Are Veneers Your Only Makeover Option?

Cosmetic dentistry is a way that people who are unhappy or self-conscious with their teeth and seldom smile can get a new lease on life.  Technology today offers several treatment options for those individuals looking for a more aesthetic smile.

Although veneer placement is a popular choice for cosmetic dentists today, there are times when porcelain crowns (also referred to as caps) are chosen instead. These are highly aesthetic as well.  The determination between the two depends on the function of the tooth post-procedure.

While customized porcelain veneers are generally used to improve the tooth’s color and shape, it is applied only to the front surface of the tooth. The procedure is usually not performed in teeth with a great loss of structure from dental decay or root canal treatments where a cap or crown will fit over the entire tooth.

There are several variables to consider.  Porcelain crowns might be a better choice if:

  • Patient suffers from severe bruxism (grinding and clenching of teeth)
  • Teeth have had root canals causing it to be brittle
  • There are missing teeth and device needs to be linked together for added strength
  • The dental bite is “edge to edge”
  • The occlusion (bite) must be changed
  • Tooth is markedly stained
  • Tooth is fractured

Since the crown envelops the complete tooth, they provide a good choice for a problematic tooth.  Veneers cover only one façade.  The tooth preparation because of the coverage between the two, differs with much more of the tooth structure needs to be removed with the crown so that there is enough space for the restoration to have the proper gum contour as well as aesthetics and desired strength.

While the cost can vary tremendously depending not only on locale but also between dental offices within the same geographic area, crowns tend to be more expensive than veneers.

Instead of depending on veneers to close gaps between teeth or crowns, there are occasions when dental implants will be suggested to replace the missing teeth and restore the natural appearance of the smile.

A titanium screw is inserted into the jaw and an artificial tooth is attached to this screw.  The implant is quite stable and does not damage surrounding teeth.

In addition to restoring the natural bite, dental implants provide an aesthetic purpose by reestablishing the normal appearance of teeth.

Rather than going to the dentist with a solitary purpose in mind, it is prudent to have a thorough examination and consultation.  The professional dentist will sit down with you and explain all the advantages and benefits as well as the contraindications so that the right choice is made for you.