Crowns versus Porcelain Veneers

Cosmetic dentistry is like a dental facelift that can quickly "reverse" the natural aging process of the teeth.  In the majority of cosmetic dentistry cases, people are unhappy with their unattractive teeth and have always felt self-conscious because of them.  They will rarely smile, which can often hides the warm side of their personality.  Modern dentistry offers a wide variety of treatment options for people seeking to enhance their smile.

Crowns and porcelain veneers are cosmetic dentistry devices that are used to restore damaged and/or flawed teeth.  Crowns, also known as ”caps”, are coverings that fit over teeth.  Porcelain veneers, or laminates, are a thin, custom-made covering that conceals the front and side surfaces of your tooth.  Both crowns and veneers can assist in correcting teeth that are:

    * Extensively damage due to decay
    * Discolored or permanently stained
    * Fractured
    * Brittle after a root canal

Traditionally, crowns have been used to treat these dental problems, but veneers are now growing to be the more popular choice amongst dentist.  The continual advancement of porcelain veneers and veneering technology has allowed for veneers to be the preferred treatment method.  But that an examination period with your dentist will reveal which is a better option.  

Whether to use crowns versus porcelain veneers depends on the situation.  There are a number of variables that can influence the decision such as your bite (occlusion), amount of damage to the tooth, your periodontal condition.  In some of these cases, veneers may not work.  With the all porcelain crowns or veneers you have a very difficult time distinguishing between the two.

The major difference between crowns and veneers is the amount of tooth structure that needs to be removed.  A big reason why veneers are so popular is that very little enamel requires removal compared to crowns, which require eliminating a large portion of the tooth.  Crowns require more tooth removal to allow adequate space for the restorative material to have appropriate strength, aesthetic, and healthy gum contour.  Because crowns cover your entire tooth, they often provide good solutions for more severe dental problems.

Cost is another issue.  Fees vary greatly from area to area and even within the same area.  Crowns are generally more expensive than veneers - can be approximately $200 more than veneers.

Whether you need crowns or veneers, a visit to the dentist for a complete exam will result in developing an effective and optimal treatment plan.  Your dentist will know whether to use either porcelain veneers or crowns or even both.  They should also be able to provide you an estimate of the costs.

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