Prosthodontics, Implants, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry

Why Choose Veneers Over Crowns

If you have stained, chipped, cracked, misshapen, minor misalignment, or gaps, then you understand how unattractive what would have otherwise been a flawless smile. Luckily, you don’t need to feel self-conscious anymore because veneers and crowns are a great cosmetic dental solution. At Tarzana Dental Care, we often recommend veneers over crowns to our patients. Get in touch with us to find out the best option for you.

What are Veneers?

A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or composite resin, 1 millimeter thick attached to the front surface of a visible tooth. Veneers are used for cosmetic reasons to cover uneven, discolored, and crooked teeth by altering their color, shape, and size. The procedure is a preference for many because it is less invasive and only removes half a millimeter of the enamel, which means most of your original tooth is left unchanged.

What Does the Procedure of Getting Veneers Entail?

The procedure of getting a veneer depends a lot on the type of material. But first, the dentist must examine you to determine if you are a candidate for the treatment.

After it is determined veneers are your best fit, a dentist will commence the process of administering local anesthesia so that you can be comfortable throughout the procedure. The dentist will then conduct minimal reshaping of the tooth to allow proper cementing of the composite where it is your preferred material. The direct composite will be added to the teeth, shaped, hardened, and polished to give instant results.

Note that composite resin veneers are best if you want to enhance your smile without altering or filing your natural teeth enamel. Teens or young people who are still growing should choose composite veneers because they are a semi-permanent solution and allow a change of mind in the future. For a patient who is undecided about the modification and might reverse their decision in the future, composite veneers are a perfect option.

In case you prefer porcelain veneers, after the removal of enamel to allow the thin surfaces to attach correctly, the dentist will make an impression of the teeth through digital scanning or using a mold. The mold or image of the print will be sent to a dental laboratory for fabrication. Fabrication might take a few weeks, which means you will wait longer for the completion of the process.

If there is extensive extraction of enamel, you might experience a lot of sensitivity, which is why dentists might place temporary veneers as you wait for the permanent one.

Once the permanent veneers are ready, you will go for your second appointment, where the dentist will place the permanent veneers to see if they are fit. If they don’t fit perfectly, a few adjustments will be made, after which the teeth will be cleaned and the permanent veneers placed.

Keep in mind that although veneers have minimal movement, if you clench or grind your teeth at night, you will need to wear a nightguard.

What are Crowns?

Dental crowns, also called caps, help preserve the functionality of a damaged tooth by entirely wrapping it. The dental restoration procedure protects cracked or chipped teeth to restore functionality and esthetics. Crowns have been used in dentistry for decades, allowing patients to cover various dental imperfections by fitting caps over the damaged teeth to hide the flaws.

The Dental Crowns Procedure

Before undergoing this treatment, the dentist must examine the health of the existing teeth. If you have extensive tooth decay or other major oral issues that veneers cannot fix, a dentist will suggest dental crowns. During your initial consultation, the dentist will take an x-ray to spot the underlying problems that might require resolving first. 

Once the underlying dental issues are resolved, the dentist will make an impression of the existing teeth to create the shape and size of your crowns. The dentist will model designs for the new form, length, and breadth of your teeth so that you can see what the teeth will look like after the procedure.

The mold or impression then goes to a dental lab for fabrication. Because of the extensive alteration of your existing teeth enamel, the dentist will place temporary crowns to reduce sensitivity and protect the weak teeth as you await the permanent crowns.

When the permanent ones are ready, the temporary ones will be removed and replaced. But before cementing, you must confirm if they are a perfect fit. If not, adjustments will be made, but this might require another appointment. Note that crowns may have some movement that can affect your bite, which is why your dentists must make the right adjustments to ensure that they fit perfectly to eliminate movement.

Recovery and After Care for Veneers and Crowns

Both veneers and crowns can last up to thirty years without replacement with proper care. The restorations will last longer by maintaining healthy oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.

You can also reduce the risk of damage to the crowns and veneers by avoiding chewing hard objects. Your dentist will advise on the best foods to stick to and the chewing habits that you should avoid.

If the veneers and crowns are made of porcelain, you don’t have to be afraid of stains, because this material is stain-resistant. However, you should brush and floss your teeth regularly and stick to non-abrasive toothpaste.

Reasons for Choosing Veneers Over Crowns

Both crowns and veneers perform a similar function of covering dental flaws like chips, cracks, misalignment, and gaps. Today, most dental clinics like the Tarzan Dental Care prefer veneers for their patients because of various reasons. Some of these reasons include:

  1. Veneers are More Conservative

When attaching veneers or crowns on your teeth, the dentist must perform some restructuring to allow the teeth to accommodate the restoration. Only a small portion of the enamel is removed on the facial surface of the tooth to allow the placing of veneers. This means that the dentist doesn’t touch the corners or the backside of the tooth receiving a veneer. There is a minimal altering of the shape of the tooth, especially with composite veneers. It means that even after the removal of the thin layer of porcelain or composite attached to the tooth, the tooth will be sufficiently strong to stand on its own.

Also, if you are placing composite veneers, only a little or no grinding is necessary to give the tooth a good shape and size that matches other teeth. Such minimal alteration doesn’t require anesthesia to perform, and the risk of damaging nerves and tissues during grinding is minimal.

Crowns, on the other hand, require extensive alteration of the tooth because a lot of grinding has to occur on the front, corner, and backside of the tooth to allow proper fitting of the crown. The extended filing down of the tooth before placing a cap can be a complicated process because the dentist has to remove 60 to 75 percent of the enamel. It means when getting crowns, there is three to four times teeth alteration than when getting veneers. The dentist has to be careful not to interfere with the nerves. The process can cause some discomfort hence the reason anesthesia is required.

After you remove the crowns, the extended removal of enamel might make the teeth weak to stand on its own.  You will require another procedure to strengthen the dull teeth.

Keep in mind that when it comes to teeth preparation for crowns and veneers, there are many grey areas. If veneers are for tooth alignment, you might witness grinding that matches the characteristics of crowns. This can easily confuse you on the type of treatment you are receiving. 

  1. Veneers are Perfect for Esthetics and Minor Dental Issues

If you have minor dental issues like small gaps between teeth, not badly stained teeth chipped, cracked, or slight misalignments, then veneers are a perfect option. They are suitable when you want to fix a cosmetic issue or minor oral imperfection. So, if you are dealing with small teeth misalignment and want to fix the problem without having to wear braces, veneers are what you should choose. Again, if your sole focus is improving the appearance of your teeth, veneers are a perfect choice.

At the Tarzana Dental Care, we will not suggest crowns because they are best for fixing major dental issues. Our dentists can only recommend crowns if you have undergone root canal treatment or where you have severely cracked, chipped, or misaligned teeth. Unless there is severe damage to the teeth to the extent that it requires crowns to stay intact and prevent tooth extraction, we will always recommend veneers over crowns.

  1. Veneers are More Cost Friendly

The cost of crowns and veneers depends on a lot of factors like the demand for the treatment, artistic skills of the ceramist or dental lab technician, the location, and expertise of the dentist. But considering the price alone, crowns are more expensive than veneers. The cost of crowns ranges between 1000 to 3,500 dollars for a single tooth.

The cost of veneers, on the other hand, depends on the material being used. If your preference is porcelain veneers, the price ranges between $925 to $2,500 for every tooth. The cost of composite veneers is approximately $250 to $1,500. If you opt for composite or porcelain veneers, the price will be less than that of crowns, which makes veneers a perfect option if you want to fix minor cosmetic issues when you are on a tight budget.

Take note that although veneers are more affordable than crowns, insurers consider the procedure cosmetic. It means that many insurance companies out there do not provide coverage for dental veneers treatment. For this reason, a patient with dental health insurance coverage might end up paying less for dental crowns than one who receives veneers. The reason being, the insurance company will pay part or the full cost of crowns because they are not purely cosmetic.

But for a patient who gets veneers, the procedure is purely cosmetic. Insurance companies, therefore, are reluctant to cover the treatment. You will have to pay the full amount out of pocket, which makes the treatment expensive. Fortunately, today many dentists, including Tarzana Dental Care, offer payment plans for cosmetic procedures. Even if your insurer doesn’t provide coverage for veneers, you can speak to your dentist and see if they have a payment plan for the process to help make it more pocket friendly.

Another reason why veneers are considered more affordable is that no significant additional procedures are required. Remember, veneers are for correcting minor tooth defects, which means you will not need other expensive treatments before attaching the veneers. But with crowns, the $1000 to $3,500 price per tooth is not inclusive of procedures like a root canal therapy or core buildup, which might be necessary before the fitting of crowns. This means that on top of the cost of crowns, you will need to pay for other costly procedures that might be required for the dental caps to fit perfectly and last long.

  1. Veneers have Less Sensitivity on the Underlying Tooth

As mentioned earlier, veneers don't require extensive removal of the enamel, which means after the treatment, you are likely to experience less sensitivity than a person who underwent dental crown treatment. The more the grinding of enamel, the higher the sensitivity of the underlying teeth. A procedure for composite veneers may not require the removal of enamel because the resin can be cemented to give the tooth a new shape and size. If you receive such a treatment, you are less likely to experience any sensitivity after leaving the dentist’s office.

The dentist might allow you to resume your usual eating habits, although they will not encourage you to eat hard foods because they might result in fracturing of the veneer.

But with crowns, the extensive extraction of enamel can leave you with high sensitivity, especially if you take something too hot or cold. The sensitivity might extend for days, which is why if you don’t want to experience it, you should consider composite veneers.  You might also experience pain in the gums after crowns have been fitted. If the sensitivity continues for a long time, you should consider scheduling an appointment with the dentist.

  1. Veneers are More Esthetically Appealing in the Long Run

Once veneers are attached to the facial surface of your front teeth, they improve the general appearance and can last for decades without losing the esthetics. They don’t show gum margins even after several years, which means the beauty achieved after the procedure is never lost even after decades.

On the other hand, crowns that are porcelain fused to a metal alloy might begin to show a dark line between the natural tooth and the cap, thus adversely affecting the appearance of your smile in the long run. Other times the natural teeth might change color while crowns remain unchanged, reducing the beauty of your smile.

  1. Veneers have Minimal Movement

When veneers are a perfect fit, there is no movement, which prevents bite problems and gum recession. If you choose veneers, you are not likely to deal with bite-related issues. But with crowns, there is movement involved, which can result in bite-related oral problems or gum recession.

  1. Veneers Produce Instant Results

If you chose composite veneers, a dentist could complete the process on a single visit to the dentist, which makes the results visible instantly. Besides, you can get instant results with porcelain veneers, but only if you visit a dental clinic that has in-house technology to fabricate the veneers on the same day. 

With dental crowns, it will take time before the results are visible. Underlying problems like tooth decay must be addressed first before attaching the dental caps. If the damage on the tooth is beyond repair, an extraction must happen first and a dental implant placed. An implant will take months to fuse with the jaw bone, which means for this period, you will be operating on temporary crowns. You might go for six months without receiving the permanent crowns, thus the reason why the results for dental crowns are not instant.

The Bottom Line

Veneers and crowns improve the general appearance and functionality of your teeth. To receive any of the procedures, you need to part with vast amounts of money, especially if multiple teeth are involved.

Veneers are used for cosmetic enhancement and to resolve minor dental imperfections, primarily for the front teeth. Crowns are for fixing major dental flaws and where there is a need for a root canal.

Although both procedures have their merits and demerits, when it comes to fixing minor dental issues and improving esthetics, you have more reasons to choose veneers over crowns. However, you must discuss the two options with your dentist first and decide what is most suitable under the circumstances.

Find the Right Dentist Near Me

Both veneers and crowns are a perfect way of achieving a flawless smile and enhancing teeth functionality. At Tarzana Dental Care, we will recommend the better option depending on your situation. Call us today at 818-708-3232 for a free consultation if you require a healthy and flawless smile.