Cosmetic dentistry can restore your smile with veneers and crowns.
First impressions matter. A shiny bright smile with perfectly straight teeth creates a great first impression. Few people are born with a naturally perfect smile. Thankfully, dental technology has advanced enough so virtually anyone can have a memorable smile. Both crowns and veneers help transform the imperfect to perfect. Traditionally used to repair cracks in teeth and alleviate tooth pain, a dental crown also vastly improves the aesthetics of your smile.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the benefits of dental crowns and the philosophies behind crowns vs. veneers.
Veneers vs. Crowns: What’s the difference?
Veneers are a thin shell of material affixed to the enamel of your tooth. They replace unsightly enamel and will fill in small gaps in your teeth. Traditionally veneers are a cosmetic solution that brightens and straightens a smile. They create perfectly white teeth with a simple procedure.
Crowns, on the other hand, are usually used for restorative treatment. They are “caps” placed over a damaged tooth. When patients had a cracked tooth, a dentist would typically repair the tooth by placing a crown on it. The crown would stabilize the tooth and allow the patient to keep their own teeth.
Benefits of Dental Crowns
While your teeth can last a lifetime, over time they will lose their shape and sustain damage. Tooth decay, injuries, or just decades of use will change the shape and effectiveness of your teeth. A dental crown is like a hat for your tooth. It restores the size, strength, shape, and appearance of your tooth.
The dentist will repair your tooth and then cement the crown in place over the tooth, covering the visible part of your tooth. You need a dental crown for basic tooth function if your tooth is damaged. Here are some of the things a crown will do:
- Restore your severely worn tooth.
- Restore your broken tooth.
- Protect a tooth weakened by decay.
- Protect a tooth with a large amount of filling and not as much remaining tooth.
- Keep a dental bridge stable.
- Cover a dental implant.
- Cover a root canal–treated tooth.
- Cover misshapen teeth.
A dental crown allows you to keep your teeth and keep your smile without any unsightly gaps.
In the past, all dental crowns consisted of metal, such as gold, nickel, chromium, and palladium. Metal crowns last the longest still, but then you miss the cosmetic part of having a crown.
Today, many metal crowns consist of porcelain fused to metal. This crown will match your teeth and create your desired, attractive smile. Crowns can also be all-resin, all-ceramic, all-porcelain, and pressed ceramic. Dentists can match these crown choices to your tooth color as well.
Benefits of Veneers
Veneers differ from crowns in that they are a custom-made shell that dentists can use to cover the front surface of a tooth. Ultimately, veneers exist to improve the aesthetics of teeth and not to stabilize a tooth as a crown does. With that said, veneers will provide a tooth with some resilience and strength compared to natural enamel.
Dentists custom shape the veneer to the shape of your tooth and then bond it to the original enamel.. Veneers can close gaps and correct minor misalignments more quickly than more-involved solutions like braces and crowns. Often a patient chooses to use veneers because they want brighter teeth or a straight smile. Furthermore, veneers can correct discoloration, chips, and fractures in teeth.
A veneer procedure requires one to three trips to your dentist. You will consult with the dentist on the first visit and then receive the treatment on your following visits.
Dentists remove half a millimeter of enamel from your tooth surface to prepare your tooth for the veneer. Then they take an impression of your tooth and send the impression to a lab that constructs the veneer. You will be fitted with temporary veneers while you are waiting for your permanent set.
Once your dentists receive the veneers, they prepare your tooth by cleaning, polishing, and etching the tooth. Then they cement the veneer to your tooth and go through a repeated process of shaping the veneer.
The Cosmetics of a Dental Crown
Both veneers and crowns improve the look of your smile. The shift in dentistry occurred when dentists began to use crowns for cosmetic dentistry instead of restorative dentistry.
Traditionally, veneers have been the go-to for dentists who want to offer their patients an improved smile. More dentists are now using crowns for cosmetic purposes for the following reasons.
Crowns offer a longer-lasting, permanent solution compared to veneers. Veneers typically last 10 to 15 years, whereas a crown can last for decades if you take care of it.
Complete Smile Makeover
You ultimately end up with a more complete smile makeover when you select crowns over veneers for cosmetic purposes. Veneers will usually only cover the front teeth, whereas a crown can go anywhere in your mouth.
You also end up with stronger teeth. Remember, veneers reface your teeth. Crowns completely cover your teeth. So a crown will create a more stable tooth.
In some cases, veneers are not even an option. If you have a tooth too damaged to support veneers, then you must use a crown. Furthermore, if you have a tooth with restorations already in it, such as fillings, the crown just makes more sense as it will give the tooth added stability.
Why the shift?
Before the advent of digital photography, the internet, and social media, people rarely saw pictures of themselves. Today, however, we constantly see pictures of ourselves, our friends, and celebrities. Cosmetic dentistry is booming because we all want the celebrity smiles we see online.
Crowns of Glory
No longer do dental crowns just restore the function of teeth; they restore the look of teeth as well. So when you ask questions like “are dental crowns useful for cracks,” the answer is yes. They still restore and protect your teeth. They also make them look fantastic.
Are you looking for an excellent dentist? Contact us today. Our dental team works together to give you care that reflects your individual needs. Give us a call and make an appointment today. We would love to get you smiling again.