Veneers vs. Dental Crowns: Learn Which Option Is Right For You

Is it better to get crowns or veneers?

Well, both are ideal dental restoration options that can enhance the appearance and function of your teeth.

However, the choice between veneers or crowns is contingent on the condition of your teeth and the specific dental problem that needs to be addressed. 

In this article, we're digging deeper into this topic, including the main differences between veneers and dental crowns.

If you're wondering whether to get dental veneers or teeth caps, this blog post will help you make an informed decision.

Read along to learn more.

What's the difference between a veneer and a crown?

Veneers and crowns are known for fixing teeth issues and improving one's smile. However, these two still differ in many aspects. 

Let’s define each to know their differences.

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are thin, customized tooth-colored shells covering your teeth's front surface. It conceals stains, discolorations, chips, cracks, and irregular teeth sizes, making them popular for cosmetic dental procedures or "smile makeovers." 

Veneers are commonly used in cosmetic dentistry. However, getting veneers can also prevent your teeth from further cracks, decay, and sensitivity.

What are dental crowns?

dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a damaged or weakened tooth to prevent it from further decay. It acts as a protection and strengthening structure for your teeth. It can also restore your smile to its natural and healthy look, making them an excellent cosmetic dental procedure as well.

Based on the basic definition of veneers and crowns, you can already have a glimpse of their differences in structure and function. 

Generally, dental crowns are primarily used to restore the strength and function of damaged or decayed teeth. In contrast, veneers are mainly used to improve the aesthetics of teeth by correcting their shape, size, color, or spacing and may provide some additional strength to the tooth.

But more than knowing this information is needed to make a sound choice. Let's explore more and look at their differences in teeth preparation.

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Difference in Teeth Preparation

Teeth preparation plays a vital role in the success of any dental procedure. Whether veneers or crowns, without the proper preparation, the treatment might go sideways and, worse, might end up causing further dental problems.

Similarly, understanding these differences can help ensure that the tooth is prepared appropriately for the specific procedure, minimizing potential complications and maximizing longevity. 

Amount of Tooth Preparation

Veneers are a conservative option that requires minimal tooth preparation. The dentist makes the front surface of the front teeth rough by grinding a small amount of enamel where they will put the veneers. 

On the other hand, dental crowns typically require more extensive tooth preparation. They remove a substantial amount of the tooth and shape them to fit the crown.

Type of tooth Preparation

Placing veneers involves removing 0.3 to 1.0 millimeters of enamel through grinding. Removing this enamel layer makes the front surface of the teeth rough, making the bonding of veneers more secure. The process is quick and painless since it removes a relatively small portion of the teeth.

On the contrary, a dental crown procedure involves removing the damaged part of the teeth using a dental drill and then shaping the tooth structure to create the space necessary for the crown. The amount of tooth structure to be removed will depend on the status of the tooth. The process often requires local anesthesia.


In normal cases, veneers and crowns only require two dental appointments. However, when it comes to crowns, there are times that it may need more than two dental appointments.

Additional appointment happens when you have severe teeth damages that need special treatment, such as root canal treatment or dental implant

After preparing the teeth, the next step is the application of dental devices. As someone considering veneers and crowns, their difference in application is also valuable information that can help you in decision-making.

Differences in Application 

As mentioned earlier, veneers are primarily used for cosmetic purposes. It covers teeth stains, discoloration, chips, cracks, and irregular shapes. They are bonded on the front surface of your teeth using composite resin luting cement. Veneers are also made of porcelain and composite resin materials that can imitate the looks of natural teeth.

Crowns focus on strengthening and restoring damaged teeth. They cover the entire tooth, which protects it from further damage. The materials used for crowns are porcelain, metals (silver and gold), or a combination of these materials.

Dental crowns are typically more durable than veneers because they are thicker, making them less prone to cracks and chips.

After knowing the information above, you have this question in mind.

Which of these two looks better on you?

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Differences in Appearance

Though veneers and crowns are considered restorative dental treatments, they are also part of cosmetic dentistry. And with the materials used in veneers, dentists can match the natural color and appearance of a patient's teeth.

Veneers use porcelain and composite resin, which helps mimic the translucency of your natural teeth. They are also non-porous, thus, don’t absorb stains. 

A literature review on the advances in dental veneers revealed that the appropriate patient selection and proper use of available materials and techniques that align with the aesthetic goals and treatment requirements are critical for the clinical success of laminate veneers.

On the other hand, dental crowns look slightly different from natural teeth. Depending on the material, they may appear more opaque than natural teeth or look like a metal tooth cap. They are also prone to stains but can be prevented by avoiding food that causes stains.

Of course, it is not enough that your chosen restorative treatment looks natural. Durability is also an aspect you should consider, especially if you're looking for a treatment that can last for an extended period.

Differences in Maintenance and Longevity 

Crowns are more durable than veneers, mainly because of their structure and the material used to make them. On average, veneers can last up to 10-15 years, while crowns can last for 15-20 years or even longer with proper care.

But how are you supposed to maintain them?

Here is a quick guide on how you should take care of them.

Veneers Crowns
1. Floss and brush your teeth at least twice daily 1. Floss and brush your teeth at least twice daily
2. Avoid hard and chewy food 2. Avoid sticky, crunchy, and hard foods
3. Avoid grinding and clenching 3. Avoid grinding and clenching
4. Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste 4. Frequent dental check-ups and cleaning
5. Minimize staining food and smoking
6. Reduce alcohol
7. Frequent dental check-ups and cleaning

*Note: Veneers require extra care because they are more prone to chipping or cracking.

If you damaged your crowns or veneers, your dentist would decide whether to restore or replace them. 

Damaged crowns can be repaired by applying composite resin called bonding. However, it must only be replaced if the damage is severe (e.g., loose or broken). 

On the other hand, simple chips on veneers can still be repaired using dental contouring, but cracked or broken veneers require replacement.

Maintenance and longevity also affect the cost of each treatment. Since veneers have a shorter lifespan and require more maintenance than crowns, they can be a pricier option.

Speaking of costs. 

Cost Comparison

When choosing between veneers and crowns or any other dental treatment, one of the most crucial aspects is their price. 

Considering the price of dental treatment is essential because it allows patients to make informed decisions about their oral healthcare and budget accordingly.

Dental treatments can vary significantly in cost, and patients should weigh a procedure's potential benefits and risks against its price to determine if it is a viable option for them. Additionally, understanding the cost of dental treatment can help patients plan for and prioritize their oral health needs.

Veneers are typically cheaper than crowns. However, treatment prices vary depending on the material used, the number of teeth to be repaired, the location, and if they are covered by insurance. However, both procedures have the same price for regular maintenance costs (e.g., check-ups and cleaning).

In California, the price of dental crowns can range from $600 to $3000, while veneers can range from $250 to $2500.

Insurance coverage for these treatments depends on your plan and provider. Note that some insurance providers do not cover cosmetic procedures such as veneers. So, it’s essential to ask your insurance provider to determine your plan coverage and potential out-of-pocket costs. 

Veneers may be cheaper based on initial cost, but they also have a shorter lifespan and require more maintenance, making them more expensive in the long run. In contrast, crowns are cost-effective because they require less maintenance and can last longer.

How do you know which option to get?

Now that you have an idea of the differences between the two treatments, it begs the question:

What should I have, dental crowns or veneers?

If your goal revolves around improving the appearance of the front surface of your teeth, you should choose veneers. On the other hand, crowns are a better option if your teeth need support and protection from further damage. 

Based on a study, one clear area of consensus among dentists is that crowns should be recommended when posterior teeth have had endodontic treatment.

In some cases, if you want to enhance the appearance of your six upper front teeth, your dentist may suggest porcelain veneers, composite bonding, or dental crowns, depending on the specific case. 

The treatment choice will depend on factors such as the degree of tooth discoloration, size, shape, alignment issues, and the patient's preferences, budget, and oral health status.

 A thorough examination and consultation with the dentist can help determine the most appropriate treatment option for achieving the desired aesthetic outcome.

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Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the decision between veneers and crowns should be based on the condition of your teeth and the specific dental problem that needs to be addressed. 

Veneers are a conservative option that requires minimal tooth preparation and are primarily used to improve the aesthetics of teeth. 

On the other hand, dental crowns typically require more extensive tooth preparation and are primarily used to restore the strength and function of damaged or decayed teeth. 

While both veneers and crowns are part of cosmetic dentistry, veneers are better suited for those who want to enhance the appearance of their teeth, while dental crowns are better suited for those who wish to strengthen damaged teeth. 

So, it's crucial to consult your dentist to determine which option is best for you. 

Quality Dental Crowns and Veneers in Culver City

At Culver City Dentist United Dental Care, we are committed to providing our patients with the best possible dental care. Whether you're looking for veneers or crowns, we offer a wide range of cosmetic and restorative dentistry services to meet your needs.

Our commitment to personalized care, affordability, and cutting-edge technology make us the premier choice for dental services in Culver City, Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, and other adjacent cities.

What are you waiting for? Book an appointment now to achieve that perfect Hollywood smile!

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