Crowns, Caps, and Veneers


Scott Kupetz DMD

Porcelain crowns and veneers are meant to fix and enhance your smile. When done correctly, no one will be able to tell you’ve had any work done. Veneers and crowns can both be used to solve the same dental issues; it is just a matter of deciding which would work best for you and your smile. To determine which one to use you must first know the differences between these two very similar dental techniques.

Veneers are simply just a thin porcelain shell that is bonded to the front of your teeth. It is a fixed device meant to enhance the look of your teeth without altering them. To bond them the dentist must remove a small amount of enamel to ensure the veneers will fit properly and not look too bulky. Dental crowns are also porcelain shells, but they cover your entire tooth, not just the front. This allows them to be versatile when being used as a solution for your teeth; they can be used functionally or cosmetically. Veneers and crowns are primarily different in how much of one’s natural tooth structure has to be replaced for the implant to bond to the teeth. While crowns can fix some functional issues, both crowns and veneers cannot alter the position of your teeth or your bite.

Veneers are a good cosmetic option when the tooth is still functional, but just has issues such as discoloration, enamel damage, minor cracks/ chips, erosion, etc. Dental crowns have the ability to fix these types of problems as well but also can repair more severe tooth damage. Unlike veneers, crowns can help repair tooth decay, broken teeth, and support teeth that have undergone root canal therapy. Crowns also can protect teeth which have large fillings. Both veneers and crowns are customized to match the particular shade and shape of your teeth for a natural look. You can also have them made to be a specific shade to give your teeth a brighter appearance.

Both crowns and veneers can last a lifetime when properly implanted and cared for. Making the decision between veneers and crowns is ultimately your choice; but, you should consult your dentist to gain more insight about which may give you the best results. Once your tooth has been prepped for these restorations, it is important to keep up with your hygiene, so the veneer or crown will bond properly. How long they last are entirely dependent on having good oral hygiene and keeping up with regularly scheduled dental visits. It is also important to be mindful of them when eating, so you do not chip the porcelain or put too much pressure on it.