Dental Veneers vs Crowns and Bonding

When determining whether application of veneers is the option for you or crowns and bonding is the better choice, there are benefits and disadvantages of both that should be kept in mind.

With latest technology, the choice to correct dental imperfections can be any of the three, unlike years ago when the only available option was to place a cap or crown over each problematic tooth.

Benefits of Veneers over Crowns and Bonds

  • Veneers last longer than bonding
  • Porcelain veneers resist staining
  • The exact color can be obtained with veneers
  • Veneers add strength and durability to the teeth
  • Only regular oral hygiene with brushing and flossing is required for maintenance.  No special routine is needed.
  • Less healthy tooth material is removed than with crowns
  • Teeth shape alteration is more moderate with veneers
  • Gives a more natural look and feel to the teeth
  • If brushed and taken care of properly, veneers can last up to 15 years.

The disadvantage of dental veneers is that it is not as strong as crowns.  They cannot withstand undue pressure so that people suffering from bruxism or grinding and clenching teeth at night can cause undue harm to the veneers.  (This can be addressed with a mouth guard).  A tooth would not be eligible for veneers if it has had extensive structural work done as in extensive fillings from decay.

Because of the decrease in strength compared to crowns, veneers chip or crack more easily. They also are vulnerable to decay and if enough of the enamel is lost, will necessitate covering the tooth with a crown, anyway.

Teeth covered up with veneers have the risk of becoming sensitive to exposure to hot and cold as in hot and cold beverages, ice, cold air. Sour and sweet foods may also trigger the sensitivity sensation.  This is characterized by sharp, sudden and shooting pain deep into the nerve endings of the teeth. The cause of sensitivity is exposure of dentin (the underlying layer to enamel) which has thousands of channels leading to the pulp (nerve center) and may be opened from manipulation of the tooth enamel or receding gum lines.

If the veneer develops a fracture or crack, which is either undetected or untreated, bacteria from plaque may enter the pulp from tubules, thereby causing inflammation and additional sensitivity.

Once the decision to have veneers or crowns is made however, the process is not reversible.  In either case, you will have a beautiful set of teeth and a dazzling smile!