When it comes to reshaping your teeth and smile and restoring your dental functions, two popular options often come to mind: dental crowns and veneers. While both treatments can enhance your teeth’s appearance and functionality, they are distinct procedures for different dental conditions. If you’re considering improving your smile or addressing your dental issues, understanding the differences between dental crowns and veneers is crucial to making the right choice for your dental needs.
At Sheema Zaim DMD Ltd., we offer porcelain dental crowns and veneers in Oak Park, IL to fix your dental issues and give you the smile you’ve always wanted. To that end, we’ve created this post to show you the applications, differences, and pros and cons of dental crowns and veneers to help you determine which dental restoration is best for you.
Now, let’s get started!
Veneers & Crowns — How Are They Different?
Porcelain crowns and veneers are cosmetic and restorative dentistry services that we offer at our Oak Park dental office to enhance your teeth’s appearance and function. While these treatments are almost identical, their applications, purposes, and amounts of tooth structure they cover differ. Here are the key differences between veneers and crowns:
Coverage and Thickness:
Veneers: Veneers are thin shells, usually made of porcelain or composite resin, that cover only the tooth’s front surface to hide dental imperfections. They are custom-designed to improve the appearance of teeth with minor dental flaws, such as chips, gaps, stains, or slightly misaligned teeth. Veneers are very thin, typically about 0.2mm to 1mm thick, depending on the material used, and require minimal tooth enamel reduction before placement.
Crowns: Dental crowns, also known as caps, cover the entire visible portion of a weak, damaged, or decayed tooth. Dr. Sheema Zaim, your #1 general and cosmetic dentist in Oak Park, always recommends this treatment for a tooth that is extensively decayed, cracked, weakened, or has undergone root canal treatment. Crowns are thicker than veneers, usually about 1.5mm to 2mm, and require more enamel reduction to accommodate their size and shape.
Veneers: Dental veneers are primarily used for cosmetic purposes. They are an excellent option for improving the appearance of teeth with minor flaws, giving patients a uniform and aesthetically pleasing smile. However, veneers do not provide structural support to weakened or damaged teeth.
Crowns: Dental crowns serve both functional and cosmetic purposes. Dr. Zaim uses dental crowns to restore damaged or decayed teeth’s shape, size, and strength. Crowns can protect weak teeth from further deterioration and restore their functions by providing structural stability to the affected tooth.
Veneers: The preparation for dental veneers is minimal, involving removing a small amount of tooth enamel (usually less than 1mm) to create space for the veneer and ensure a seamless fit.
Crowns: Dental crowns require more extensive enamel reduction to make room for larger dental restoration. Your dentist will remove more of your natural tooth structure from all sides of the affected tooth to accommodate the crown.
Veneers: Dental veneers are usually made from porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are highly durable, stain-resistant, and closely resemble natural tooth enamel, providing a natural, lifelike appearance that brightens your smile.
Crowns: Dental crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), ceramic, zirconia, or metal alloys. The ideal choice of material depends on your specific needs and the tooth’s location to be restored.
Veneers: Dental veneers are usually bonded to the front teeth, primarily the ones visible when smiling. They are ideal for enhancing the appearance of the “smile zone.”
Crowns: Dental crowns can be used on both front and back teeth. They are more versatile in terms of addressing extensive damage or structural issues.
The Pros and Cons of Dental Crowns
Tooth Protection: Dental crowns provide excellent protection for weak or damaged teeth. They cover the entire visible portion of the tooth, shielding it from further decay, fractures, or wear. Unlike dentures, crowns are permanent, so you don’t have to remove them for cleaning.
Restoration of Dental Function: By encasing the weak or damaged tooth, crowns restore the tooth’s strength and functionality, allowing you to bite and chew your favorite food without discomfort or limitations. They can also be attached to dental implants to restore your missing teeth.
Versatility: Dental crowns can address many dental issues, including large cavities, cracks, chips, root canal-treated teeth, and severely discolored or misshapen teeth.
Aesthetic Appeal: Dental crowns can be customized to match the color, size, and shape of your natural teeth, ensuring a seamless and natural-looking smile.
Long-lasting and Durable: When well cared for, porcelain dental crowns can last for many years, offering a long-term solution for dental restoration.
Stain Resistance: Depending on the material used (such as porcelain or ceramic), dental crowns are highly resistant to stains, making them an excellent choice for individuals who want to maintain a bright and beautiful smile over time.
Tooth Structure Removal: A significant portion of your natural tooth structure must be removed to accommodate the dental crown. This process is irreversible and may weaken the tooth.
Sensitivity: Some patients may experience temporary sensitivity after getting a dental crown, especially if the tooth nerve has been affected during preparation.
May Need To Be Replaced: While dental crowns are strong, they are not immune to wear and damage. Chewing on hard objects or experiencing trauma to the mouth can cause your dental crown to crack or break, thus requiring a replacement to protect your teeth.
The Pros and Cons of Veneers
Aesthetic Enhancement: Dental veneers can significantly improve your smile’s appearance by covering various cosmetic imperfections.
Natural Appearance: Porcelain closely resembles the appearance of natural teeth and can be customized to match the size, shape, and color of your existing teeth to give you a seamless and natural-looking smile.
Don’t Require Many Trimmings: Veneers are relatively minimally invasive compared to other cosmetic dental treatments. Only a small amount of enamel is removed from the front surface of your teeth to accommodate the veneers.
Stain-Resistant: Porcelain veneers are highly resistant to stains, allowing you to enjoy a beautiful, bright smile even after consuming staining substances like coffee, tea, or red wine.
Durable: When properly cared for, porcelain veneers can last a decade or more, providing long-lasting results and value for your investment.
Irreversible Procedure: Placing porcelain veneers involves removing a thin enamel layer from the teeth. This step is irreversible, and once veneers are in place, you will need them for the rest of your life.
Not Suitable for Severe Tooth Misalignments: While veneers can mask minor misalignments, they are not a substitute for orthodontic treatment when significant tooth movement is required.
Potential for Damage: Although durable, dental veneers can still chip or crack under excessive force. Moreover, they only cover the front surface of your teeth, leaving other parts of your teeth exposed to new decay.
Dental Restoration With Porcelain Crowns and Veneers in Oak Park, IL
Looking to correct your dental flaws and restore your confidence in your smile? Sheema Zaim DMD Ltd., offers dental crowns and veneers in Oak Park, IL to completely reshape your teeth and smile and boost your self-confidence while improving your oral health and overall well-being. We also offer other restorative and cosmetic dentistry services, including dental implants, dentures, teeth whitening, dental fillings, and dental bonding to help you achieve the beautiful and healthy smile you deserve.
If you’re trying to decide between dental veneers vs. crowns, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheema, our skilled general and cosmetic dentist in Oak Park, to examine your teeth and determine the best treatment for your smile. Whether your dentist recommends you go with veneers, crowns, or other cosmetic and restorative dentistry services, you can be sure to restore the function of your teeth and receive a beautiful smile you’ll be proud to show off.