Creating a smile you love to share while also maintaining good oral health often requires the help of dental solutions. Two of these, in particular, are veneers and crowns. Both of these excel at improving the appearance and function of your teeth but are essentially two very different treatments.
When it comes to which one to choose, much will depend on your own personal preferences, the current state of your teeth, and other factors that your dentist will discuss with you. Meanwhile, here is what you need to know about how they are similar, how they are different, and when one may be better than the other.
What are Veneers?
Porcelain Veneers are customized, thin shells that cover the surface of your tooth. They are shaped and molded in such a way that matches with each of your natural teeth.
Veneers are often recommended to improve your smile, particularly if your teeth are discolored, chipped, broken, crooked, misshapen, or gapped. They mask your natural teeth, enhancing their appearance, and are stain-resistant and durable.
This treatment is a non-invasive cosmetic dentistry option that leaves the majority of the tooth intact. To be a candidate for a veneer, however, your tooth must still have enough existing tooth enamel to accommodate it.
The process involves etching off a small portion of the surface tooth enamel to provide for a better bonding of the veneer to the tooth. The dentist will then adhere a veneer to each tooth chosen to receive the treatment and allow it to harden with the use of an ultraviolet lamp.
What are Crowns?
Dental crowns are larger, tooth-shaped caps designed to cover areas of a tooth that are damaged and fit all the way to the gumline, sealing it underneath. They are normally considered a restorative solution but can also be considered a cosmetic one under certain circumstances.
Crowns are a common treatment for restoring damaged teeth, such as those with cracks, fractures, or decay. They also are a good solution for teeth with large fillings or following a root canal, which can leave the tooth increasingly brittle. In other words, the tooth needs the crown to continue functioning properly. Without it, the tooth will deteriorate and most likely need to be extracted at some point.
The process involves filing down a tooth first. For example, if the tooth suffers decay build-up, your dentist will need to remove the decayed parts and maybe even need to rebuild portions of the tooth. This is so it can properly support the new crown.
Your dentist then makes an impression of your tooth to make a mold, which is sent to a dental lab to create your permanent crown. The new crown will then be fitted over your tooth and cemented into place.
Materials used to mold dental crowns include porcelain, an all-metal alloy, or porcelain fused to a metal alloy (PFM). Another advanced option today is CEREC crowns, which can often be made and placed in your mouth the same day. Crafted out of ceramic, these crowns look natural and are highly resilient.
Are Veneers Better than Crowns?
Understanding the similarities and differences between the two options can help you make the right decision for your particular circumstances.
Veneers and crowns both improve the appearance and function of your teeth, but in different ways. Veneers adhere only to the front surfaces of teeth and fall slightly over the edges. They are aesthetically pleasing in color and shape and show less gum margin. Veneers do not, however, provide much reinforcement to the tooth. Crowns, on the other hand, cover the complete tooth and protect it from further damage.
Veneers and crowns are designed to match the color of your natural teeth to give you a more even smile. The one exception to this is if you choose all-metal crowns.
Care is also similar, requiring brushing and flossing daily and scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams. During these exams, your dentist may take x-rays of the dental work to ensure that the tooth underneath remains in good condition.
When are veneers better than crowns?
Porcelain veneers are better choices than crowns when:
You are seeking a purely cosmetic solution, and aesthetics are your primary focus.
Your tooth is mostly intact, potentially only requiring a small shape correction.
You want a complete smile makeover.
Your teeth are strong but have visible flaws such as discoloration, slight chips or cracks, gaps, or non-matching shapes and sizes.
You do not want to undergo teeth whitening treatment or wear braces to correct an issue.
When are crowns better than veneers?
Dental crowns are typically the better choice in the following circumstances:
A tooth is damaged.
The tooth has a large filling.
The tooth has undergone a root canal which has left it weak or brittle.
Tooth enamel is so worn down that the tooth cannot handle daily wear and tear.
There is a need to replace a weak, missing, or broken tooth.
You want more tooth support while also obtaining a more attractive smile.
Whether you need a cosmetic solution to improve your smile or a restorative one to ensure your teeth stay supported and functional, Dr. Richard Barry and his team at Lifetime Dental can provide you with options and recommendations. Contact our office in Columbus today and schedule a consultation, cleaning, or dental exam.
We all have a thing or two about ourselves that we would like to change or improve. Some people may want longer hair, smaller feet, or maybe the perfect smile!
It is perfectly okay to want to make changes here and there to satisfy your personal wants.
Read on to learn about ways to achieve your dream smile with the help of cosmetic dentistry!
What is cosmetic dentistry?
The simplest way to define cosmetic dentistry is procedures that are used to enhance someone’s teeth to create a flawless smile. There are many procedures available for you to obtain the perfect smile; the method will vary for each person and depends on the work that is needed.
What are the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?
1. Prevents Future Dental Damage
The main benefit of cosmetic dentistry is that it can prevent future dental damage. Aside from improving the appearance of ones’ smile, ideally, the cosmetic procedures focus on improving the size, shape, position, alignment, and color of the patient’s teeth. Correcting or fixing these things ultimately eliminate additional dental work down the line, assuming the patient continues practicing preventative care.
2. Increases confidence
Your smile is generally the first thing that someone sees. Many people that do not have a smile that they are proud of, find themselves being self-conscious, and they try their best to avoid smiling or showing their teeth.
Increasing your self-confidence can often open new doors in your life.
3. Improved Health
Aside from repairing typical dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, cosmetic dentistry can also improve other health factors such as diabetes and kidney issues, to name a few.
It has been proven that most people who have poor oral hygiene often also suffer from other health issues such as diabetes and kidney issues, as mentioned above.
Once a cosmetic dental procedure has been completed, and your smile has been restored, you would be much more likely to continue a proper oral hygiene routine — ultimately improving your overall health.
What are the disadvantages to cosmetic dentistry?
Many cosmetic dental procedures can be costly for most people. The price varies depending on the work required and the procedure chosen.
Cosmetic dentistry is not unaffordable; in fact, ask us about payment plans to assist patients with financial need.
This disadvantage ties together with the previous one. Most dental insurance providers will not cover cosmetic procedures; this leaves the patient to pay out of pocket or reach out for financial assistance through the practice or even a financial institution. However, there are some dental procedures that are both cosmetic and beneficial for your overall health that can be covered by insurance.
What cosmetic dentistry options do I have?
There are many cosmetic dental treatments available. A few of the most common procedures are:
Bonding is similar to the veneer procedure. The difference primarily lies in the material used. Bonding is aimed at decayed, chipped, and even fractured teeth. The material composite resin (plastic) is used during the repair. The repair is completed in a single visit.
The disadvantage of choosing the bonding procedure is that the composite resin material that is used is not as durable as the natural tooth. So biting fingernails, eating ice, and chewing on other hard things can cause the material to chip.
The bonding procedure generally lasts two to four years before needing to be repaired; this timeframe also depends on how well the teeth are taken care of during that time. With proper care, bondings can last much longer.
Fillings are a way to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay. A tooth is filled with either gold, silver (Amalgam), composite (plastic), or porcelain.
The filling used will depend on the type of damage done to the teeth.
Each filling has its advantages and disadvantages, ranging from cost, durability, and additional procedure time.
Crowns are also known as “caps.” They act as a cover that goes over a tooth. Crowns can be considered both a cosmetic procedure and non-cosmetic procedure, depending on the damage to the tooth or teeth. The idea is to restore the shape, size, and overall appearance of the tooth. There are also three different types of crowning options.
Each crown option has its own disadvantage, ranging from cost, fit, and fragility.
4. Dental implants
Dental implants are the replacement of the root of a tooth or teeth. A metal piece is placed into the bone socket. The metal piece is then covered by a type of crown, which acts as the new tooth.
One of the main disadvantages of dental implants is the cost. This procedure is one of the most expensive cosmetic dental procedures available. Another possible concern is that the procedure is a surgical procedure. Any surgical procedure carries some risks to the patient.
Veneers are primarily used when someone is experiencing issues with chipped teeth, teeth that are oddly shaped and even gaps between teeth. A very thin cover is placed over the tooth or teeth to obtain a more appealing look.
Since the enamel is removed during this procedure, one of the main disadvantages is that the tooth or teeth receiving the veneer may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks.
Veneers are simply a way to make your teeth look better and do not prevent decay.
Bridges are meant to close or “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. These are also known as false teeth and often are anchored by crowns.
One of the main disadvantages of dental bridges is that the structure of the patient teeth can be changed after the bridge has been placed. Also, tooth decay can still present itself if the bridges are not fitted properly.
If you are thinking about investing in your smile with cosmetic dentistry contact us at Lifetime Dental, 614-333-9442. Our professional dental staff will be more than happy to assist you with any questions.
Missing teeth are nothing to smile about. Not only does this compromise your appearance, but it can cause damage to the dental structure and potentially lead to an oral health hazard. There are numerous ways to replace missing teeth depending on the issue and severity, as well as your personal desires. Here are the common ways we work on your smile, restoring shape, structure, and self-esteem – Dental Implants, Dentures, Crowns, and Bridges.
Are dental implants the right choice for me?
Dental implants are strong, secure, and long lasting. They’re an excellent solution for missing, decayed, or otherwise damaged teeth. If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants are an option we will discuss during your visit. A dental implant is made of an artificial tooth root (biocompatible metals and bone-like ceramic) that is surgically placed into the jawbone and used to anchor a replacement tooth or bridge (more details on bridges below).
What are some of the advantages of dental implants?
Supports other dental work
No damage to healthy teeth
Helps preserve the bone
The patient can regain normal speech
Looks and feels like natural teeth
How are dental implants attached?
There are two basic ways to attach dental implants:
Directly attached to the jawbone like natural tooth roots. This process is recommended for patients with healthy jawbone quality.
Custom-designed metal frameworks anchored in place by mini dental implants. These are recommended for patients with thinner bone structure.
How long is the dental implant process and what can I expect?
The entire process can take several months until completion, but the remarkable results are well worth the wait. Under local anesthetic (numbing), we’ll surgically insert the artificial tooth root into your jawbone. Once the screws and posts are placed, the area must have time to heal as the roots fuse to the jawbone. This process can take up to six months, and the replacement teeth are fitted once you are fully healed.
How do I care for my dental implants?
As usual, brush and floss around the dental implant(s) at least two times per day, and be sure to keep up with your regular cleaning appointments.
Would dentures be an appropriate option to improve my smile?
Dentures are removable dental appliances most often made of acrylic resin or porcelain. You can replace lost teeth and see a more stunning smile with dentures. Today’s dentures are much different than the ones our grandparents wore. They are natural looking and fit well and comfortably. No need to panic! No one will know you’re wearing them.
What are some of the benefits of dentures?
Help maintain bone structure
Prevent sunken face and bone atrophy
Improve speech and eating
Create a more natural looking, healthier smile
Are there different types of dentures?
Dentures can be complete, partial, conventional, or immediate. Complete dentures are recommended when most or all of your teeth are missing. Partial dentures will fill spaces left by missing teeth and will prevent your remaining teeth from shifting to fill those spots. Conventional dentures are placed in the mouth approximately one month after tooth extraction, and immediate dentures are placed right after extraction.
What is the process for getting dentures like?
The entire process will take approximately one month (five appointments) from start to finish. The initial visit entails a discussion of your goals and we’ll create a personalized plan. After an evaluation, we will create a wax model of your teeth and gums that will be used to design the denture with a natural looking shape, fit, and matching tooth color. The final denture is placed in your mouth on the last visit. It may be necessary to get a new set of dentures with a better fit as time goes by and mouth/jaw/facial structure changes as you age. Take care of your dentures as instructed with a special toothbrush and other cleaning and maintenance essentials. Follow up with regular appointments.
What is a dental crown?
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps fitted over damaged areas of a tooth to restore full function and aesthetics. Crowns can be placed for functional or cosmetic reasons. Dental crowns are strong and secure and work like natural teeth. Lifetime Dental Health is pleased to use CEREC® Dental Crowns – same day restorations. Super advanced and quick, this option is something patients are excited about. In 20 minutes (sometimes less), a precise, durable, tooth-colored, metal-free crown is placed. That’s it! It’s amazing.
What are the benefits of CEREC®?
No wait period – same day service
Strong and durable
What are bridges?
Bridges are permanent or removable dental restoration appliances that replace missing teeth with artificial ones. This “bridge” between gaps and spaces, there is vast improvement in functionality and appearance. Both fixed and removable bridges rely on the surrounding teeth for support, and often a crown is placed over these “anchor” teeth, but fixed bridges are more stable overall than the removable style.
What are they made of?
Bridges can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain, or any combination of these three durable materials.
Replacing your teeth is something you should discuss with Dr. Barry or Dr. Love. Not only will your smile benefit from the work, but your mouth will work better. Let’s figure out the best plan for you and get your smile corrected, leading to more confidence and full functionality.