Understanding the difference between a porcelain veneer and a full porcelain crown can sometimes be confusing. Both options can add strength and beauty to your teeth, but the veneer only covers the front side and the biting edge of the teeth while a crown covers all visible surfaces. When might a cosmetic dentist in Walnut Creek recommend a veneer, and when might a crown be the best option?
Porcelain veneers are generally offered as a conservative alternative to full-coverage crowns on the front teeth. A veneer offers many of the same esthetic benefits of a full crown while preserving more of the natural enamel. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, it is only necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from the sides and front of the tooth—leaving the back surface of the tooth unaltered. When old fillings or excessively worn enamel have left the teeth cracked, discolored, or uneven, veneers are a minimally invasive option that can help to provide structural reinforcement and a cosmetic boost.
When used to restore the front teeth, veneers can be designed to enhance the shade, shape, or position of the teeth without adding bulk. With an ultra-thin veneer, it is still possible to achieve a tremendously strong bond to the underlying enamel. This design feature is an asset in that the thin, metal-free veneer is naturally translucent just like real enamel.
A full-coverage crown is an appropriate treatment choice when all surfaces of the tooth must be restored. A severely damaged tooth, a tooth that has been previously treated with a root canal procedure, or a tooth that is subjected to heavy biting forces may be better served with a crown rather than a veneer. Crowns are also the recommended solution for restoring the back teeth.
To learn more about how porcelain veneers and crowns can be used to enhance your smile, consult a cosmetic dentist in Walnut Creek CA today.