Veneers vs. Caps (Crowns) – What’s the Difference?

Dental veneers and caps, also known as crowns, help to improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile. Both cover your teeth to mask imperfections, such as discoloration, and misshaped and chipped teeth. While they both achieve similar results, the procedures and best practices for both are very different. So how do you know which is the right option for you?

What is a Dental Veneer?

A dental veneer makes it easier than ever for patients to have a great looking smile. Veneers are most often made of porcelain materials and are used to correct teeth that are stained, chipped, misaligned, poorly or unevenly spaced, or poorly shaped. This is achieved by simply bonding an exact, custom-made shell over the front of a patient’s existing teeth. With veneers, our team will only need to remove minimal enamel before bonding the thin ceramic layer. Once in place, any dental work performed is virtually unnoticeable, as our custom veneers are made to match the color of your existing teeth.

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown, also known as a dental cap, adds beauty to your smile by covering the teeth to hide imperfections caused by misshaping, misalignment, or discoloration. Dental crowns cover and protect cracked teeth, increase comfort, and offer extra support to teeth that are weak or damaged. They serve as natural-looking replacements and are virtually indistinguishable from original teeth. Commonly made of porcelain or ceramic material, dental crowns are similar to veneers, but slide over the whole tooth down to the gum line, forming a protective shell. They require a bit more enamel removal than veneers before they are bonded in place, though they are stronger and more durable – an important consideration for patients with bruxism, who clench or grind their teeth.

Do I Need a Dental Veneer or Dental Crown?

While both veneers and crowns improve the appearance of your smile, the main difference between the two is the amount of natural tooth structure that needs to be replaced. If your teeth are otherwise healthy but you are looking to improve aesthetics, then a dental veneer might be the easiest, best and less invasive option. If you’re looking to improve your smile and your teeth also need reinforced structure, often to due damage such as chips, cracks or structural problems from tooth decay, then a crown might be the best option.

Call Today for Your Consultation

To learn more, contact our Stony Brook, NY dental office or request an appointment online today. The cosmetic dental team at Stony Brook Dental Group will talk through both procedures to find the best option for you.