Porcelain Veneers vs Crowns: What’s the Difference?

Porcelain Veneers vs Crowns: What’s the Difference?

Porcelain Veneers vs Crowns: What’s the Difference?

Should you get crowns or should you get porcelain veneers? What’s the difference? Read on to learn about porcelain veneers vs crowns.

Over a quarter of Americans have cavities that require the attention of a dentist.

Discolored or decaying teeth can dampen a person’s confidence and self-esteem. It is therefore essential to maintain good oral hygiene.

At times you may need a dental restoration to improve the appearance and function of a tooth. Depending on the type and amount of work required, you may either get a crown or a veneer.

In this article, we will look at porcelain veneers vs crowns to give you a better idea of which you may need.

What Is Porcelain?

Porcelain is a type of ceramic that dentists use for restorations. It can be sculpted to mimic the shape, texture, and color of teeth. Gum tissue is also very tolerant of porcelain. Additionally, it can retain color for long periods as it does not stain.

Veneers and Crowns

Dental restorations come in two types namely veneers and crowns. The purpose of seeking restoration and nature of teeth damage will determine which one you will get.


In the case of minor restorations, veneers are perfect. They are wafer thin and less than one millimeter of the enamel is shaven off.

This sort of restoration is generally done on the visible side of the tooth. The back of the tooth and its core are not touched.

Veneers are firm but still fragile in some sense. Repeated or sudden impacts can cause them to dislodge.

However, this is your go-to option if you are looking to improve the visual appearance of your teeth. The orthodontist will match the color of the porcelain to that of your natural teeth.


Dental crowns are best when a large proportion of the tooth needs restoration. They require more than two millimeters of the tooth to be shaven off and can even cover the whole tooth. Getting a crown is a two procedure process.

In your first visit to the orthodontist, they will scope your tooth to determine how much of it needs to be replaced. The damaged parts will then be shaven off, and you will be fitted with a temporary crown.

Meanwhile, the dental surgeon will proceed to design a crown that will fit perfectly to your damaged tooth and match with the rest. They will attach the crown to your tooth on the second visit.

Due to their additional thickness, crowns are resistant to impact thus making them more durable than veneers.

When Should You Opt for Veneers?

Veneers are perfect for fixing slightly broken or chipped teeth. You can also use them to improve a worn out tooth if it has a structure that is still intact and significantly healthy.

Teeth discoloration is common. The most common causes include the use of certain drugs, the presence of large resin fillings, fluoride, or even root canal treatment.

Whatever the cause, you can use veneers to remedy the situation.

To make the change look lifelike and realistic, go for slight to moderate changes.
Other cosmetic applications of veneers include fixing craters, bulges, misaligned, irregular shaped and uneven teeth.

When Should You Opt for Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are used for teeth with extensive damage. They are useful in the following scenarios:

• Protecting teeth from decay or even repairing a tooth that has suffered massive decay
• Restoring teeth that are broken or worn down
• To prevent teeth from breaking or holding a cracked tooth together
• When covering dental implants
• Executing substantial color changes on your teeth
• Holding a dental bridge in place
• Implementing significant changes to the shape of a tooth
• Covering the primary teeth of children who have challenges maintaining oral hygiene or stand the risk of tooth decay
• Covering and supporting teeth with large fillings but with only a little part of the tooth remaining

Crowns restorations are very useful where most of the tooth is damaged, or you want to execute major appearance changes on your teeth.

Things to Consider When Weighing Between Veneers vs Crowns

These two types of dental restoration perform almost the same functions. Consider the following when choosing between the two.


Veneers are relatively brittle and can dislodge or chip off. However, they can still last up to a decade with proper oral hygiene and protect them from unnecessary pressure.

Porcelain crowns usually last ten years though they can often last for up to three decades. Poor oral hygiene and exposure to unnecessary stress are the leading causes of reduced lifespan.

Some bad habits that cause damage to dental restorations include:

• Opening beer or soda bottles with teeth
• Chewing frozen food and ice
• Biting nails

Crowns and veneers can serve you well for a long time. This will, however, be determined by your habits and oral hygiene.

Cost and Insurance

Though the amount of work done is substantially different, the cost of getting a veneer or crown is relatively the same. However, a crown may be slightly more expensive than a veneer.

Dental costs vary from state to state and from one doctor to the next. While cost is something worth considering, do not choose an orthodontist based on just cost alone. Low prices might be indicative of less than stellar services.

It is important to confirm if your medical cover will cater for the cost of your restoration before booking a session. Though it may include a dental cover, the reason for seeking restoration is crucial.

Usually, crowns are covered as they are mostly health related. On the other hand, most people will use veneers for cosmetic purposes and are often not included.

How Effective Are Porcelain Veneers and Crowns?

Both veneers and crowns are suitable for medical and cosmetic purposes. The choice between veneers vs crowns will ultimately boil down to the purpose of the procedure and its intended result.

A good dentist will help you make a choice based on your needs.

Summer Brooks Dental has a team of highly skilled dentists dedicated to providing the best possible dental experience. Get in touch with us today if you have any concerns about your dental health.