All of us want the most beautiful smile possible, but sometimes it isn’t easy to decide which is the best option to achieve that goal. Both veneers and crowns can transform teeth, and they’ll both require the removal of some natural tooth enamel, but are they interchangeable procedures? Do they accomplish the same goals? Are they used for the same dental problems? Please read on to learn more about these two dental restoration methods.
What Is A Veneer?
A dental veneer is a very thin layer of dental material – about 1mm thick – that’s usually a composite or porcelain and is applied to only the fronts of the teeth. It can be matched to your natural tooth color, or it can be several shades lighter. The color choice will primarily depend on the reason for getting the veneer. If you’re getting one veneer, then it will be matched to your existing teeth. If you’re getting veneers to achieve a whiter, brighter smile, then you’ll have a choice of colors. Veneers can cover minor imperfections in the teeth, such as small chips or cracks, crooked teeth, or discolored teeth, so they’re often used for cosmetic purposes. Getting a veneer is a less invasive procedure than getting a crown, but its feasibility will depend on the reason you need it.
What Is A Dental Crown?
Unlike a veneer, a dental crown covers the entire tooth, and it’s about twice the thickness of a veneer, about 2mm thick. This makes it more durable, but you should still take care not to crack your crown. This can be accomplished by biting into ice or other hard substances, so avoid these practices. Dental crowns are used for structural rebuilding – such as if you’ve had a root canal – but they’re also used for aesthetic purposes, such as if you need several teeth repaired. Crowns can be used to repair more significant damage than veneers, but they also take longer to install.
How Do I Get A Veneer Installed?
The steps involved in a veneer installation are as follows:
- During your initial visit to our office, we’ll prepare the tooth that’s getting a veneer.
- Next, we’ll make an impression of the tooth or teeth by either using digital imagery or a mold. Unless your dentist has an on-site lab, the veneer will be sent out to be fabricated. If you need a temporary veneer, we’ll install it for you at this time.
- When your permanent veneer is ready for installation, you’ll return, and we’ll install it. If you need a temporary veneer, then we’ll remove it before installing the permanent veneer.
- The permanent veneer will be secured to your tooth with special cement, and we’ll use an ultraviolet lamp to harden the cement and secure the installation.
- Your dentist may recommend that you wear a nightguard to protect your permanent veneer, especially if you have bruxism.
How Do I Get A Crown Installed?
If you need a crown, then we’ll need to remove more of your natural tooth enamel. If the need is due to decay, we’ll need to perform an extraction and cleansing before installing the crown. Otherwise, your new crown may be subject to decay. Depending on your unique situation, we may need to build up the area before installing a crown. The steps for getting one or more crowns are the same as those for getting a veneer, except the entire procedure may take longer. Occasionally, patients notice that their crowns or veneers have some minor movement. If this occurs, let us know so that we can adjust them.
How Do I Know Whether I Need A Crown Or A Veneer?
When you come to our office for your initial visit, your dentist will examine your tooth or teeth and determine which procedure will work best for you. Depending on the size of the tooth or teeth, the location, and local pricing, both crowns and veneers can be somewhat costly. Usually, insurance plans don’t cover cosmetic dentistry, so be sure to check with your insurance provider to determine the extent of any insurance coverage you may have.
How Much Do Crowns And Veneers Cost?
Your specific cost will be determined by your unique needs, but a single veneer ranges in price from about $900 to about $2,500. Composite veneers are less expensive initially, but porcelain veneers have a longer lifespan.
Are There Discounts On Crowns And Veneers?
Many dentists offer payment plans that make crowns and veneers more affordable. Some membership programs such as DentRite® can help reduce the cost of crowns and veneers.
Who Does Cosmetic Dentistry In My Area?
If you need cosmetic dentistry in the Los Angeles Area, then call Smile Savers. We’re one of the best cosmetic dentists in the Los Angeles area and have more than two decades of experience in the field. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (301) 201-9001.