Often when you go to the dentist, he or she will recommend a crown for a tooth or teeth. Or perhaps you admire someone’s teeth that have had a veneer. These terms can be confusing, so make sure you understand what you are getting when your dentist recommends it.
A crown is a cap that is placed on the entire tooth by the dentist to restore the shape and size, strength, and appearance of the tooth.
As a preventive measure, a crown may be used to protect a tooth from breaking, and it can even be used to hold together the parts of a cracked tooth. In severe cavity cases, a crown is used to prevent further damage to the tooth. Crowns may also be used for cosmetic purposes in order to cover teeth that are severely discolored, but we typically don’t recommend this.
There are various materials that can be used to make a crown.
- Metal crowns may be made of gold or another type of alloy. They rarely chip or break, but are most often used for out-of-sight teeth, such as molars.
- Porcelain that is fused to metal (PFM) crowns are commonly used due to the strength of the metal, and the porcelain can be colored to match the adjacent teeth. This has been the “workhorse” of tooth-colored crowns for many years.
- Another option is either porcelain- or ceramic-only crowns. While they have the most natural look, they are not as strong as metal crowns.
- The least expensive type of crown is a resin crown; however, they may wear down over time.
Your Enlighten Dental Care dentist can help in choosing the type of crown that is best suited for you.
Veneers are a simple, noninvasive solution to solving dental flaws and may also be used to protect the surface of the tooth from damage. A veneer is a custom-made thin-layer shell of either composite resin or dental prcelain. The veneer is placed over the tooth or several teeth.
Cosmetically, veneers enhance the look of teeth while maintaining a natural appearance. Veneers also feel and function as the natural teeth.
Your dentist will prepare your teeth for veneers by removing a small amount of enamel prior to bonding the veneers that are a perfect shape, fit, and color designed specifically for you.
Questions about crowns vs. veneers and which one is right for you? Contact the Winston-Salem dentists at Enlighten Dental Care!