What are the differences between veneers and crowns?

If you have a chipped tooth, teeth that don’t respond well to whitening or other cosmetic dental concerns, then you’re probably wondering what your options are for fixing the problem. Porcelain veneers and dental crowns are both used to improve the appearance of teeth, but they have their differences. Here’s a quick look at the differences between veneers and crowns.

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin pieces of semi-transparent porcelain placed on the front side of the teeth. They can change the tooth shape, size and color and designed to blend in with surrounding natural teeth. They are designed to conceal a wide variety of cosmetic dental problems, including chipped teeth, stained teeth, gaps between teeth, misshapen teeth, worn teeth edges and uneven tooth size and length.

What are crowns?

Crowns are necessary when a large part of the surface of the tooth has been damaged but the root system remains intact and healthy. A crown is used to restore a tooth that has a broken or missing filling, to restore a tooth after a root canal, to cover a dental implant, to protect a weak tooth from fracturing and to restore a tooth that has cracked or is broken. Crowns can restore misshapen or discolored teeth as well.

What are veneers and crowns made of?

Veneers are made of thin material but are very strong. They can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years with good dental hygiene and regular checkups. Crowns are essentially caps that fit over the entire tooth and can be made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, porcelain fused to metal, resin or ceramic. They can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years with good care.

How much of the tooth is affected with the placement of either?

Much of the tooth is left intact when placing a veneer. Up to a millimeter of enamel is removed to make room for the veneer. A dental crown fits over your tooth like a cap, so it requires more tooth structure to be removed.

How do you clean and whiten veneers and crowns?

You treat veneers and crowns the same as you would your own teeth with daily brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups.  Traditional whitening treatments do not work on veneers and crowns as they do on natural teeth. Professional cleanings during your dental checkups will keep them maintained.

If you’re interested in learning more about these and other dental restoration methods to transform your smile, call 713-425-1302 to set up a consultation with Dr. Konig.

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