Can You Have Dental Veneers and Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns and dental veneers are two different types of restoration treatments. A dental veneer fits over the front of the tooth, while a crown fits over the whole thing. If you are wondering whether a single tooth can have both a crown and a veneer, the answer is no. A tooth can support either a veneer or a crown. If a tooth that has had a veneer in the past sustains more extensive damage, it may be possible to place a crown after removing the veneer. However, there is no way to apply a veneer to a tooth that already has a crown.
However, if the question is whether you can combine dental veneers and crowns in your whole mouth, with some teeth receiving one restoration and some the other, this may be possible. Whether it would be practical or desirable is a question you would need to discuss with your dentist.
What are the similarities and differences between dental veneers and crowns?
When examining the purpose, materials, and application procedure, dental veneers and crowns are similar in many ways but also have a number of distinct differences.
The purpose of a veneer is primarily cosmetic. It is typically used to cover up minor dental issues, such as discoloring, excessive wear, chips or breaks, misalignments, irregular shape, unevenness, or gaps that do not affect the function of the teeth but make them look unappealing. Veneers are wafer-thin and do little to support the teeth or protect them from damage.
While crowns are sometimes installed for purely cosmetic purposes to improve the look of a damaged tooth, they are more often used to treat severe dental conditions. Crowns are typically used for the following reasons:
- Anchoring a dental bridge
- Capping teeth after a root canal
- Covering dental implants
- Covering severely discolored teeth
- Disguising misshapen teeth
- Holding together a cracked tooth
- Protecting teeth weakened by decay
- Restoring broken or severely worn teeth
- Supporting and protecting a tooth with a large amount of filling
Because a veneer is primarily a cosmetic treatment, it is always made of a tooth-colored material. Usually, this is porcelain, which is thin, natural-looking, and long-lasting. Ceramic veneers are also popular, which are very durable and can mimic the look of natural teeth. Composite veneers are the most cost-effective, typically costing half the price of porcelain veneers. However, they are more likely to break, chip, or stain, and carry a lifespan of around five years.
Crowns can also be made of porcelain, ceramic, or composite, but they can also be made of other materials, such as metal, including chromium, gold, nickel, and palladium. Metal crowns are extremely durable and rarely break, with the ability to withstand strong bite force. However, the color of metal crowns makes them more appropriate for placement on the less-visible molars. A porcelain-fused-to-metal crown is one that offers the benefits of metal with a tooth-colored coating that can be matched to the natural tooth color. While this type of crown is a good candidate for teeth in the front or back, caution must be taken to avoid breaking the porcelain part of the crown, which can cause wear and breakage on other surrounding teeth.
Dental veneers are thinner than crowns, so they do not require as much of the tooth's material to be removed before application. This makes them less invasive. Porcelain or ceramic veneers require multiple visits to complete the installation process, but composite veneers only require a single visit.
Because crowns are thicker, they require much more of the tooth's material to be removed and so are considered more invasive. Metal crowns require the least amount of tooth removal to be installed, but the process is still more invasive than veneers.
Are there situations in which you may want both crowns and veneers?
If you have teeth that are damaged so severely that they will not support veneers, they need crowns. However, if you have other teeth that are not as severely damaged, it may be possible to choose veneers for those teeth to resolve aesthetic issues. Crowns are more expensive than veneers, so the latter may be a more cost-effective solution if the condition of your teeth allows it.
Dental veneers and crowns are somewhat similar options when it comes to purpose and materials, but the invasiveness of the installation and the strength and longevity of the restoration varies. It may be possible for your treatment to include both crowns and veneers on different teeth, but the same tooth cannot support both a veneer and a crown at the same time.
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