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Difference Between Veneers and Crowns

Family and Cosmetic Dentist Located in Brooklyn, NY

You don’t have to live with discolored, crooked, cracked, or missing teeth any longer. Call Broadway Family Dental today to regain your confidence and enjoy a more fulfilled life. Veneers and crowns renew the appearance of your smile with beautiful results. Our board-certified dentist, Dr. Ella Dekhtyar explains the differences between veneers and crowns to help you understand how they work and when they should be used. She recommends veneers when you want to change how your teeth look and crowns if there is structural damage. You can look forward to getting the best advice and top-quality care for excellent aesthetic results and predictable longevity.

Veneers and crowns are the most common ways with the help of which dentists restore the look and function of your teeth. They are simple yet effective solutions that make you smile better. As they both seem to provide similar benefits, many people assume them to be the same. While they both change the appearance of your teeth, there are significant differences between them.

Read on to learn the differences between veneers and crowns and how they work to figure out which dental restoration method is best for you.

Veneers vs Crowns


Veneers are one of the most popular and versatile treatments in modern dentistry. They are like a fake nail for your tooth. Made from a thin layer of material, they can drastically change the look and shape of your teeth. Dentists bond them to cover the front surface of your teeth, which helps you achieve a perfect smile.

Dental veneers can be used to treat a wide range of dental issues:

Veneers are manufactured using two materials, porcelain and dental composite, to match the color of your teeth and resist staining. Veneers are a noninvasive cosmetic dentistry option, which leaves most of your existing tooth intact.

Steps to Getting Veneers

Getting veneers involves several steps:

  • The doctor will take x-rays or make a mold of your teeth to make the right veneer size
  • Your tooth may need shaping to fit the veneers correctly, and a temporary layer is applied
  • The last step is to bond the veneers permanently to your teeth

Dental Crowns

The crown of a tooth is the part that is visible above the gum, the part used for biting and chewing. If it becomes chipped, cracked, or damaged, the dentist places a dental crown to restore it to its original appearance and function.

Dental crowns are caps that fit over the teeth. They are like a helmet for your tooth. By encasing a damaged tooth in a dental crown, you protect it from further harm and decay. It gives you a chance to maintain your natural teeth for as long as possible and delay, if not entirely prevent, extraction of an overly damaged tooth. It not only looks new but functions like new as well.

Dentists usually recommend crowns to:

  • Protect a weak tooth from decay or damage
  • Restore a tooth that is cracked, worn, or broken
  • Cover a tooth that has severe damage
  • Hold a dental bridge in place
  • Cover a discolored tooth

If you have dental damage, tooth decay, infection, or injury to the tooth’s pulp that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, you may first need a root canal. In such a case, your tooth may need to be built up to support the crown.

Steps to Getting a Crown

Getting a crown involves several steps:

  • The dentist will first examine your mouth to determine if you need a root canal or filling and remove the decayed part of the tooth.
  • Next, the dentist files down the tooth and preps it so that the crown fits over the entire tooth.
  • The dentist produces an impression of your tooth by digitally scanning it and making a mold to create the right-fitting crown.
  • When the crown is ready, it is cemented in the place.
  • While the permanent crown is being made, your dentist will provide a temporary one. The entire process takes about two to three weeks.

Crowns can be made from a wide variety of materials, including metal like gold and silver, porcelain infused with metal, ceramic or porcelain, zirconia, and resin. Porcelain is a popular option for crowns as they last longer, resist staining, and offer the most natural tooth color. Gold and zirconia are known for high durability, although they cost significantly more. Your dentist can help you pick the best one, depending on the location of your tooth and your budget.

Differences between Veneers and Crowns

The biggest difference between veneers and crowns is how they fit your tooth and the reason behind needing them.

Key differences include:

  • Veneers only cover the front-facing surface of a tooth, leaving the rest of the original tooth intact. A crown typically replaces the entire biting surface of a tooth.
  • A veneer must be applied to a natural tooth. A dental crown can be used on a dental implant to act as a replacement for a natural tooth.
  • Veneers are only applied to the front-facing teeth, but crowns are reserved for molars and premolars.
  • Veneers help change the appearance of partially damaged teeth, while crowns are used when there is significant damage, such as wear and tear, or when restorations and large fillings may not work.
  • Veneers cost significantly less than crowns.
  • At times veneers and crowns can be made out of some of the same materials, but there are many more material options for crowns due to the increased pressure they go through when chewing.
  • Veneers primarily serve a cosmetic role with some restorative functions, but crowns are primarily a restorative treatment that restores appearance.
  • A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or other materials, about 1 mm in thickness that only sticks to the front surface of the tooth, while a crown is about 2 mm in thickness and covers the whole tooth.
  • Veneers may need to be replaced after a certain number of years, but crowns may be able to last for a few decades.

Despite their differences, both crowns and veneers play specific roles to ensure optimal dental health.

Benefits of Veneers and Crowns

  • They restore your self-esteem – Broken, discolored, and damaged teeth can affect your self-esteem. Both veneers and crowns can improve the appearance of your teeth and give you a healthier, brighter smile.
  • They protect your teeth – Veneers work to enhance the appearance and function of your teeth, but they cannot improve the function of teeth that are beyond repair. Crowns not only help with appearance but also protect the teeth when needed. They are the best option for heavily damaged teeth and prevent further damage.
  • They preserve your tooth – As veneer involves less removal of your teeth, it preserves your tooth’s basic structure. Your gums may respond better to veneers than to crowns. If a veneer is unable to cover the damage of a tooth, a crown may be a better option.

Dental veneers and crowns are two of the best and most modern cosmetic dental treatments that can restore your teeth to their natural, youthful self.

Risks of Veneers and Crowns

  • They are not for everyone – Veneers are not suitable for people with poor gum health or those who grind their teeth.
  • They cannot be undone – Veneers cannot be removed. Crowns can increase your discomfort and sensitivity if you try to take them off. Some people may be allergic to materials.
  • Wear and tear – Veneers cannot be fixed. If they develop a crack or stain, they will be replaced. If a crown breaks or chips, the entire crown has to be replaced. At times, the bonding may wear down, causing the crown to loosen or even fall off.

Veneers and Crowns – Which One Is Right for You?

If your tooth is basically intact and the restoration is for cosmetic purposes only, a veneer is the best option. Veneers also help with minor shape corrections. However, if your tooth has a large filling, been through a root canal, or is worn or cracked, your dentist will recommend a crown.

Once they are applied, it is difficult to tell the difference between a veneer and a crown, as each has a similar effect on your smile.

Dr. Ella Dekhtyar helps you understand the difference between a veneer and a crown and how selecting the best one can enhance your smile for the good. She explains how veneers and crowns can improve the appearance of your front teeth or repair a damaged tooth and employs clinically proven cutting-edge dentistry techniques to boost your looks. Schedule an appointment at Broadway Family Dental today, and our experienced dentists will guide you in the dental process to fix your teeth and ensure a bright and healthy smile.

Page Updated on Apr 9, 2024 by Dr. Dekhtyar (Dentist) of Broadway Family Dental

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(Bushwick, Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant)
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