Veneers vs. Dental Crowns: Is One Option Better?

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Veneers and crowns are two options in an increasingly well-equipped cosmetic dentistry toolbox. A dentist in SW Calgary can achieve significant cosmetic dentistry alterations to the shape, size, spacing, and colour of teeth using either veneer or crowns, but they are very different restorations with. Crowns, unlike veneers, also provide significant restorative functions and can even support bridges when combined with dental implant technology.

Considering the overlap between veneers and crowns in the field of cosmetic dentistry in particular, people sometimes think of them as very related options. The purpose of this article is to introduce both options, and to point out the overlap and distinctions between them. When you have questions about the ideal material or technology to restore your dental function or transform the appearance of your mouth or smile, take the time to let a dentist in SW Calgary answer them all.

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin porcelain shells custom-made to fit over a flawed but otherwise  healthy tooth or teeth, while projecting a custom-designed profile that can alter the shape, size, colour, and spacing of the original tooth. Porcelain is an ideal material for veneers because it is as translucent as enamel and reflects light much like healthy and clean teeth.

There are four particularly common situations in which a patient might opt for veneers:

  • To restore one fractured or discoloured tooth
  • To cosmetically transform a full smile by restoring multiple teeth
  • To narrow or close large gaps between adjacent teeth
  • To redefine the edges of teeth with worn edges, or that look crooked

What are dental crowns?

Crowns are hollow caps that fit over a weakened, damaged, or unattractive tooth. That crown covers the entire tooth down to the gum line and accomplishes two things at once. It can provide structural support to sustain the original tooth and restore full dental function to avoid extraction. At the same time, the crown can be shaped, sized, and coloured to present the ideal cosmetic appearance.

There are seven frequently recurring scenarios for which dental crowns in SW Calgary are ideal:

  • To replace a missing tooth as the restoration atop a titanium implant
  • To enclose and hold tight the weakened parts of a cracked or weakened tooth
  • To permanently protect the structural integrity of a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy
  • To cover and support the structure of a tooth that has received multiple fillings, or one very large filling
  • To provide anchors to hold a dental bridge in place to replace missing teeth
  • To surround and enclose otherwise healthy teeth that are badly discoloured or crooked


Veneers vs. Dental Crowns


Despite that crown and veneers both provide cosmetic dentistry benefits, they really are very different dental solutions.

Veneers are exclusively a cosmetic dentistry solution for chipped and broken teeth, discolouration that can not be remedied by bleaching, and for teeth that are inconsistently or unattractively spaced. Veneers are placed on teeth that are otherwise healthy and structurally sound.

Crowns, on the other hand, or an effective option for restoring the structural integrity of a weakened or damaged tooth in a way that veneers can not accomplish. Within the bargain, the crown can accomplish cosmetic dentistry goals at the same time.

Choosing between any restorative or cosmetic dentistry option is best done after consulting with a dentist who knows your medical and dental history, has taken careful images of your jaw and teeth, and discussed your goals with you. As a general rule, if the tooth being considered has any structural integrity issues or damage — or if the restoration is intended to support any other device — a crown is the obvious choice over a veneer. If, on the other hand, the tooth is healthy and structurally sound and you merely wish to project a new profile to the world, the veneer can accomplish that on its own.