Should You Choose Porcelain Crowns or Veneers for your Smile Makeover?

Your smile is one of the first things that people remember about you. How many times have you heard people say, “She has a great smile!”? You can get that reaction, too! Consider having a smile makeover with porcelain crowns or veneers. In this article, you will learn the following information:

  • What is a crown?
  • What are the benefits of getting a crown?
  • What are porcelain veneers?
  • What are the benefits of getting porcelain veneers?
  • Who can help you make the right decision for your teeth?

Crowns vs Porcelain Veneers

Veneers and crowns both restore your smile and improve the functionality of your teeth. Here’s the difference: Veneers cover just the front of the tooth, while crowns cover your whole tooth. Depending on whether your dental work is primarily for cosmetic purposes or to restore the function of your teeth, one or the other may suit your purposes better. 

  • A veneer consists of a thin layer of porcelain about 1 millimeter (mm) thick that bonds to the front of your tooth.
  • A crown consists of a 2 mm thick porcelain shell fused over your whole tooth. It can also be all-metal or metal overlayed with porcelain, although these are highly unaesthetic and not recommended for health reasons.
  • Both have good success rates and can complete your smile makeover. 

Let’s take a look at what crowns and veneers are and what to consider in making your decision with the help of a board-certified dentist.


Whether a veneer or crown works for you depends on your reason for seeking dental care. Common causes for getting a crown or veneers include the following:

  • discolored teeth
  • crooked teeth
  • chipped or broken teeth
  • decayed or weakened teeth
  • cracked teeth

The dentist can match both crowns and veneers to your other teeth, or provide you with a smile that is the color you have always dreamed of.

What Is a Veneer?

Since veneers cover just the front surface of the tooth, they are less invasive than crowns. More of your original tooth is left in this procedure. To prepare the surface, the dentist roughens the outer layer of enamel. The rough surface helps the veneer bond to the tooth. You may need a local anesthetic, depending on the type of veneer used. However, you may remain awake for the visit if you wish.

The dentist forms an impression of the tooth using a digital scanner or a mold. Typically, an outside lab prepares the veneer. In the meantime, you receive a temporary veneer while waiting for the permanent one to arrive. You return to the dentist to have the permanent veneer installed using dental cement cured with ultraviolet light. 

If you grind or clench your teeth, you may need a nightguard to safeguard the veneer.

What Is a Crown?

A crown covers the whole tooth, and more of the tooth structure is removed to properly install it. Crowns help restore tooth functionality when you have a broken tooth, large filling, root canal, or deep cavity that impacts most of the tooth.

During the procedure, the dentist repairs the decayed portion prior to creating the crown. Local anesthetics are normal during the procedure. 

The dentist makes an impression of the tooth using a digital scan or a mold. The scan or mold goes to an outside lab that fabricates the crown. When the permanent crown arrives back at the dental office, you return to replace the temporary crown with the permanent one. Sometimes small adjustments to the crown are needed to ensure that you can bite down properly. 

Which One Should You Choose?

A crown often works best if the tooth has a large filling or is worn and cracked. However, if most of the tooth remains intact, a veneer can cosmetically improve your smile. 

What Is the Cost?

The cost of your crown or veneer varies based on the complexity of the work done, the size of the tooth and what else is going on in your mouth.

If your dental insurer considers the procedure to be primarily cosmetic, they may not pay for it or the cost could exceed your annual limit.

How much you pay for crowns depends on the material used and the time needed to prepare the tooth. You can budget between $1,000 and $3,500 per tooth.

Providing a true estimate requires a consultation so that the doctor can see the condition of the tooth and surrounding area. In general, porcelain and ceramic crowns are the most popular and tend to cost you more than other materials. 

If you need to work out payment, check out our carecredit option or apply when you come in for your consultation!

Get Dental Crowns or Veneers From an Experienced Dentist in Richmond, VA

Founded in 2013, the Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond can help you complete your smile makeover. We focus on whole mouth health to prevent bacteria and plaque from damaging your teeth. Great dental care starts with a great dentist. Make an appointment today to find out if veneers or crowns are better for your oral health. We are a full-service dental office and can help your whole family maintain a healthy, gorgeous smile that others will notice and comment on!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *