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Veneers vs. Crowns: Which Is Best?

If you read a lot of celebrity news, you’ve probably already heard a lot about porcelain veneers - which celebrities have them, which celebrities need them, and how much better their teeth look after getting them. If you’ve ever wondered if veneers are right for you, keep reading. Dr. Michelle Simpson discusses these handy little porcelain facings, and the many ways they can benefit your smile.

One of the most common questions we get about porcelain veneers is, "What are they and how are they different from crowns?" Veneers are porcelain facings that are adhered to the front of your tooth to improve the look of your smile. They are often used on teeth with chips, undesirable shapes, permanent discoloration or other damage that is only on the front-facing surface of the tooth. 

Conversely, crowns are cap-like fillings that offer 360-degree coverage that encompasses the entire tooth’s surface, not just the front of the tooth. Crowns are most often used when a tooth is broken, or when too much of the original tooth has already been replaced by fillings and attempting another filling or veneer carries too much of a risk. In terms of insurance, whereas veneers are usually considered cosmetic, crowns are generally considered more of a necessity and are often at least partially covered by some insurance plans.

Another question we get a lot is, "How do I know if I need a veneer, versus a crown?" Well, for starters, you may not know, but your dentist will! But, since there’s no such thing as "one-size-fits-all" dentistry, how a dentist determines whether a patient needs crowns or veneers is by evaluating each mouth on a case-by-case basis. For example, if the only issue you have is a chip on the corner of your tooth, a veneer might be an easier solution than getting an entire crown. 

Basically, if we can avoid removing a large portion of the tooth to place a crown, and a veneer would preserve more of the natural tooth and maintain the natural look, in that case, we’d opt for a veneer. On the other hand, if the tooth in question is cracked, decayed, an odd size or an odd shape that cannot be disguised by veneers, we’d most likely recommend a crown.

Ultimately, we won’t know what will work best for you until you come in for an evaluation, so if you’re unhappy with your smile and would like to see if veneers, crowns or another cosmetic treatment is right for you, set up a consultation today. At your evaluation, we’ll work with you to figure out what you don’t like about your smile - whether it’s the color of your teeth, the shape of your teeth, their positioning or spacing, there’s a solution or a combination of solutions for every mouth.  

From there we’ll evaluate the health of your teeth and make sure there are no health issues present that need to be corrected prior to your cosmetic treatment. Remember: We don’t want to cause further damage to your teeth if there are cavities or other issues. Our priority is always the health of your teeth. Once we are sure your oral health is in good standing, we can come up with a treatment plan, which may include any combination of bleaching, veneers, crowns, Invisalign or even wire braces.

Ultimately, if you’re not happy with your smile, don’t despair. Give Dr. Simpson’s office a call at 910-550-3959, and let’s come up with a treatment plan to give you the smile you’ve always wanted!

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