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Houston Dentist - Dr. Kirk Speck D.D.S.

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Home arrow Dentist Articles arrow Porcelain Veneers: When Do Veneers Make More Sense Than Crowns?
Porcelain Veneers: When Do Veneers Make More Sense Than Crowns?

If you are not happy with the way your teeth look, it may affect your self confidence and you may no longer want to smile. Cosmetic Houston dentistry and materials science has made a great deal of progress in helping people to gain confidence in their appearance and smile and could probably help you as well.

When a patient's teeth have flaws or have become damaged, porcelain veneers or crowns, also referred to as caps are used to restore the teeth for a more brilliant smile. Crowns are used to fit over and cover damaged or flawed teeth. Porcelain veneers are a covering for a tooth that is custom made to restore the front of the tooth. The covering is thin and blends with the natural color of the other teeth so it can't be easily seen.

Problems that Porcelain Veneers and Crowns Can Address

If you have excessive damage to your teeth because of tooth decay, these two products can help. Teeth that are stained permanently or are discolored for a variety of reasons will benefit from cosmetic Houston dentistry that involves veneers or caps. If your teeth have become brittle after having root canal or have become fractured for any reason, porcelain veneers and crowns can address these issues as well.

In the past, crowns were the way that we addressed these problems. Today, porcelain veneers have become a popular way to make teeth whiter and brighter and can cover a wide range of conditions. Your Houston dentist will have to examine your teeth and tell you which of the two methods are better suited to your needs.

Situations that Influence One or the Other

Your Houston dentist will take a number of factors into account when deciding whether your teeth would best be served with either porcelain veneers or traditional crowns. The condition of your gums, what type of bite or occlusion you have as well as the amount of damage the teeth have suffered are all taken into our consideration when determining the best method to restore your teeth. Porcelain veneers rely on intact enamel for their bond strength and sometimes there won't be enough quality enamel for veneers, but with modern crowns made of porcelain, it is difficult to distinguish whether they are porcelain veneers or caps.

Pros and Cons

When porcelain veneers are applied, very little of the tooth enamel has to be removed, while when applying crowns, a larger portion of the tooth is removed for the cap to be able to fit over the damaged tooth. Porcelain veneers only cover the sides and front, while a crown will cover the entire tooth and is the preferred method when damage to the teeth is severe.

Cost is another consideration for the patient. Porcelain veneers, since they only cover the visible side of the tooth are usually considered to be cosmetic in nature and may not be covered by insurance, even though the procedure for veneers and crowns are nearly identical and the costs usually very close.

You and your Houston dentist can discuss the pros and cons of each of these products to find the one that will best suit your pocketbook and your needs. As a Houston dentist, I know that all dental professionals are more than happy to take the time to discuss the proper procedures that will have you smiling again, but it is up to you to ask the right questions that will elicit the information you need to make your decision.