Dental crowns and veneers are types of dental restorations that can improve the cosmetic appeal and function of your teeth. The primary difference between the two is that a crown covers the entire tooth, while veneers cover just the front of the tooth. Dentists can apply either crowns or veneers to front teeth, depending on the patient’s individual needs. Your team of cosmetic dentists at Triangle Dentistry can help you decide between front teeth crowns vs veneers. Either one could be the right choice when it comes to improving the appearance of your front teeth.
Front Teeth Crowns vs Veneers
While crowns and veneers are alike in that they restore the appearance of teeth that are chipped, stained, cracked, broken, discolored, decayed, weakened or slightly crooked. Your cosmetic dentist can make crowns and veneers from materials that look and feel like your natural teeth – unless you prefer all-metal crowns, of course. There are differences between dental crowns and veneers, especially when it comes to restoring front teeth.
Dental crowns fit over existing teeth or dental implants. A dental crown can restore the cosmetic appearance of a misshapen or discolored tooth, or protect and add stability to a damaged tooth. Your dentist can create a natural-looking crown that matches the rest of your front teeth, or fabricate one from gold or another material.
Crowns require some preparation to the tooth, such as filing down the tooth enamel to make room for the crown. Your dentist will then make an impression of the trimmed tooth and surrounding teeth then send the mold to a laboratory, which will make your crown. You will return to your dentist’s office when your crown is ready. During that appointment, your dentist will roughen the tooth enamel to help the crown stay firmly in place before cementing the crown to the prepared tooth.
Veneers are wafer-thin coverings adhered to the front surface of teeth. Dental veneers create a white, even smile that looks and feels natural, without the use of prosthetics or dental implants. Your dentist may recommend veneers if one of your front teeth is chipped, broken, discolored, or smaller than average. You might get just one veneer to cover a broken or chipped tooth, or you may decide to get six to eight veneers to create an even, symmetrical appearance for your front teeth.
Veneers require minimal preparation to your teeth. Your dentist will trim about a half a millimeter from the surface of your tooth to make room for the veneer. Next, your dentist will create an impression of your teeth and send the mold to a laboratory, where technicians will make your veneers. When your veneers are ready, you will return for an appointment in which your dentist will roughen up the tooth enamel and affix the veneers to the surface of your teeth with special cement. Your dentist will shine an ultraviolet light on the restored tooth to harden the cement quickly.
Your dentist can create veneers from porcelain or composite, depending on your needs. Porcelain veneers have a translucent appearance so they look natural. Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers, but porcelain veneers last anywhere between 10 and 15 years before showing significant signs of wear, while composite dental veneers typically last between five and seven years before showing significant wear.
In some cases, your dentist may recommend dental bonding to restore a front tooth. Dental bonding involves the application of a tooth-colored composite resin to the tooth, followed by shaping, contouring and polishing the resin to give it a natural tooth-like appearance.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Front Teeth Crowns vs Veneers?
That’s actually a trick question – when performed by a skilled cosmetic dentist, you cannot tell the difference between a crown and a veneer on a front tooth. In fact, unless you choose an all-metal crown, you cannot tell the difference between a restored tooth and a natural one.
If you would like to improve the cosmetic appearance of your front teeth, schedule an appointment with Raleigh’s top cosmetic dentists at Triangle Dentistry.
Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 847-6000