Veneers and Crowns – How are They Different?

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Veneers are thin slices of dental porcelain that can be adhered to the front of teeth that have been damaged in some way to make your smile more beautiful.

Crowns are also made of porcelain, but custom-made to entirely cover a tooth that may have been fractured and this cap can hold the structure together (crowns also can be made to protect teeth from further damage if you grind them while you sleep). A crown can also be the top of a dental implant that is visible and looks like a natural tooth.

But there are other differences. Veneers  are a simple, affordable solution for teeth that have been chipped, slightly cracked, or are misshapen, crooked, or poorly spaced. They are also effective in hiding discoloration that even professional whitening cannot remove (since they are translucent, whitening the teeth to be covered as best as your dentist can is important before the veneers are placed).

Your dentist will shave off a small amount of the front surfaces of the teeth needing veneers, both to help the veneers adhere and to keep them from making the teeth seem too bulky once the veneers are in place. 

Impressions are then made of each tooth and sent to a top dental lab to craft the veneers. On a second visit, each veneer is bonded to the tooth with a cement and then hardened with a special light.

With good oral hygiene habits, veneers can last 5-10 years. In the first few weeks after placement, you will want to avoid foods such as popcorn, hard candy, apples, nuts, or hard biscuits. You should also stop using teeth to pull on clothing or open bags, lest a veneer be popped out.

Dental crowns are more complex, but actually take a shorter time to craft and place. That is because Beverly Hills Dentistry is one of the few practices with a CEREC machine (which stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Crowns). This enables us to take a highly accurate 3D image of the injured tooth and then a CAD-CAM system produces a personalized crown that is an exact fit over the tooth and with the same shade. You can be in and out in a few hours. No need to wait a couple of weeks for a dental lab to create the crown and have it placed on a second visit. 

Whatever your health and cosmetic needs, call us to set an appointment for a full dental exam and explore your best options.

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