Both porcelain crowns and veneers can serve cosmetic and restorative functions. Depending on the needs and goals of the patient, one option may be more appropriate than the other. To make this determination, it is vital to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each treatment and have a comprehensive understanding of the dental concerns being experienced.
Differences Between Porcelain Crowns and Veneers
Porcelain crowns are typically utilized to restore form and function to a damaged or badly decayed tooth that is exhibiting poor structural integrity. Teeth that need extensive restoration, both physically and aesthetically, can usually benefit from placement of a dental crown; however, in extreme cases, the tooth may need to be removed and replaced with a dental implant or bridge. Porcelain veneers however, are generally used to accomplish more superficial cosmetic dental improvements, though they can provide some degree of restoration and added strength to teeth with adequate body structure.
When a tooth has minor imperfections or damage and good basic structure, porcelain veneers may be used to conceal and reshape its appearance. The veneer lays over a thin portion of the tooth’s front, making it conform to a more ideal color and/or shape. Porcelain crowns, on the other hand, cover the entire tooth and, while they have an added cosmetic benefit, their primary purpose is to restore a strong, full, healthy tooth so that it can look and function naturally.