What is the difference between a Crown and a Veneer?

A smile makeover involves using a number of dental treatments to improve the appearance and general health of your smile. This is typically created with Veneers and/or Crowns. So what exactly is the difference between a Crown and a Veneer?

Veneers Vs Crowns


Porcelain Veneers cover only the single, outside portion of the tooth, the part that shows when you smile or talk. They are prepared and placed on the teeth similarly to the way an acrylic nail adheres to a natural nail.


Dental Crowns are “caps” crafted with a specialised tooth-like material that is used to completely cover and therefore rebuild the tooth. The cap is placed over the entire tooth (which has been substantially shaved down) to give a more aesthetically pleasing appearance and strengthen the tooth entirely.

A combination of crowns and veneers can be used, depending on the condition of your teeth. 6 – 8 Top Veneers is the most common of the treatments for a smile makeover and lower veneers if required, otherwise ZOOM whitening will be used for the bottom teeth – included in Smile Makeover Package.

PORCELAIN VENEERS – Suitable for teeth that are:

  • Darkened or discoloured
  • Chipped or worn down
  • Uneven or slightly crooked
  • Have small gaps between teeth

DENTAL CROWNS – Suitable for teeth that are:

  • Badly damaged, wear over time, have tooth decay
  • You have had root canal therapy (RCT) – to preserve the strength in the remaining tooth structure
  • The tooth is being used as an abutment (support) for a bridge or denture

Both treatments require slight to moderate tooth and enamel preparation (drilling) to achieve the best possible contour and natural appearance. Both treatments require 2-3 phases (appointments) with your dentist. (Unless additional treatments required).

Stage 1 (first appointment)

This will be the consultation, examination and preparation of the teeth taking up to about 4 hours. This stage will include drilling/filing, removing any old fillings, treating decay, internal bleaching of damaged teeth, gum treatments to allow for the crown or veneer, impressions (wax-up), and colour.

Fabricated temporary teeth will remain in place while the Crown/Veneers are being prepared in the lab. The temporary fixture protects the prepared teeth until permanents are placed. (You may experience some sensitivity during this time).


Fabricate and polish the Veneers/Crowns


Removal of the temporary or provisional veneers and crowns

Bonding the veneers onto the teeth – the advances in dental porcelain and chemical bonding with tooth structure creates the tightest possible relationship between porcelain and tooth.

Cementing or bonding the crown/s onto the tooth or teeth with specialised dental cement.  “Cementing” a crown is the traditional method of holding a crown onto the tooth and relies on physical grip between the crown, cement and tooth. “Bonding” a crown into position requires a chemical bond between the tooth, cement and crown and is the modern method used with porcelain crowns.

There will be some swelling and/or discomfort of the gums after this final appointment, which may take a few days to settle. After this has settled your outcome will be fantastic – depending on how many teeth are treated, which in most cases, is a complete smile makeover.

See some of our clients smile make transformation images here!

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Written by CosMediTour Dental

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