While dental crowns and veneers are two entirely separate things, they look nearly identical when they are in your mouth. This can make you question why you would want one solution over the other to fix cosmetic problems to a tooth? Here is what you should know about these two dental options that you'll have to pick from.
A dental crown is also known as a tooth cap, and it is going to cover your entire tooth. Your tooth still needs to be healthy in order to get a crown, even though there is going to be a cap covering it and no longer exposing the natural tooth surface. That's because any decay in the tooth will continue to grow, even once it is capped.
A dental crown will also require removing a significant portion of your teeth with a procedure that is not reversible. Once that tooth structure is removed it will be gone forever, which is why many people are hesitant about getting a crown purely for cosmetic purposes.
Most crowns are made out of porcelain or zirconia, especially if you are having a crown placed on a front tooth. Metal or porcelain fused to metal crowns are often used for back teeth, if they are even recommended at all by your dentist.
A dental veneer only covers part of your tooth, with it being the front-facing surface that other people see. It is only used for cosmetic purposes and will cover those visible edges of your teeth. The installation process requires removing a thin layer of enamel on your teeth, which will still leave the majority of the tooth's structure. It just makes it rough enough to attach the veneer to the tooth's surface.
Veneers are typically made out of porcelain or composite material. A porcelain veneer is going to be incredibly durable and look the most realistic. They're designed similar to dental crowns, which means they are handcrafted by your dentist or created at an external lab. Composite veneers are similar to bonding material. The difference is that it is applied to your tooth and shaped by your dentist at the same time, so the entire process is done in the dental chair. The material is then cured with a special light so that the material is strong and ready to use by the time you leave the dental office.
Reach out to your dentist if you have questions about picking between crowns and veneers or cosmetic dentistry.