Porcelain Veneers Vs. Dental Crowns: What’s the Difference?

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August 23, 2017

Veneers and dental crowns are generally made of porcelain. However, they do have distinct differences. A crown encases the entire tooth; a veneer is bonded to the front surface of the tooth. The choice typically depends on the type of restoration a person requires. If a veneer is needed, the dentist shaves away only a thin layer of tooth enamel, and the core and back of the tooth is left alone.


Wafer-thin porcelain veneers are typically just one millimeter thick, and can be even less than that. Dentists don’t have to trim as much tooth material and there’s no need to trim the backside either. In some cases, tooth reduction isn’t required, so there is minimal recovery. Dental crowns, on the other hand, are two millimeters thick or more and require more tooth enamel to be removed.


Veneers allow for minor changes in tooth shape. They can also be used to change tooth color. Porcelain veneers, however, are somewhat brittle compared to crowns. Strong forces can fracture or dislodge them. Veneers offer a stain-free surface that can be maintained with good oral hygiene and by eating and drinking properly.


A tooth is often trimmed down to its core, so a crown can significantly change its shape. If a tooth is decayed or badly broken, a strong, durable crown can withstand the forces of biting, chewing, and tooth clenching and grinding. Ceramic dental crowns look natural and are a common method of restoring teeth in a variety of circumstances.



Sometimes patients report veneers too often appear large or bulky. When correctly created and applied correctly, this won’t be an issue.


All porcelain crowns are not quite as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Since we use our back teeth to chew, there may be some situations where the added strength of porcelain-fused-to-metal may be necessary on those teeth.

Help me choose

Choosing between veneers or crowns comes down to the goals of you and your dentist.

While both procedures are desirable, the two treatments have different uses.

Typically we recommend veneers when a patient would like to improve the shape and color of their teeth. Crowding and space issues can also be fixed.

Veneers are customized to fit each individual patient’s needs. In general, they’re preferable to crowns – they leave more of the natural tooth structure.

We use crowns in cases where there is less tooth structure, due to tooth decay, or in cases where a tooth has had a root canal.

In the end, it’s your choice. Do your own research, book a consultation.

The best thing you can do is find people who’ve had the procedures done, and ask them about their experience and happiness level with their final result.

We know whichever procedure you choose–crowns or veneers–you’ll be thrilled with your results and proud to show off your gorgeous pearly whites.

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