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Dental Veneers vs. Dental Crowns

Are you in need of a dental restoration yet don’t know which type of procedure to choose? Crowns and veneers are two of the most popular dental restoration methods. So how do you know which one is best for you?

As a general rule, dental crowns are the best solution to protect teeth that are beyond repair. On the other hand, veneers offer a thinner layer of protection serving a better fit for cosmetic purposes.

Like any dental procedure, it’s vital to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Here’s a closer look at the difference between the two:

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. Generally used for cosmetic purposes, veneers change the colour, size, and shape of teeth to improve their overall appearance.

What are dental crowns?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap custom-made to cover the outside of a tooth. They are the best solution to cover and protect teeth that are beyond repair, by restoring the tooth shape, size, and strength as well as improving the tooth appearance.

Advantages of dental veneers:

  • Dental veneers are designed to look like a natural tooth
  • They cover up discoloured or stained teeth
  • You can choose the desired colour of porcelain veneers
  • Porcelain veneers are stain resistant
  • They provide a thin layer protection for chipped or worn teeth
  • They cover uneven, irregular shaped or misaligned teeth
  • They can help fill in unwanted gaps between teeth
  • Gum tissue reacts well to porcelain
  • They don’t require the extensive tooth preparation and shaping of dental crowns, providing a more conservative method of changing a tooth’s appearance.

Advantages of dental crowns:

  • Protects a weak tooth from breaking
  • Holds together parts of a cracked tooth
  • Saves a tooth that can’t support a filling due to severe decay
  • Restores a broken, chipped or worn-down tooth
  • Supports a dental bridge
  • Covers a tooth with a large filling, especially when the tooth is starting to crack or show signs of stress around the filling
  • Covers a dental implant
  • Modifies misshapen teeth or a bite that is not aligned properly
  • Covers discoloured teeth
  • Protects a tooth from stress caused by grinding.

Disadvantages of dental veneers:

  • They are permanent, therefore cannot be removed if you change your mind later down the track.
  • Teeth may become more sensitive to hot and/or cold food and drink due to the removal of natural enamel.
  • If you repetitively grind or clench your teeth, overtime, this can chip or crack veneers
    Chipped or cracked veneers cannot be repaired.
  • The teeth under the veneers are still prone to decay.

Disadvantages of dental crowns:

  • Pain or sensitivity: You may experience discomfort shortly after the procedure when biting down. This generally means the crown is sitting too high, and can easily be adjusted by your dentist.
  • Allergic reaction: The possibility of an allergic reaction to the mixture of metals or porcelain materials used in dental crowns is rare, however should be noted.
  • A loose crown: If the cement gluing the crown onto the tooth washes away, the crown can loosen overtime and eventually fall off. This allows bacteria to find its way underneath the crown and onto the tooth, causing decay. If your crown feels loose, be sure to see your dentist.

The verdict: Dental crown or veneers?

It all depends on your needs, budget and desired outcome. If you’re in need of a serious restoration due to tooth decay, a dental crown is probably the best choice for you. If you want a brighter, more aligned smile, perhaps you will benefit from veneers. The best way to find out what your teeth really need is by discussing it with your dentist. Book an appointment with us today, and we will help you achieve your dental goals whilst keeping your best interests at heart. Phone us on (03) 9562 5156.

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