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Crowns vs Veneers – Know The Difference

Veneers and crowns are used as treatments in cosmetic dentistry to improve the function of your teeth and how they look.

They can be similar in appearance and produce the same results, so it’s easy to assume they’re the same thing.

However, they have some significant differences and purposes.

One of the main differences between front teeth crowns vs veneers is that veneers only cover the front surface of the tooth and are primarily used for aesthetic reasons.

In contrast, crowns cover the whole surface area of the tooth and are used for dental restoration.

This guide explores the difference between veneers and crowns and how to choose the correct option.

What are Veneers?

Veneers involve thin shells or layers of materials like porcelain or composite resin that a dentist bonds to the front of your existing tooth.

They’re simply dental fittings or shells made of tooth-coloured materials and are around 1 millimetre thick.

Dental veneers are a fast and durable way to get a smile makeover or improve the overall appearance of teeth.

They’re a minimally invasive dental treatment option that leaves a large portion of the tooth intact.

Veneers are usually custom-designed for each patient to ensure they can cover the tooth’s front surface securely.

Dentists prepare the tooth for veneers by grinding down a small amount of the enamel on the tooth to make it easier to bind with the veneer.

The grinding can be painful, and you may require a local anaesthetic.

The dentist doesn’t need to grind your tooth surface with newer veneers.

If you have insecurities about your teeth, veneers can help you regain your confidence by changing or correcting the shape, colour, length, and size of your teeth.

There are different types of veneers and they can help resolve issues like worn teeth, discoloured teeth, chipped, crooked, or uneven teeth.

Types of Veneers Available at Bespoke Smile

Patients can choose from different veneer options at Bespoke Smile, including:

Ultra-Thin Veneers

The dentist doesn’t have to shave down your natural teeth with ultra-thin veneers.

They’re made of porcelain and are durable and extremely thin.

They can give you great results with minimal tooth invasion that keeps most of your tooth tissue intact.

They’re popular compared to other options since they produce excellent results with minimal tooth preparation and can last a long time.

You’re less likely to experience sensitivity after treatment because most of the enamel remains preserved, and the veneers will not look too bulky on your teeth.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are suitable for correcting chips, discolouration, and cracks.

Porcelain is the most effective and popular material for veneer manufacturing and is often the most expensive.

However, porcelain veneers are a worthwhile investment and feature teeth-resembling transparency, resistance to everyday staining from tea, coffee, wine, or cigarettes, and a longer life span.

They’re usually hand-designed and custom-tailored to suit your needs, teeth and facial structure.

Despite their durability, porcelain veneers are not reparable and need replacement in case of damage.

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers consist of tooth-coloured resin and cost less than porcelain.

They allow a quicker application process and can target various issues like chips, misshapen teeth, and discolouration.

They’re less durable than porcelain veneers, and the lifespan depends on aftercare.

Unlike thin porcelain veneers, composite veneers require preparation to look good.

You’re less likely to experience pain during treatment, and they can be applied straight to your teeth or custom-made indirectly by the dentist.

To increase the lifespan of composite veneers, you should treat them like natural teeth with regular check-ups, flossing, and cleaning.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns cover the entire tooth. They’re usually shaped like a tooth and placed over damaged teeth to restore size, shape, and strength while improving appearance.

The dentist will cement the crown to cover the visible tooth portion fully.

Unlike veneers, dental crowns are more invasive and require the dentist to file down more of the tooth to allow a snug fit.

The dentist may need to build up the tooth if severely damaged, and you may require a local anaesthetic for the procedure.

Dental crowns usually measure 2 millimetres in thickness and can be made from a wide range of materials like porcelain or ceramic, resin, metal or a combination of porcelain and metal.

Crowns are used in dental restoration procedures and are suitable for:

  • Protecting weak teeth from damage or decay
  • Supporting or covering teeth with large fillings where there’s little tooth left
  • Tooth restorations
  • Dental bridges
  • Hiding yellowing teeth
  • Making cosmetic modifications

Dentist explaining to patient

Types of Crowns


Different metals can manufacture permanent crowns, including base metal alloys like nickel-chromium, cobalt-chromium, and platinum.

Metal crowns are rigid and don’t get damaged no matter how hard you chew or bite.

They’re long-lasting and don’t wear down, break or chip easily. The metal crown’s colour can be a drawback and is usually suited for out-of-sight teeth.

To match natural teeth’ colour, dentists can fuse metal with porcelain.

However, this type of crown can cause your other teeth to wear off and is also prone to breaking off or chipping.


Dentists have used gold in dental work for many years.

Today, it’s combined with other metals like nickel, palladium, or chromium to reduce costs and increase the crown’s strength.

Gold crowns have high durability, and you can use them for decades without breaking or chipping.

They require minimal preparation for application and don’t wear down quickly.

However, they’re the least natural-looking crowns, and most people prefer putting them on out-of-sight teeth.


Porcelain or ceramic crowns provide the most natural-looking colours than any other crown.

They’re usually used on front teeth and don’t usually have the strength of different crowns like metal.

Porcelain or ceramic crowns are excellent for people with metal allergies and can be worn comfortably without an allergic reaction.

The sturdy ceramic material can also be pressed with porcelain or zirconium dioxide to increase durability while maintaining a natural look.

How Are They Similar?

Crowns and veneers are used in teeth restorations to improve function and appearance.

Both aim to match the colour of the rest of your teeth for a complete, seamless smile, except for all-metal crowns.

Crown and veneer restorations are suitable for teeth that are discoloured, damaged, decayed, crooked, cracked, chipped or broken.

Differentiating a crown and a veneer can be challenging once applied, as they both produce similar cosmetic dentistry results.

Care and maintenance of veneers and crowns are identical and involve brushing twice daily, like your natural teeth, flossing regularly, and dental check-ups.

Choosing The Right Treatment Option

Despite having overlapping functions, dentists can’t use veneers and crowns interchangeably.

Depending on your specific situation or needs, the dentist will recommend one treatment option over the other.

When to Choose Veneers

Veneers are a suitable option when your tooth is relatively intact and the issue you want to address is minor and for aesthetic purposes.

Veneers provide an effective and long-lasting solution for misaligned teeth, teeth gaps, cracks, and discoloured or chipped teeth to give you a new look and smile.

If you want to improve your smile and confidence, veneers can help you meet your goals as they improve the colour and appearance of your teeth.

Your tooth may always need a cover once you’ve applied a veneer, and replacements may be necessary in case of damage.

Therefore, you shouldn’t choose veneers thinking that the procedure is reversible or temporary.

When to Choose Crowns

Crowns are usually the best option when facing fundamental issues with your teeth.

It can include situations like cracked or badly broken teeth, teeth with large fillings, teeth that have undergone root canals or compromised tooth enamel that needs protection.

A crown can help keep the tooth intact while protecting it from further damage that may warrant extraction.

The dentist will cement the crown firmly in place, and it will act as the new outer surface of the tooth to keep your natural tooth protected.

Crowns can also be more suitable in cases where the damage on the tooth edges results from grinding.

A crown will cover the entire tooth, including the edges, while a veneer will only cover the front part of the tooth.

A crown will significantly change the shape and colour of your tooth, and it will always need some kind of coverage after application.

Whether you’re choosing crowns or veneers, remember the goal is to enhance how your teeth look and function.

The main difference between veneers and crowns is that veneers are aesthetic, thin and bonded to the front part of teeth, while crowns house the whole tooth and are thicker.

The severity of the tooth condition and the goal you wish to achieve will help your dentist determine the most suitable choice.

It’s always wise to seek expert advice and ask what treatment or procedure is most suitable for you, as there are different types of veneers and crowns to choose from. Book a free consultation at Bespoke Smile to get started.

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“We create attractive, healthy confident smiles for patients that last for years.”

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