For those looking to achieve a whiter, brighter smile, a cosmetic dentist can help people meet their goals with satisfying and long-lasting results. A professional tooth whitening is a relatively simple and straightforward procedure. However, it is important that patients understand the process and necessary follow-up care to enjoy a more favorable outcome.When a dental…
Cosmetic Dentistry: Differences Between Crowns and Veneers
Cosmetic dentistry often uses oral restorations like crowns and veneers to improve the appearance of teeth. Both restorations can be used to improve the function and appearance of a tooth, but veneers only cover the front part of a tooth while a crown covers the entire tooth.
How cosmetic dentistry uses veneers and crowns
To better understand how a dentist determines which restoration is better for their patients, let us explore these two dental cosmetics in greater detail.
Crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that cover the entire visible part of a tooth. The shape, size and color of the crown can be color-matched with the rest of the patient's teeth, allowing the restoration to look natural. Cosmetic dentistry often involves using porcelain or porcelain-fused-with-metal crowns since these are the closest to real teeth.
Issues crowns are often used to fix include:
- Deformed teeth
- Chipped, broken and cracked teeth
- Short teeth
- Spaces between teeth
- Tooth decay
Crowns are also used as artificial teeth for implants and they can serve as anchors for bridges. The installation of a crown requires the removal of enamel to create a better fit. This is a permanent procedure that cannot be reversed, so the tooth will always need a restoration to protect it.
Crowns do not require specialized maintenance, making them easy to keep in good condition. With good oral hygiene, they can last up to 25 years.
Veneers only cover the front surface of a tooth so they are used in cosmetic dentistry when the flaws on a tooth mostly affect its front surface. Just like crowns, their installation requires the removal of enamel. A local anesthetic is typically administered before the dentist starts to chip away at the enamel. There are also newer types of veneers called no-prep veneers that do not require the removal of significant amounts of enamel.
Once a patient's teeth are prepared for veneers, an impression of their mouth is taken or the dentist might use digital images to create a digital model. The model is passed on to a dental lab where the veneers are made. It can take up to two weeks for the finished veneers to get back to the dentist.
The patient might be fitted with temporary veneers to protect their teeth while their custom veneers are being made. Once the permanent veneers are ready, the temporary ones are removed and the custom veneers are bonded to the patient's teeth using dental cement and ultraviolet light.
Some of the main benefits of fixing a patient's smile with veneers include:
- Veneers are the more aesthetically pleasing option. They do not develop gum lines after several years like some crowns do
- Veneers require the removal of a smaller portion of enamel compared to crowns
- Teeth with veneers do not have significant movements
- Veneers are cheaper than crowns
The downsides of veneers compared to crowns include:
- Does not completely protect teeth as crowns do
- Veneers are rarely covered by insurance providers while crowns installed for therapeutic purposes typically are
- Can be damaged by habits like teeth grinding
Fix your smile with veneer or crowns
Call or visit our Coral Gables clinic to find out which one of these restorations is right for you.
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