So you’ve managed to crack or chip a tooth and are looking for the best way to repair it and bring back a beautiful smile? Maybe you’ve had more severe trauma or decay that requires that nearly the whole tooth gets replaced. If these apply to you it’s likely that you’ve heard your dentist considering either a veneer or dental crown restoration for your teeth, but do you know the difference? There’s a lot of different treatment options for damaged teeth these days, and for the layman, it can get pretty confusing. We’ve laid out the differences between a porcelain veneer and a dental crown below to make it easy.
Veneers Are Very Thin
When we say thin, we mean that they start at one millimeter and only get thinner from there. As you can imagine such a small surface means that they aren’t intended for treating massive damage to teeth. Crowns, on the other hand, are quite thick and durable and are usually used for situations where a majority of a tooth needs to be replaced.
How Are Veneers Used?
If you’ve got minor misalignments going on with your teeth, have severely discolored teeth, or have chips or cracks that are relatively minor, a veneer is likely going to be your dentist’s go-to. While lacking the durability of crowns, they’re appropriate for fixes like this because the majority of the stress on the teeth remains focused on the natural teeth. Veneers still require a certain amount of care, however, as their fragile nature means you need to avoid tough foods and sharp knocks to your teeth. With proper maintenance, they’ll last 10-15 years.
What About Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are typically used in cases where the majority of a tooth needs to replace, but it still retains a healthy root. Dental crowns are nearly as durable as your natural teeth and are perfect for the tasks of natural chewing. If you have trouble with bruxism, grinding and gritting of the teeth, then dental crowns are going to be able to put up with the abuse with ease. If your teeth are in need of a full restoration, your dentist will likely be applying a dental crown.
Are There Areas Where Either Is Appropriate?
There are some corner cases where a veneer will involve the removal of a significant amount of tooth surface, veering them into the realm of a crown like replacement. In others, there are minor misalignments of the teeth that will require variations on how the veneers are placed. Crowns can also be used to correct misalignments in some cases, and crowns don’t always need the entirety of the natural tooth to be ground down to be applied. The end result in both cases remains unchanged, your dentist is working to restore function and beauty to your teeth.
If you’ve been told you might need one of these restorative techniques performed and have more questions, dial Dr. Bob Dokhanchi at Fox Valley Dental. Patients throughout the Aurora, IL area have been coming to them for their excellent reputation for cosmetic and orthodontic procedures, and they’ll be proud to serve your needs as well.