Porcelain Veneers or Dental Crowns: Which Is Right For Me?

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Dental crowns and dental veneers are both established, reliable methods for restoring your smile, offering both protection and restoration for your teeth. However, there are notable differences between these two treatment options, and the best choice for you depends on your the specific conditions in your mouth. Dr. Sarah Cook of Tarheel Family Dentistry offers personalized dental care in Chapel Hill, NC to help herpatients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles.

Veneers Are Good For Addressing Minor Cosmetic Issues

Dental veneers are a thin porcelain facade that are attached to the front of damaged, yellowed teeth with composite bonding. Veneers can be used to alter the color, shape, and spacing of your teeth and can even reduce gaps between your teeth, lengthen small or misshapen teeth or whiten stained teeth. If your teeth are chipped or are showing signs of wear and tear, Porcelain veneers can refresh their appearance in a way that looks and feels natural while also shielding them from further damage.

Veneers are a more conservative treatment that do not require as much of the natural tooth to be altered before treatment. Typically, only a thin layer of tooth enamel must be removed from the front of the teeth in order to allow for the veneer to fit in your mouth without changing the appearance of your teeth and the shape of your mouth. This aspect of veneers makes them ideal for resolving primarily aesthetic issues such as discoloration and crooked teeth.

Dental Crowns Are Better For Advanced Tooth Restoration

Dental crowns are prosthetic teeth, modeled after the patient’s natural teeth, that are placed over a damaged tooth to protect the sensitive tissue inside. The first step towards the placement of a crown is for the affected tooth to be prepared by having the enamel removed and sometimes the structure reinforced.  Then, the crown is secured to the top with dental cement holding the damaged tooth together while also preventing it from further degradation.

Dental crowns are made of extremely strong materials such as porcelain, resin, or a composite material. These materials are durable enough to handle the tasks of biting and chewing. Once a crown has been adhered over the tooth, it is now part of it and can be used accordingly although the surrounding area may be sensitive.

Crowns require significant tooth preparation, making them a better option for a tooth that is severely damaged and needs more structural support. Crowns are often necessary after a root canal, when a tooth has broken or severely decayed.

Maintaining Crowns vs. Veneers

Dental veneers can last up to 10 years with proper maintenance and careful use. Although they are strong and securely bonded to your natural teeth, they are brittle and can only last so long. Dental crowns are strong but also still subject to natural wear and tear. Both options can break if you’re not careful and have a similar lifespan.

Sticking to a healthy oral hygiene regimen that includes regular check-ups with Dr. Cook or your area dentist will help keep your restorations — no matter which one you have —  intact and functional for as long as possible. However, both crowns and veneers require no extra care beyond regular brushing and flossing to keep the remaining natural teeth and gum tissue healthy which is plus.

Dental Restoration Consultation in Chapel Hill, NC

Dr. Cook at Tarheel Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC offers consultations to discuss your dental concerns and create a personalized treatment plan for you. She and her dedicated staff look forward to helping you meet your dental goals so you can enjoy the lifelong benefits of a beautiful smile and good oral health. To schedule your appointment, request an appointment online or call our office at (919) 551-8847.