Crowns vs Veneers - Difference Between Crowns & Veneers

Many different types of dental issues indicate the use of crowns and veneers.  Crowns and veneers can be used both for medically necessary situations such as tooth decay, cavities, and root canals, as well as in cosmetic dentistry in order to improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth.  Sometimes, the procedure you are having performed will dictate whether you will need a crown or veneer.  In other situations, you may be able to choose whether to use a crown or a veneer.

Crowns are dental devices which cover your entire tooth.  Your existing tooth is whittled away so that only the core remains.  The crown is designed to cover this core and blend the treated tooth in with surrounding teeth.  Crowns are most commonly used in medically necessary situations where a tooth has rotted from the inside out or when a root canal has been performed.  In cosmetic dentistry, crowns are used to improve the appearance of teeth that are slightly out of line or that have superficial surface decay.  Crowns have a life expectancy between 10 and 15 years and typically need replacing after that time.

Veneers are more commonly used for elective procedures but can also be used for medically necessary procedures, such as covering a tooth where a large portion of the surface is impacted by a cavity or decay area.  Veneers are most often made from porcelain or ceramic, but can also be made from gold or titanium, in cases where dental procedures are mixed with fashion statements.  Veneers are extremely strong and will effectively cap the surface of a tooth for many years without needing replacement.

Besides examining how much of the tooth is covered by a crown or veneer or how long the chosen solution should last in solving the dental or aesthetic issue, you can also examine cost when determining the best choice to make.  In the case of medical necessity, a large portion of the cost of either a crown or a veneer is typically covered, although your insurance policy may limit how much is paid out during a calendar year.  If you are having multiple teeth treated, this type of limit could influence your decision.  Crowns are typically several hundred dollars more expensive than veneers. Gold and titanium veneers are typically the most expensive option and would most likely not be covered by insurance.