At first glance, a dental crown and a dental veneer can appear to be quite similar. Both devices are considered permanent and conceal a portion of a tooth's natural crown. Still, there are quite a few differences between the two applications. Here are a few of them.
Dental Crowns Can Be Restorative or Cosmetic
Dental veneers are usually placed in the mouth to hide the imperfections of the teeth. Thus, they are considered cosmetic. The veneers are affixed to the front of the teeth to conceal the dental blemishes that would be visible when the person smiles or laughs. Dental crowns can also be used to cover dental imperfections. However, they are also frequently used in restorative dental procedures.
Instead of only covering the front portion of a tooth, a crown encircles the entire area of the tooth that is displayed in the mouth. As the crown surrounds the natural crown, it provides protection and fortification to the treated the tooth. Consequently, a crown may be applied to a tooth that has been treated for a large cavity, had a root canal procedure, or incurred a significant chip or crack.
Additionally, dental crowns are used during tooth-replacement applications, such as bridge and dental implant-based restorations. Crowns are actually components of fixed dental bridges, holding the devices in the mouth. During a bridge application, the crowns are bonded to the abutment teeth, allowing the false tooth of the bridge to fill the gap left by the lost natural tooth. When a dental implant is used to replace a lost tooth, the crown is added after the wounds from placing the implant and its abutment have healed.
A Crown May Be Made From Numerous Materials
Dental veneers are usually made of porcelain or resin. The materials can be dyed to whiten the teeth or matched to the natural color of the patient's other teeth. Dental crowns may also be made of porcelain or resin. However, in addition, they may be fabricated from gold, silver, stainless steel, or porcelain-over-metal.
The crown material is selected based on the cosmetic and restorative needs of the patient. Stainless steel crowns are often used to cover primary teeth since they can be placed in one day and are used to cover teeth that will eventually shed. Tooth-colored crowns are often used to cover permanent teeth that are readily seen in the mouth when a patient smiles or speaks.
If you have questions concerning crowns or veneers, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.