color matching for veneer or crown

Dental Crowns vs. Veneers – 6 Important Questions To Ask Your Dentist

Do you know anyone who’s always chewing on the ice left after they’ve downed a tall glass of lemonade or another of their favorite summertime refreshers…? Chewing ice is like a pastime for some people, but our teeth are not a big fan of the habit.

Chewing ice, crunching popcorn kernels, and even biting down on a piece of hard candy can put a lot of stress on our teeth — sometimes so much that a tooth will chip or crack altogether.

When that happens, it’s time to take a trip to the dentist who’ll assess the damage and decide on the best treatment. When a tooth gets chipped or cracked, you may need a dentist to repair it with a veneer or crown — depending on how healthy the tooth is. 

Here are some questions to ask your dentist when you stop in for an evaluation:

Dental crowns vs. veneers – What’s the difference?

Medical News Today explains what a veneer is: “Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells that dentists can place on the front of the teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers can hide stained, chipped, and uneven teeth.”

WebMD describes crowns: “A dental crown is a tooth-shaped ‘cap’ that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.”

Because the two sound so similar, it’s important for you to understand the difference, so be sure to ask your dentist for more information. 

How do I know whether I need a veneer or crown?

Your dentist will determine which treatment will work best for you depending on how damaged a tooth is and how healthy it was before the incident.

A veneer will often be the go-to when a tooth is relatively healthy and minimally damaged. For example, maybe it’s chipped but not fully cracked, and there’s no decay to speak of. In that case, a veneer can restore the cosmetic appearance of the tooth.

Crowns can also improve appearance, but dentists opt for them more often when a tooth is more severely damaged, has become weak from decay, and is in need of more extensive repair.

How much does each one cost?

The price varies depending on where you are, where the tooth is in your mouth, what materials dentists use, and how experienced they are with the procedures. Crowns can start around $800 and go as high as $1700 each. Composite resin veneers run anywhere from $250 to $1500, and the porcelain variety starts closer to $1000 and may go as high as $2500 for each one. 

You’ll want to talk with your dentist about the cost before moving ahead with either treatment so you don’t have any surprises when you get the bill. 

Does the insurance cover these expenses?

Veneers have been labeled cosmetic because they’re often the choice for individuals who simply want improved appearance of their teeth — gaps filled, color evened out, shapes perfected. Insurance companies consider procedures with a ‘cosmetic’ label to be unnecessary for health, so they don’t usually cover veneers.

Crowns, on the other hand, can be essential to repair an injured or decaying tooth, so insurance generally covers it.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Be sure to talk it over with the staff in your dental office and with your insurance company. Surprise bills are no fun! Do your due diligence first to be sure you don’t run into any unexpected costs.

What’s the process for getting a crown or veneer? 

It’s always helpful to know what to expect when you’re planning for a dental procedure. Verywell Health offers a lot of details about the process of getting a veneer: “It can typically take three trips to the dentist to apply a dental veneer; one visit for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. Your dentist will need to examine your teeth to confirm that dental veneers are right for you and discuss the full procedure.”

When you need a crown, you can expect a similar process. Different dentists have different timelines, of course, but at TrueCare Dentistry, we offer same-day dental crowns that we can easily implant onto your tooth. When you come in for your first appointment, we’ll determine the extent of the damage to your tooth and decide whether a dental crown is the best solution. During your follow-up visit, we’ll prepare your tooth and implant the crown comfortably and safely. 

Remember to ask any questions that come up so you feel confident and comfortable throughout the process.

How do I take care of my teeth when I’ve had a veneer or a crown?

Your dentist can give you advice specific to your situation, but here’s some general information about taking care of your teeth after one of these procedures.

Veneers can last up to 10 years. While the dentist won’t ask you to avoid specific foods right after the procedure, you may want to be careful about drinking coffee, tea, and other drinks that routinely create stains on teeth. Veneers are not immune to the staining that our teeth experience with those types of liquids, and they may last longer without constant exposure. 

Once you’ve had veneers applied, you may also want to be more careful about hard candies, ice, and other foods that are difficult to bite. They can easily damage the veneers. Also, avoid opening packages with your teeth and, if you’re an athlete, wear a mouthguard for protection during practice and games.

Crowns typically last longer than veneers, some up to 15 years. Immediately following the crown placement, the dentist will ask you to avoid hard and sticky foods to give the crown time to bond. At TrueCare Dentistry, the technology we use helps the crown bond quickly so you can get back to your normal activities. After the first 48 hours, you can generally treat the crowned tooth like it’s a natural one.

If you’ve noticed new, frequent pain in your teeth and you’re looking for affordable dental procedures, give TrueCare Dentistry a call and set up an appointment. We’ll help you get back to feeling free of discomfort and confident in your smile.

Exceptional Is Not Uncommon

At TrueCare Dentistry, you will experience exceptional dental care that is focused on maximum patient comfort. We offer the best chair-side manner from check-in to check-out. Contact us for an appointment or to learn more: 919.859.1330