Veneers vs Crowns vs Dental Tooth Bonding

So what are the differences between a dental veneer, crown or tooth bonding? As far as conserving tooth structure, dental bonding is the most conservative, and the porcelain crown is the most radical, and somewhere in the middle is porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers covers only the front surface of the tooth, your teeth will be shaped minimally to receive veneers. They look amazing and they are resistant to stains due to porcelain material.

Porcelain crowns cover the entire tooth, consequently crowns require 360 degrees of reduction of the tooth, so a porcelain cap covers over the prepared surface. Porcelain crowns are extremely strong, and can look good in the hands of an expert dentist. Read below to find out more about the differences for each procedure:

Dental bonding is the least invasive dental treatment, and that is great thing!

The draw back is the staining on the long run, due to the porosity of the composite bonding and the strength of composite bonding, meaning it is not a strong material at the chewing edge of your teeth, the draw back and limitation of dental bonding is possible fracture, and staining !

Before porcelain veneers vs dental bonding
Before porcelain veneers vs dental bonding
After porcelain veneers vs Dental bonding
After porcelain veneers vs Dental bonding

The best thing about bonding is that very little or in some cases no preparation for the teeth is required (very little or no tooth removal is required), hence it is conservative dentistry, and there are many indications to use tooth bonding material, which is dependent on the forces of the patient bite.

Bonding is the procedure of choice, for closure of gaps, food impaction, minor cosmetic dental procedures, and can be used as filling and restorative dentistry procedure. Dental Bonding generally cost less, than porcelain veneers or Dental Crowns, since there is no laboratory fee involved. Dental composites which are used in dental bonding procedures are generally non allergic material according to American Dental Association.

So If you have a chipped tooth, Do you get a crown, veneer or dental bonding?

It all depends on the extent of the chip, the opposing biting surface, the cosmetic needs of the patient, and the patients budget:

Dental Crowns, are very strong, will last you a long time, and again has it’s indications, where the tooth needs total support to function, due to severe caries, trauma, fractures, cracked tooth, teeth with root canals, restorations of dental implants, and restoration of teeth without proper support to withstand forces of occlusion, and many more applications in reconstructive and cosmetic dentistry.

The drawback to dental crowns are: Removal of precious tooth structure,
A 360 degrees tooth preparation is required, meaning the full circumference of your tooth needs to be prepared by dentist, so a crown can be fabricated over the tooth, and once your tooth is cut, there is no way to add on the original tooth structure back.

In the past, for cosmetic dentistry rejuvenation of the smile line, before the advent of porcelain veneers technique, most Holly Wood icons and celebrities did their cosmetic dentistry with Hollywood cosmetic crowns, since Dentistry had not introduced veneers procedure and technique, to be less INVASIVE, and would even produce better results.

Again there is indications to use crowns or caps, if strength and protection of the tooth is needed due to bite and occlusion, then a full coverage crown is needed for your teeth to function properly, crowns will be the material of choice in those particular instances. Depending on the laboratory and the experience of the dentist, Dental crowns cost more than dental bonding, and close to porcelain veneers.

Dental Porcelain Veneers, are between dental bonding and crown procedure , they are much stronger than dental bonding, Porcelain material is NOT porous vs composite bonding material, veneers are much more conservative than crown procedure, and minimal tooth structure is required to be removed, and that is the beauty. If done properly and conservatively by your dentist, it will last years more than dental crowns.

The most important thing to consider, they are less invasive than crowns, however they are more technique sensitive, also requiring laboratory for fabrication of veneers, and because of this, veneers can cost more than crowns.

Also you must know that if for some reason in the future, the porcelain veneer fails, you can always have a crown made, however if the crown fails, you can not have a porcelain veneer done.

Before dark tooth, and chipped tooth, porcelain veneer
Before dark tooth, and chipped tooth, porcelain veneer
After correction with porcelain veneer Emax
After correction with porcelain veneer Emax as opposed to bonding

Now, if  you do want to have cosmetic dentistry done, first thing is to check is the periodontal health and  your gum architecture, if you do have uneven gums they need to be addressed first, since if not treated your teeth might look, longer or shorter to the eye, although the edges of your teeth looks even after fabrication of crowns or veneers, if gum levels are even, the crowns or veneers will look uneven to your eyes.

The next step is to check is to evaluate the color,of your teeth prior having any cosmetic dentistry done, and evaluate the desired color you as a patient wanting.

The discoloration due to root canal, or other intrinsic discoloration must be addressed first, either through internal bleaching procedure such as “Walking Bleach” procedure, to correct the color prior to having further cosmetic dentistry done such as veneers or porcelain crowns. Please be aware if you do not correct the color of your tooth prior to veneering or crowning, the color might show through again, several years later.

The thickness of porcelain, in crowns without metal, or veneers are thin, around 0.3 millimeters to 1.2 millimeters, for that reason discoloration can show through. most experienced and expert dentists, address the discolorations, prior to preparing teeth!

Once the color is corrected then consider if you do want to enhance the shape of your teeth, via veneers, or if not enough supported tooth structure then crowns.

If your teeth are healthy, and you want to have a brighter, more attractive smile, with change of shape to your teeth, then I do recommend veneers, since it is conservative, and will give you an awesome look vs crowns, in which a lot less of your precious tooth structure needs to be cut away with the veneering technique.

You may ask your dentist to show you a wax-up of your teeth, and also show you on your study model casts, the preparations of your teeth and even the outcome you desire prior to starting the procedure, there is cost involved, but it is worth it.