Porcelain veneers are a means of changing the appearance of teeth and protecting them. Dental crowns are alternatives to porcelain veneers; however, there are cases when crowns will be needed or cases when veneers are the best solution. Whether you get porcelain veneers or dental crowns will depend greatly on the condition of each tooth and the recommendations of the dentist. However, here are some things you need to know about porcelain veneers and dental crowns.
Porcelain veneers are most frequently used for esthetic purposes on discolored, stained or small teeth that have large spaces in between them. In some cases, porcelain veneers may also be used to protect the tooth if small areas of the teeth are damaged.
When Are Dental Crowns a Must?
Dental crowns are also known as caps and a crown covers the entire surface of a tooth. Porcelain veneers will cover only the front side of a tooth.
Dental crowns are needed in a number of instances such as:
- The tooth has undergone root canal therapy and is fragile and may easily break (so it will need to be protected)
- The tooth is badly fractured and should be covered to prevent further damage
- There is less than 50% of the tooth left and the rest is a large filling that may not resist unless covered
In these cases, using a veneer will not protect the tooth. The porcelain veneers may be applied on healthy teeth, while dental crowns are typically required on damaged teeth.
Veneers and Crowns in Regards to the Enamel
When opting for porcelain veneers, this will mean less damage to the tooth enamel than in the case of dental crowns. The tooth must be prepared before the porcelain veneer or the crown is placed and when a veneer is needed, only the front side of the tooth will be affected. In the case of dental crowns, all sides of the tooth will be peeled, so more of the enamel will be eliminated. If a crown is not necessary, you should get veneers to keep your teeth healthier.
If your teeth are peeled for dental crowns, you will have to wear crowns for the rest of your life and won’t be able to replace the crowns and get veneers if you choose to. Conversely, if you choose porcelain veneers and you may need crowns in the future, you will be able to get the crowns.
In terms of costs involved, the costs of porcelain veneers are lower than the costs of dental crowns. This is due to the fact that the materials needed for a crown are sometimes three or four times more than the materials required for a veneer. Also, the technician will have to work more on a dental crown than on a veneer.
Whether you need a veneer or a crown will depend on the tooth, so you will have to talk to your dentist and find the most suitable solution for your teeth. If you don’t necessarily need crowns, you should opt for veneers, as these will require less tooth reduction.