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Veneers vs. Crowns

Veneers vs Crowns: What do local Perry Hall and Hanover MD dentists recommend?

veneers - dental designs of marylandThe “smile design” that your local dentist plans for each cosmetic dentistry case is the blueprint to getting you the perfect smile.  They don’t just take the aesthetic aspect of a smile into account, but ensuring proper tooth function is equally important!  Making sure your bite is balanced and functional plays a large part in the design of your smile, so you can eat and chew properly.  When put together, we aim to give you a perfect smile that works as well as it looks. Generally speaking, dentists look at a few different factors to determine how a smile design is put together.  One of these aspects is choosing which type of cosmetic dental restoration you need.  The two main types are crowns and veneers, and today we will talk about when we may recommend one treatment versus the other.

What are Veneers?

A veneer is a thin porcelain shell that is bonded over your teeth.  These thin shells allow your local cosmetic dentist to change the shape, size, color, and contours of your teeth.  When evaluating for whether a veneer is a good fit, your local dentist will consider your bite, signs of tooth wear, and any existing decay. For cosmetic cases, the most conservative approach is often the best because we get to keep more of your natural enamel.  When getting crowns or veneers, a part of your natural enamel is removed to make room for the cosmetic restoration.  While crown and veneers are beautiful and just as strong as real teeth (and some materials are even stronger), we always try to be conservative and preserve what was originally there.  That is why veneers are often the go-to choice for cosmetic dentistry.  Your tooth’s natural structure is not affected that much, and particularly if your teeth are straight and healthy, your local dentist will have plenty of tooth structure to work with and need to remove less enamel. The only exception to this is if your teeth already have significant wear from bruxism (clenching of the teeth during sleep) or cavities that means a higher than normal amount of tooth structure will be missing.  In situations like this, a full coverage crown may be indicated for strength and durability.  A good dentist will know whether you are a viable candidate for veneers or not.  Read on to find out what you need to know about crowns.

What are Crowns?

A crown is also a porcelain restoration like veneers, however instead of sitting on the front of the tooth, a crown is a cap that sits over and protects the entire tooth underneath.  Full crowns are used in cases where there is significant damage to existing tooth structure, such as thin enamel from bruxism, if your teeth are worn or chipped, or if the teeth have existing decay that needs to be removed before beginning cosmetic dentistry. Sometimes we may also recommend crowns if you have slight crowding or spacing of the teeth, because the more comprehensive reduction in tooth enamel allows us much more flexibility in not just the shape, texture, and color of teeth, but also as far as aligning the teeth.  Some call is “instant orthodontics” when we correct crowding or spacing using cosmetic crowns. Lastly, teeth that have been worked on extensively with large fillings or root canals, need additional protection that a crown can provide.  In the end, a well designed and made porcelain crown can give you the same beautiful results as with veneers.   The only question which remains is whether you are a viable candidate for the procedure.

What Local Dentists in Perry Hall, MD Recommend

Dental Designs of Maryland’s cosmetic dentist Dr. Nina-Cecilia Santos will be happy to consult with you about your individual needs and make recommendations based, in part, on the factors discussed above.  We will ensure that you reach a point of understanding about the pros and cons of each option, whether they are a good fit for you, and how to proceed with getting your picture perfect smile!  Contact us today!