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Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ: Difference Between Crowns Versus Veneers?

Posted by Gregg L Lage DDS Nov 05, 2020

Cosmetic Dentist uses restorations like crowns and veneers to fix issues that affect the appearance of your smile. These restorations are typically made out of similar materials like porcelain or composite resins. Neither requires specialized cleaning. Good dental hygiene keeps these restorations in tip-top condition.

How veneers and crowns are used in cosmetic dentistry

Let us take a closer look at how crowns and veneers are used in cosmetic dentistry by answering frequently asked questions about the subject.

1. What are the main differences between crowns and veneers?

Crowns are the more versatile restorations, while veneers typically lead to better aesthetics over the long run. Crowns cover the entire visible part of a tooth, so they can be used to treat myriad cosmetic issues. Veneers only go over the front surface of a tooth, so they are typically recommended when the defects on a tooth only affect its front surface.

Veneers are also thinner than crowns. On average, veneers have a thickness of about 1 millimeter, while crowns can be as much as 2 millimeters thick. Crowns also provide therapeutic benefits by protecting teeth against bacteria, acids in the mouth and bite forces.

2. Do veneers or crowns require the removal of enamel from teeth surfaces?

In most cases, yes. Veneers typically require the removal of less enamel due to them being thinner than crowns. The enamel removed is normally proportional to the thickness of the veneer being used. There are also newer types of veneers that are so thin, there is no need for the dentist to remove enamel before cementing them into place. These are known as no-prep veneers.

Enamel is always removed on all four sides of a tooth that will be fitted with a crown. Removing enamel creates a better, tighter fit for the crown.

3. How many trips to the clinic does it take to get crowns or veneers?

Getting veneers or crowns installed on teeth typically requires two trips to the dentist. During the first visit, the dentist prepares the patient's tooth by removing the appropriate amount of enamel. A 3D model or an impression of the patient's tooth is taken and sent to a lab that makes customized restorations. Patients are typically fitted with temporary restorations during the first visit to protect their teeth while they wait for their custom restorations. It takes about two weeks for the finished restoration to get back to the dentist.

During the patient's next trip to the dentist, the temporary restoration will be removed and the customized restoration cemented into place. The dentist makes adjustments as needed before sending the patient on their way.

4. How do I figure out which restoration is right for me?

Dentists often make a recommendation after evaluating the patient's mouth. Crowns are typically recommended when the damage is extensive, while veneers are used when the damage only affects the front of a tooth.  

Fix your cosmetic issues

Call or visit our Denver clinic to learn more about how crowns and veneers can be used to repair your damaged teeth.

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