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Crowns vs Veneers

Should you choose bonding, veneers or crowns for your smile makeover.

Your smile is one of the first things that people remember about you. How many times have you heard people say, “She has a great smile!”? You can get that reaction, too! Consider having a smile makeover with bonding, crowns or veneers. In this article, you will learn the following information.

Crowns vs Veneers

Veneers and crowns both restore your smile and improve the functionality of your teeth. Here’s the difference: Veneers cover just the front of the tooth, while crowns cover your whole tooth. Depending on whether your dental work is primarily for cosmetic purposes or to restore the function of your teeth, one or the other may suit your purposes better. 

  • A veneer consists of a thin layer of porcelain about 1 millimeter (mm) thick that bonds to the front of your tooth.
  • A crown consists of a 2 mm thick porcelain shell fused over your whole tooth. It can also be all-metal or metal overlayed with porcelain, although these are highly unaesthetic and not recommended for health reasons.
  • Both have good success rates and can complete your smile makeover. 

Let’s take a look at what crowns and veneers are and what to consider in making your decision with the help of your dentist.


Whether a veneer or crown works for you depends on your reason for seeking dental care. Common causes for getting a crown or veneers include the following:

  • discolored teeth
  • crooked teeth
  • chipped or broken teeth
  • decayed or weakened teeth
  • cracked teeth

The dentist can match both crowns and veneers to your other teeth, or provide you with a smile that is the color you have always dreamed of.

What is Composite Bonding?

Bonding is the when resin is added to the edges of the teeth to make them straighter looking. “Again, there is no age limit with this, but teeth should be fairly straight to begin with as bonding cannot make very crowded teeth look straight,” the expert explains.

Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Most often, it is used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discoloured or chipped tooth. Bonding can also be used to close spaces between teeth, and to make teeth look longer. Sometimes, bonding is used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums recede.

Composite resin used in bonding isn’t nearly as strong as a natural tooth. “Biting your fingernails or chewing on ice or pens can chip the material. Bonding usually lasts several years before it needs to be repaired, but it depends on how much was done and your oral habits.”

What Is a Veneer?

Since veneers cover just the front surface of the tooth, they are less invasive than crowns. More of your original tooth is left in this procedure. To prepare the surface, the dentist roughens the outer layer of enamel. The rough surface helps the veneer bond to the tooth. You may need a local anesthetic, depending on the type of veneer used. However, you may remain awake for the visit if you wish.

The dentist forms an impression of the tooth using a digital scanner or a mold. Typically, an outside lab prepares the veneer. In the meantime, you receive a temporary veneer while waiting for the permanent one to arrive. You return to the dentist to have the permanent veneer installed using dental cement cured with ultraviolet light. 

If you grind or clench your teeth, you may need a nightguard to safeguard the veneer.

Do’s and Don’ts of Veneers

Indications for Veneer Placement

Veneers can be used for functional and cosmetic correction of the following conditions:

  1. Stained or darkened teeth
  2. Hypocalcification
  3. Multiple diastemas
  4. Peg laterals
  5. Chipped teeth
  6. Lingual positioned teeth
  7. Malposed teeth not requiring orthodontics

Contraindications for veneer placement include:

  1. Insufficient tooth substrate (enamel for bonding)
  2. Labial version
  3. Excessive interdental spacing
  4. Poor oral hygiene or caries
  5. Parafunctional habits (clenching, bruxism)
  6. Moderate to severe malposition or crowding

What Is a Crown?

A crown covers the whole tooth, and more of the tooth structure is removed to properly install it. Crowns help restore tooth functionality when you have a broken tooth, large filling, root canal, or deep cavity that impacts most of the tooth.

During the procedure, the dentist repairs the decayed portion prior to creating the crown. Local anesthetics are normal during the procedure. 

The dentist makes an impression of the tooth using a digital scan or a mold. The scan or mold goes to an outside lab that fabricates the crown. When the permanent crown arrives back at the dental office, you return to replace the temporary crown with the permanent one. Sometimes small adjustments to the crown are needed to ensure that you can bite down properly. 

Which One Should You Choose?

A crown often works best if the tooth has a large filling or is worn and cracked. However, if most of the tooth remains intact, a veneer can cosmetically improve your smile. 

What Is the Cost?

The cost of your crown or veneer varies based on the complexity of the work done, the size of the tooth and what else is going on in your mouth.

If your dental insurer considers the procedure to be primarily cosmetic, they may not pay for it or the cost could exceed your annual limit.

How much you pay for crowns depends on the material used and the time needed to prepare the tooth.

Providing a true estimate requires a consultation so that the doctor can see the condition of the tooth and surrounding area. In general, porcelain and ceramic crowns are the most popular and tend to cost you more than other materials. 

If you need to work out payment, check out our financing option or apply when you come in for your consultation.

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