Often times we see patients in our Mesa, AZ dentist practice who ask us about veneers vs. crowns. Some people are under the common misconception that these two treatments are the same thing. While both veneers and crowns are similar in their procedure, design process, and final appearance, they do have their differences and ideal circumstances in which one is better than the other.
Here are some ways in which veneers and crowns are similar:
Both veneers and crowns are custom pieces of porcelain that are cemented over individual teeth. They both require that some prep work be done to the natural tooth ahead of time, and once it’s completed an impression or scan will be taken of the remaining structure. The replica of your mouth is used to design and fabricate your custom restoration.
Typically, it takes a couple of weeks to have a crown or veneer made. During this time, you’ll wear a restoration that’ll be held in place with an interim cement. Temporary crowns and veneers are made from a plastic-like material and come in different shades, but the choices may be limited.
When it comes time for your permanent veneer or crown you’ll return to our Mesa dentist office for your placement appointment. During this visit, Dr. Huynh will remove your temporary, clean your natural tooth, and try your permanent restoration on. Sometimes we need to make some minor adjustments to the artificial tooth to make it fit perfectly. Once you and Dr. Huynh are happy with the way your tooth looks, we’ll cement your restoration on with a permanent bonding agent.
The Cost of Crowns and Veneers
Most of the time both veneers and crowns average around $1,000 (depending on what they’re made out of). That’s not including insurance, which usually covers a portion of crowns (but not cosmetic veneers.) If you properly take care of your new teeth, then your restorations will likely last for many years before needing to be updated.
Caring for Crowns and Veneers
Having good home care will help ensure that your restoration and natural tooth underneath stay strong and healthy. Brushing twice daily is important, especially at the gumline where the tooth meets the porcelain. This area is called the margin, and it’s where plaque will sit and eventually decay your tooth if it’s not cleaned off properly. Flossing will help you remove food particles from between your teeth that you can’t reach when brushing.
In addition to proper hygiene at home, you’ll need regular dental visit for professional cleaning and for Dr. Huynh to do a thorough exam. While you’re here, we can x-ray your dental work to check the condition of the tooth underneath. Usually, if we can catch problems early, treating them is easier and less expensive.
The Difference in Crowns vs. Veneers
Though there are many similarities in crowns and veneers, they both have some big differences.
How They Look
To begin with, a porcelain veneer is strictly a cosmetic option. This restoration is very thin and looks much like an artificial fingernail. Veneers are meant to improve the appearance of your front teeth. These fabricated covers fit over the front of your tooth and slightly overlap the edges of it to help ensure a secure fit.
On the other hand, a crown, while it can give you the same final look as a veneer, is a restoration that’s done to truly restore your tooth. They are made as complete covers that slide over weak or otherwise compromised teeth to protect them from further trauma. Crowns are thicker than veneers, meaning that our Mesa dentist has to remove more tooth structure at the initial appointment. This includes the entire back and sides of your tooth.
The Cost with Insurance
Veneers may sometimes cost more than crowns, especially when getting a complete smile makeover where we place them across all of your front teeth. That’ because getting a lot of veneers requires the expertise of a dental laboratory technician to ensure that we get the anatomy and shade exactly right.
In addition, if you have dental insurance, the policy likely won’t pay for veneers since they’re considered cosmetic (and elective.) However, most plans will accept payment responsibility for about 50% of the cost of a crown.
Veneers vs. Crowns: Which One Is Best for You
If you think you need a crown or veneer but aren’t sure which one is the best option for you, then schedule a visit to see Dr. Vinh Huynh, DMD of Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ. If it’s a smile makeover that you’re after, it’s not uncommon for us to place a combination of both veneers and crowns. Call our office today!