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20/04/2020

All Posts Tagged: Porcelain Veneers alternatives

How do Porcelain Veneers Differ from Dental Crowns?

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers

In comparison to crowns, porcelain veneers just cover over the front side of a tooth.

Porcelain veneers are wafer thin.

As alluded above, crowns and porcelain veneers differ by way of their comparative thickness.

  • Porcelain veneers are wafer thin, typically measuring 1 millimeter in thickness or less.
  • Dental crowns usually have a thickness of 2 millimeters or more.

Less tooth grinding is required.

This means that significantly less tooth trimming is required when veneers are placed.

  • Less reduction is needed on the tooth’s front side, where the veneer is bonded.
  • No trimming is needed on the tooth’s backside.
  • With some veneering techniques no tooth reduction is needed at all.

This is a very important feature of veneers. It means that, as compared to crowns, when they are place less healthy tooth structure is sacrificed. Additionally, the preparation process is less traumatic for the tooth (and possibly the patient too).

Comparing characteristics and applications of crowns vs. veneers.

Crowns and veneers have their own individual set of characteristics that generally make one or the other more suitable for certain applications. Here are some of the factors dentists take into consideration when determining which one makes the better choice for a patient’s case.

Dental Crowns

dental crown

Dental Crowns

  • Can be used to produce a large color change for a tooth.
  • Can create significant shape changes for a tooth.
  • Are often used to rebuild and strengthen teeth that are badly broken or decayed.
  • Crowns are very strong and durable. They make a good choice in those situations where a tooth is exposed to heavy chewing or biting forces, or else forces created by tooth clenching and grinding (bruxism).
  • Placing a crown requires a significant amount of tooth reduction.
  • Once a crown has been placed on a tooth, it will always require one.

As you’ll see in the next list, as compared to crowns which can be used to rebuild and strengthen teeth, porcelain veneers are typically used in applications that are just cosmetic in nature.

Porcelain Veneers

Dental Veneers: Porcelain Veneer installation Procedure. 3D illustration

  • A case that utilizes both porcelain veneers and crowns.
  • Crowns are stronger and used to make larger shape changes.
  • Can be used to produce a color change for a tooth. Slight to moderate changes usually give the most life-like results.
  • Can create minor shape changes for a tooth.
  • Are placed on teeth whose underlying tooth structure is generally healthy and intact.
  • Are strong but brittle. Porcelain veneers typically do best in those situations where the forces placed upon them are relatively light or passive.
  • Require much less tooth trimming than dental crowns. Some veneering situations may require no tooth reduction at all.
  • In some special instances, porcelain veneer placement may be reversible. In most cases, however, once a veneer has been placed, the tooth will always require some type of covering. This might be another porcelain or other type of veneer, or else the tooth could be further reduced and a dental crown placed.

 

Instances when crowns and veneers barely differ at all.

Dental Crown

Dental Crown

There can be times when the distinction between an all-ceramic crown and (what’s referred to as a) veneer can be difficult to make at all.

What we’re referring to here is the growing trend where the treating dentist has elected to aggressively trim a tooth in preparation for its veneer. Cutting more deeply into it, and on more surfaces (sides), than outlined by the original, very conservative, protocol for this procedure.

For the most part, this type of zealous trimming is a symptom of the dentist applying veneering technique to a case for which it is not best suited. This would include using veneers to “straighten” severely misaligned teeth (“instant” orthodontics) or lightening darkly stained ones. (These types of cases are frequently plagued with longevity issues.)

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veneers before after

Porcelain Veneers FAQs

  • What is a veneer?

    A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a natural-colour ‘composite’ material is used instead of porcelain.

  • When would I need a veneer?

    Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten your front teeth. A veneer can make a chipped tooth look whole again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth, with a thicker section replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.

  • What are the advantages of veneers?

    Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy. Because they are very thin and are held in place by a special, strong adhesive, very little preparation of the tooth is needed. Some types of veneers don’t need any preparation at all.

  • How are teeth prepared for a veneer?veneers before after

    teeth veneersSome of the shiny, outer enamel surface of the tooth may be removed, to make sure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in place later. The amount of enamel removed is tiny and will be the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth stays the same size. A local anaesthetic (injection) may be used to make sure that there is no discomfort, but often this is not needed. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dental team will take an ‘impression’ (mould). This will be given to the dental technician, along with any other information needed to make the veneer. The colour of the surrounding teeth is matched on a shade guide to make sure that the veneer will look entirely natural.

  • How long will it take?

    A veneer takes at least two visits. The first is to prepare the tooth and match the shade, and the second is to fit it. Before bonding it in place, your dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it. Bonding a veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.

  • Will I need a temporary veneer between visits?

    Because the preparation of the tooth is so slight you will probably not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very much the same after preparation, but will feel slightly less smooth.

  • What happens after the veneer is fitted?

    Only minor adjustments can be made to the veneer after it is fitted. It is usually best to wait a little while to get used to it before any changes are made. Your dental team will probably want to check and polish it a week or so after it is fitted, and make sure that you are happy with it.

  • How much will it cost?

    The costs for this treatment can vary from practice to practice so it is important to discuss charges and treatment options with your dental team before starting treatment.

  • How long will a veneer last?

    Veneers should last for many years; but they can chip or break, just like your own teeth can. Your dental team will tell you how long each veneer should last. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.

  • What about alternatives?

    A natural-coloured filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth. This is excellent when the tooth can support a filling, but may not work so well for broken tooth corners. There will always be a join between the tooth and the filling material.
    Crowns are used for teeth which need to be strengthened – either because they have broken, have been weakened by a very large filling, or have had root canal treatment.

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