Both dental crowns and porcelain veneers are used to improve the overall appearance of one’s teeth. These dental procedures are performed in order to make desired adjustments to the color, shape and position of the teeth. Even though dental crowns and porcelain veneers are used for the same purpose, their procedures and attributes are slightly different from one another.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Veneers are thin translucent shells of porcelain that are usually about 5 to 6 mm thick. Also referred to as dental laminates, veneers are made of dental ceramics used to bond on the front side of the teeth. A veneer is used only to cover the front side of the teeth. It acts as a sheet type coating on the tooth. The well-crafted porcelain usually gives a natural, life-like experience. The glass-like surface of a porcelain veneer resists stains and discoloration, which results in a longer life and better resistance to germs and decay.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are placed over the teeth to equally cover all sides of the tooth. Unlike porcelain, crowns are usually made of metal, ceramic, alloy, or gold, and are placed on the damaged tooth. A dental crown is also referred to as a “cap” or a “tooth jacket,” and acts as a new outer surface of the previously affected tooth. It functions as a natural tooth after it is permanently placed on the damaged tooth. A crown is not a filling or a repair to the tooth in fact, it is the complete opposite. Once placed, it functions like a natural tooth and can easily be brushed, washed, rubbed, and cleaned just like the other teeth inside the mouth.
Since dental crowns are more firm and thick, they have a longer life as compared to porcelain veneers, which only cover the front side of the teeth. In most of the cases, a dental crown is deeply connected with the roots to give a natural look and to blend well within the other teeth. Dental crowns are four times thicker than porcelain veneers. To be exact, a crown’s thickness is usually around 2mm whereas a veneer is a mere .5 or .6 in total. In some cases, a thicker veneer may be used, but a crown is still typically thicker.
Porcelain veneers are a great choice for making minor changes to appearance, such as shine, size and color. Whereas, Having dental crowns is more like having a brand new set of teeth or a tooth in most cases. With veneers, mostly 3-30% of the original tooth is trimmed or reshaped. On the other hand, with crowns, almost 80% of the teeth or a tooth is restructured from scratch, which gives the tooth a natural look and shape. In simpler words, a porcelain veneer only improves the appearance of the teeth, whereas a dental crown completely restructures the teeth to result in greater strength and durability.
To learn more about either of these procedures and which one is right for you, schedule an appointment today with Paul Mundl, DDS.