3 Dental Scenarios When Veneers Are A Better Option Than Crowns

Porcelain veneers are a tooth-colored artificial covering that bonds to the front of a tooth to correct cosmetic issues. A crown is a custom-fit, tooth-colored cap that bonds down over most or all of the tooth to help add stability and correct cosmetic issues. Certain cosmetic issues can be treated with either a veneer or a crown without much difference in the end result. But there are other scenarios where porcelain veneers have a clear advantage over a crown.

Here are a few of the situations where you might want to consider porcelain veneers.

Demineralization Marks

Tooth decay begins with the demineralization of the protective enamel layer. The demineralization is often caused by plaque buildup or acid damage and can leave small pits in the surface of the tooth. These pits are sometimes called pre-cavities, as they can foreshadow further damage in the tooth.

Since the pits aren't actual cavities yet, your dentist can't treat the holes properly with a filling material. A dental crown would seem excessive since the tooth doesn't actually have any structural damage. So if the pitting has become bad enough to become a cosmetic issue, porcelain veneers could prove the best treatment option.

For the veneers, a professional dentist, like Dr. Paul Goodman, will need to lightly file down the tooth to help the bonding stick. Then the thin porcelain shell can be attached to the front of the tooth, hiding the demineralization but keeping most of your tooth intact.

Overly Large Teeth

Do you have a tooth -- or a few teeth -- that are overly large compared to the corresponding teeth on the other side of your mouth? Your dentist can shave down the tooth to even out the sizing then affix a porcelain veneer for added shaping and protection.

Why a veneer instead of a crown? Both cosmetic dentistry products can involve tooth shaving. But dental crowns are thicker and cover more of the tooth. That means the crown can actually make a tooth look larger, which would in turn require more initial tooth shaving simply to fit the crown into place.

Minor Chipping

Do you have a minor trauma-related chip on your tooth that's annoying you and causing cosmetic concern? Your dentist could choose to cover the chipping with either a crown or veneer. But, again, a crown could seem like overkill, considering there's only a minor issue in a small section of the tooth.

Your dentist can craft the porcelain veneer to fit around or in front of the chip so that no one can see the damage. And your tooth will remain relatively intact and feel and look back to normal.