What’s The Difference Between Crowns and Veneers?

Below, we delve into the differences between these two dental restorations to help readers decide which is optimal for their nuanced oral health needs.

Crown and veneer dental restorations

Crowns and veneers are somewhat similar yet they have numerous important differences.  Each has a unique purpose, design, preparation and placement.

Crown and Veneer Purpose and Design

Veneers consist of porcelain and composite resin.  This dental restoration uses a thinner layer of porcelain for crowns.  Veneers cover a single side of the tooth surface instead of wrapping around the full tooth.  Veneers are optimal for remedying cosmetic problems like discolored, misshapen or chipped teeth.

Dental crowns are similar to caps or covers that fit over the tooth.  Crowns mainly consist of porcelain or porcelain with restorative materials.  If a tooth sustains damage as a result of an accident, is on the verge of breaking, weak or broken resulting from decay, a cap is definitely worth considering.  Caps are also effective for covering dental implants and anchoring bridges.

The Matter of Preparation and Placement of Crowns and Veneers

In order to prep a tooth for a crown, the dentist starts by treating the damaged section and adjusting the tooth shape.  As an example, the dentist might perform a root canal on the tooth. He or she will also file down the tooth to the optimal shape and size. The dentist then takes an impression of the teeth to transfer to a lab off-site or on-site. The patient has to wear a temporary crown while the lab prepares the permanent one.

While the preparation and placement of a veneer are somewhat similar, it has its own idiosyncrasies.  The dentist starts out by removing a small amount of enamel from the tooth receiving the treatment. The next step is to add a temporary veneer while the dental lab creates the permanent one. This process takes around a week to a week and a half.  The dentist has the patient wear temporary veneers to permit the gums to heal prior to the application of the permanent ones.


It is challenging to match the hue of a single tooth to be restored to the rest of the teeth in the mouth.  The end color of veneers is related to the leftover tooth structure as well as the ceramic's hue and the type of cement used.  Crowns block off the tooth stump color. Veneers tend to take on the hue of the tooth stump. Most dentists agree it is more difficult to match the color of one veneer to nearby teeth than it is to match a crown.

What About Cost and Lifespan?

The cost for either treatment will vary greatly on the patient's insurance and the number of crowns or veneers the patient is receiving. The lifespan of crowns can last 5 to 10 years with proper care. Veneers can last up to 15 years if the patient is careful. If you are interested in more information or in receiving one of these treatments, give us a call today.

Please call Preferred Dental Center today at (210) 593-7636!

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