Porcelain Crowns vs. Veneers: Understanding the Difference 

Both crowns and veneers can improve the appearance of your smile, but it can be difficult to determine which option is right for you. Dr. Sol Weiss can help you understand the differences and similarities of porcelain crowns vs. veneers at his Toronto, Ontario, practice. While both can conceal discolouration, restore disproportionately small teeth, and conceal misshaped teeth, knowing the advantages of each can help you make an informed decision. Contact us today to learn more about the difference between porcelain crowns and veneers.

Crowns and Veneers: What They do

The primary difference between porcelain crowns and veneers is their purpose. Crowns serve a dual function of being restorative as well as cosmetic. These tooth-shaped caps are placed on top of the tooth, completely encasing the visible portions at and above the gum line. Crowns restore appearance, shape, and strength to a weak tooth, while protecting it from further damage.

Veneers are cosmetic in design, intended to improve the appearance of the front teeth by covering their surface with a clean, thin shell made of tooth-coloured material. Cracks, chips, or discolouration can be easily concealed through veneers.

The Procedure Basics

Preparing and placing a crown or a veneer requires two office visits. For both procedures, we will administer a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort.

To ensure a secure and comfortable fit, both restorations require that Dr. Weiss remove some enamel from the tooth. Since veneers are thin, removing less than a millimeter of enamel from the front of the tooth is usually sufficient. However, since crowns cover the entire tooth, considerably more enamel must be removed to accommodate a good fit.

After the tooth is prepared, impressions are taken and sent to our laboratory. There, your custom crown or veneer will be created, a process that usually takes one to two weeks. If you are receiving a crown, we will place a temporary crown, to help protect the tooth. During this time, you should avoid eating sticky, chewy, or hard foods that could break the temporary crown. Since a veneer is strictly cosmetic, and does not affect function, a temporary veneer will not be required.Veneer being placed on a patient's tooth.

For both crowns and veneers, we will schedule a follow-up appointment several weeks after placement, to check how well your gums are responding, and whether the restoration is still comfortable.

Once your crown or veneer is finished, you will return for your second appointment. Placing a crown is typically a straightforward procedure. After checking that the fit and color of your permanent crown is correct, the temporary crown will be removed and then replaced with the permanent restoration.

Placing a veneer could be a bit more extensive, and will vary from patient to patient. First, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and roughened to create a better grip for the veneer. We may reposition the veneer several times before attaching it permanently, trimming and adjusting the shell as necessary. Special cement is applied to the veneer before it is placed on the tooth and a special light is used to harden the cement. If necessary, any extraneous material will be removed.

Although the treatment site may be sore in the days following placement, you can expect to return to your daily routine without any issues. For both crowns and veneers, we will schedule a follow-up appointment several weeks after placement, to check how well your gums are responding, and whether the restoration is still comfortable.

Benefits and Candidacy

Both porcelain crowns and veneers offer positive benefits. In terms of cosmetic value, a veneer is a good intermediate option between the affordability of bonding and the reliability of a crown. Porcelain material is particularly natural-looking and stain resistant, often lasting five to ten years with proper care. Veneers also require far less shaping and structural alteration than crowns.

However, crowns are a very reliable solution to both cosmetic and restorative issues. Not only can they cover severely discolored, misaligned, or chipped teeth, they support and protect already damaged teeth.

Neither crowns nor veneers can serve as a solution for weak or unhealthy teeth. If a tooth is badly damaged, it may not be able to support either restoration. For both crowns and veneers, the ideal candidate should have good overall oral health. Any underlying gum disease or decay must be treated prior to placement of the crown or veneer.

Contact Us Today

At The Art of Dentistry, we strongly believe that clear communication lays the groundwork for the best results and superior patient satisfaction. We invite you to contact us today to discuss whether porcelain crowns or veneers are the best solution for your goals and needs.