Karrinyup Dental Centre

The Great Debate Between Dental Crowns vs Veneers

Karrinyup Dental Centre

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

The Great Debate Between Dental Crowns vs Veneers

Choosing between dental crowns and veneers is like picking your outfit for a special occasion. It’s about what fits you, not just what looks good. Dental crowns and veneers stand out as two popular choices, each offering a unique way to enhance your smile.

Dental crowns are like a protective cap for your tooth, offering strength and restoration. Veneers, on the other hand, are like thin yet durable shells that cover the front surface of your teeth. Both dental treatment options have their place in producing bright smiles.

Keep reading to look into the world of dental crowns and veneers. This blog post will empower you with the knowledge to make the choice that feels right for your unique smile.

Summary of The Content

  • Dental crowns and veneers are options for enhancing your smile and addressing functional and aesthetic concerns.
  • Crowns act as protective caps for damaged or decayed teeth, while veneers cover the front surfaces of teeth for cosmetic improvement.
  • One of the main advantages of dental crowns is their ability to restore a tooth’s function and appearance.
  • Material choices for crowns include porcelain, zirconia, metal alloys, and resin; veneers are commonly made of porcelain or composite resin.
  • Crowns are ideal for restoring significantly damaged teeth or protecting a tooth following root canal therapy. They provide strength and protection.
  • A dental veneer benefits patients by providing treatment for discoloured, chipped, or slightly gapped teeth, improving the aesthetics of a patient’s smile.
  • The cost of crowns and veneers varies, influenced by material choice and specific dental needs.

What Are Dental Crowns and Veneers?

When it comes to enhancing your smile, dental crowns and veneers are two standout options, each with its unique role.

Dental crowns are cap-like restorations. They encase the entire tooth, starting from the gum line. Crowns are used when a tooth is damaged or decayed beyond what a simple filling can address. They’re designed to restore both the appearance and function of your tooth, making it strong and look like your natural teeth.

Veneers, on the other hand, are thin, custom-made shells that cover the front surface of teeth. They are suited for addressing minor cosmetic issues, such as chips, stains, or slightly misaligned teeth. Veneers offer a less invasive way to change the colour, shape, or size of your teeth.

The Core Differences of Crowns vs Veneers

Understanding the distinction between dental crowns and dental veneers is crucial for deciding on your dental care. Here’s a side-by-side comparison to highlight their unique characteristics:

AspectDental CrownsDental Veneers
MaterialPorcelain, zirconia, metal alloys, porcelain-fused-to-metal or resin.Porcelain or composite resin.
Primary UseRestore teeth that are damaged, decayed, or have undergone other dental procedures like root canals.Improve the appearance of teeth by covering minor imperfections such as stains, chips, or gaps.
ProcedureInvolves trimming the entire tooth on all surfaces and placing a cap over it.A thin layer of the front tooth surface is trimmed before the veneer is bonded.
DurabilityFive to 20 years, depending on care and material.Five to 25 years, with porcelain veneers often lasting longer than composite ones.
ExtentEncases the entire tooth surface.Covers only the front surface of the tooth.
Tooth ReductionMore extensive tooth preparation is required.Less tooth structure is removed, preserving more of the natural tooth.

Understanding these differences between dental crowns vs dental veneers can help you make your choice. It aids in selecting the proper treatment that aligns with your needs and goals. Keep these core differences in mind to better understand how crowns and veneers can benefit your smile uniquely.

The Pros and Cons Unveiled

Choosing the right cosmetic dentistry treatment can be a game-changer for your smile. Let’s look into the pros and cons of dental crowns vs dental veneers.

Dental Crowns
  • Durability: Crowns are built to last, offering years of service with proper care, depending on the material used.
  • Protection: They provide a protective barrier for damaged or weakened teeth, preventing further decay or damage.
  • Restoration of Function and Aesthetics: Crowns can be tailored to match your natural teeth, restoring the appearance and function of your smile.
  • Tooth Preparation: The process requires more extensive tooth preparation, which involves trimming a significant portion of the tooth.
  • Sensitivity: Some patients may experience sensitivity to hot and cold after the procedure, especially if the nerve is still vital.
  • Cost: Generally, a dental crown costs more than a veneer. This is due to the crown material used and the protection they offer. 
Dental Veneers
  • Aesthetic Improvement: Veneers are commonly used for cosmetic purposes to address stains, chips, or gaps between teeth, providing a natural appearance.
  • Less Tooth Alteration: The procedure usually requires trimming a smaller amount of natural tooth enamel compared to crowns.
  • Stain Resistance: Porcelain veneers, in particular, are stain-resistant, helping your smile stay brighter longer.
  • Irreversible treatment: Because some tooth enamel is trimmed to place veneers, the process cannot be undone.
  • Durability: While durable, veneers might not be as strong as crowns and could be more susceptible to chipping or breaking.
  • Not Suitable for Severely Damaged Teeth: Veneers are not the optimal option for teeth that have undergone extensive damage or decay or have had large fillings.

Both dental crowns and veneers offer valuable results for enhancing your smile, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. By understanding these aspects, you’re better equipped to discuss with your dentist which option is suited for your dental health.

Materials Matter

The choice of material plays a crucial role in the success of dental crowns and veneers. Each material offers unique benefits tailored to different needs and preferences.

For Dental Crowns:

  • Porcelain:
    Matches the natural tooth colour closely and is preferred for front teeth due to its aesthetic qualities.
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM):
    Provides a strong metal base with a porcelain coating, offering durability and a natural look. However, the edge of the metal base may sometimes be visible at the gum line.
  • Metal Alloys (Gold, Silver, and others):
    Known for their durability and strength, metal crowns are often used for back teeth where cosmetic appearance is of less concern.
  • Zirconia:
    Combines the strength of metal with the appearance of porcelain. It is an increasingly popular choice due to its durability and aesthetic appeal.

For Dental Veneers:

  • Porcelain:
    Highly praised for mimicking the natural translucency of tooth enamel, porcelain veneers are resistant to stains.
  • Composite Resin:
    Composite resin veneers cost less than porcelain, but they can be shaped and polished to look like natural teeth. However, they may not last as long and are more prone to staining compared to porcelain.

The material selection for your dental crowns or veneers significantly impacts the final look, feel, and longevity of your cosmetic treatment. Your dentist will help you choose the right material based on factors such as your tooth’s condition, aesthetic goals, and budget.

The Procedures

Knowing the steps involved in getting dental crowns vs dental veneers can help you further understand the process.

Dental Crown Process:

  • Initial Consultation:
    Your dentist examines your mouth, discusses options, and may take X-rays.
  • Tooth Preparation:
    The tooth receiving the crown is prepared by trimming it across the top and sides to make space for the crown.
  • Impression:
    An impression of your prepared tooth and surrounding teeth is taken to create a custom crown.
  • Temporary Crown:
    A temporary crown is placed while your final dental crown is being made.
  • Final Dental Crown Fitting:
    Once ready, the temporary crown is replaced, and the final dental crown is adjusted as needed and cemented in place.

Dental Veneer Process:

  • Consultation:
    Similar to crowns, the process begins with an examination and discussion of treatment goals.
  • Tooth Preparation:
    A thin layer of enamel is removed from the front surface of the tooth to accommodate the veneer.
  • Impression:
    An impression is taken of your prepared tooth and sent to a lab to fabricate the veneer.
  • Bonding:
    Once your veneer is ready, it’s bonded to the tooth with a special adhesive. It is then cured with light to secure it in place.

Both dental restoration procedures involve precision and care. Your dentist will guide you through each step so you are comfortable and informed throughout the process.

The Price Tag and Cost Comparison

One essential consideration when choosing between dental crowns vs dental veneers is the cost of treatment. To help you plan your dental care budget, let’s break down the price for both dental restoration methods.

The cost of a dental crown procedure can vary based on the material used and the specific needs of your tooth. On average, dental crowns can range from $2,100 to $4,700 per tooth, depending on the material used. Metal crowns and zirconia crowns tend to be on the higher end of the cost spectrum due to their durability as compared to porcelain crowns.

On the other hand, the costs for veneers usually range between $836 and $2,036 or more per tooth. The price difference largely depends on the material. Composite resin veneers are at the lower end, and porcelain veneers are at the higher end.

It’s important to note that these costs can vary depending on several factors. These include geographic location, the experience of the dentist, and the complexity of your dental condition. Additionally, some health fund plans may pay for a portion of the cost, especially if they’re needed for restorative reasons. Veneers are often considered cosmetic and may not be paid for.

Situations for Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are versatile in addressing various dental issues, offering both functional and aesthetic benefits. Here are some specific situations where a dental crown procedure is particularly appropriate:

  • Significant Tooth Decay:
    When a tooth has decayed to the point that a filling cannot effectively restore it, a crown can help.
  • After a Root Canal:
    Among the advantages of dental crowns is their capacity to support a tooth after root canal therapy. They offer protection and strength to the tooth structure.
  • Broken or Worn Teeth:
    For teeth that are cracked, chipped, or excessively worn down, crowns can restore their shape and protect them from future damage.
  • Cosmetic Enhancement:
    Crowns can also be used for cosmetic reasons, such as improving the appearance of misshapen or severely discoloured teeth.
  • Dental Implants:
    One of the advantages of dental crowns is their versatility in conjunction with other dental procedures. A crown is used as the final restoration to complete a dental implant procedure, acting as the replacement tooth.

Discussing your needs with your dentist can help you determine if a dental crown procedure is the right treatment for you.

Situations for Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a popular choice for enhancing the smile’s aesthetic and are ideal for addressing various cosmetic concerns. Here are some situations where dental veneers are particularly suited:

  • Minor Cosmetic Concerns:
    Veneers can address small gaps, minor misalignments, or irregular-shaped teeth without the need for braces.
  • Stain Resistance:
    Dental veneer benefits also extend to their resistance to stains, particularly those made with porcelain. Veneers offer a treatment for teeth with deep stains or discolouration that may not respond to traditional whitening methods.
  • Chipped or Cracked Teeth:
    Minor chips and cracks can be effectively covered with veneers, restoring the natural appearance of the teeth.
  • Uniformity:
    Veneers can create a harmonious look by adjusting the size, colour, and shape of your teeth, achieving a uniform smile.
  • Enamel Loss:
    For teeth with worn enamel, veneers can help reduce sensitivity and improve aesthetics.

One of the dental veneer benefits is their minimal invasiveness compared to other procedures. They focus on the front surface of the teeth for cosmetic improvement. By consulting with your dentist, you can explore whether veneers are the right choice for achieving the smile you desire.

Final Thoughts

Both dental crowns and veneers offer unique benefits tailored to different dental needs. Whether you’re looking to restore damaged teeth or enhance your smile, the right choice depends on your specific situation and goals.

If you’re considering dental crowns or veneers, the team at Karrinyup Dental Centre is here to help. We invite you to schedule a consultation appointment with us.

At Karrinyup Dental Centre, we’re committed to providing you with the care and information you need to achieve a healthier smile. Take the first step towards your ideal smile today.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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