The Differences Between Veneers and Crowns, According to Dentists

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Getting your teeth fixed can be an overwhelming endeavor, but maintaining a healthy-looking smile sometimes means finding the right treatment that can fix or conceal tooth damage and discoloration. Two top choices for smile restorations, Veneers and crowns are both made of porcelain, with the main difference between the two being the amount of tooth surface they cover. So how do you choose?

Porcelain Power
Veneers are wafer-thin pieces of porcelain that are applied over the entire front side of the tooth, whereas crowns encase the entire tooth, both front and back. “If a patient has a lot of healthy solid tooth structure, veneers are a fantastic option,” says Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Kevin Sands, DDS. “They are also amazing for straightening a smile, brightening tooth color and perfecting edges and length.”

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Restoration Hardware
Crowns, which are more invasive than veneers, are usually used to protect a weak tooth, restore a broken or extremely worn-down tooth, or cover a tooth with a large filling. “Usually if a patient has already had aggressive dental work, they will most likely need crowns,” says Dr. Sands. “Also, if a tooth is really broken from an accident or other damage and not enough healthy tooth structure remains for veneers, then a crown is needed.”

Custom Fit
Whichever option you choose, both are custom-made to address your smile concerns. “Your dentist will diagnose which one option is best for each patient. As you can see crowns and veneers are more suitable for different situations,” adds Dr. Sands. “In my opinion, veneers are more conservative and often the best choice if a patient is a right candidate.”