Your dental health is important, as well as the appearance of your teeth. When getting work done on your front teeth, such as root canals or cavity fillings, you may be faced with the option of getting a crown or a veneer.
On the other hand, you may have some minor aesthetic imperfections, and the topic of veneers might come up while discussing solutions.
Keep reading to learn about the similarities and differences between the two, and whether you should go with crowns or veneers for front teeth.
What are dental crowns used for?
Dental crowns are designed to cover your tooth completely, fitting over it like a cap. Crowns are made out of a variety of materials depending on your dentist’s recommendation:
- Gold or Metal-Based Alloys
Crowns are frequently used when there are deeper, more fundamental issues with the tooth, such as a severe crack, or after receiving a large filling or root canal. If there isn’t enough remaining tooth to hold a filling after a procedure, a crown will be required.
What are veneers used for?
Unlike crowns, veneers are a thin covering that adheres only to the front of your tooth. Veneers are made out of porcelain or resin composite materials. They are frequently used to correct minor aesthetic imperfections such as chips, discolouration, or size difference among other teeth. Colgate does a deep dive into the pros and cons of veneers here.
Which is best for your teeth?
If you’re looking to cover up minor imperfections and enhance your smile, veneers may be the best choice for your front teeth. You can correct just one tooth or get a set of six to eight veneers to create an even, aesthetically pleasing smile.
Veneers also require less preparation than crowns. To fit a crown or veneer to a tooth, your dentist must first trim or file down the existing tooth enamel to make room for the attachment. For a veneer, your dentist will trim about half a millimetre from the front of your tooth.
In preparation for a crown, approximately two millimetres of tooth enamel will be removed from all sides of your tooth. This leaves a much smaller, vulnerable tooth that will hold a temporary crown while yours is being custom-made.
A crown will be the best choice for your front teeth if the damage is far deeper than just the surface. In the long-term, a crown will also provide better protection. Since it encases the entire tooth and not only the front, there will be no exposed areas vulnerable to decay.
As veneers cover a limited area, more of your tooth will be susceptible to decay.
Speaking of the long-term, you also want to consider maintenance requirements. The material that you and your dentist decide on will directly impact your crown or veneer’s lifespan.
While composite veneers cost less, they typically last for an average of five to seven years. Other materials last longer, but all veneers will ultimately need to be replaced.
Crowns can last from fifteen to thirty years if taken well care of, and most insurance companies will assist with replacement costs.