeth with veneers or even crowns. If your teeth need to be straightened out to improve your bite and preserve your dental health, then you should consider straightening your teeth, instead.

Check out our list of the best teeth aligners or read some Invisalign reviews to find out if you’re a candidate for any of those treatments.

What if you can’t decide between getting crowns or veneers for front teeth? Either option could work well if all you need are a few cosmetic enhancements.

In this case, veneers would probably be the best option for the following reasons:

On the other hand, crowns would be the better option if:

So as you can see, even when your treatment is totally elective there’s still no clear answer as to which restoration is better. Whether you get front teeth crowns vs veneers depends on your unique situation.

You should visit a dentist in your area to find out whether crowns or veneers are right for you. Only your dentist can evaluate your oral health to determine what your restorative needs are. He or she will use x-ray imaging and other diagnostic tools to examine your teeth and then recommend the best treatment for you.

crowns vs veneers which is better
crowns vs veneers

We covered a lot of material in this article comparing dental crowns and veneers. Here are the main points you should takeaway to help you understand the differences between these two dental restorations:

Sources

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Written by Haleigh Pouliot

Formerly a dental hygienist, currently a dental writer, forever a bookworm. Haleigh put down her scaler and picked up a pen in 2015 and has been crafting dental copy ever since. She’s often on the road and loves learning new languages and meeting new people. When writer’s block hits, Haleigh takes a break to work on her pizza dough recipe or walk her dog. Haleigh was born and raised in the United States but today she lives in Nepal with her husband. She still flosses (almost) every day.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Afton Jackson

    The fact that dental crowns last for many years and can protect an entire tooth from damage was a very useful point of your article. Having worn-out and damaged teeth can interrupt a lot of daily activities like eating and talking, and I’ve been looking for a solution to this for a long time. Since I want to have an effective treatment that will last long from the get-go, I’ll look for any dental crown specialists in the area.

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