If you are frustrated with the unattractive appearance of your teeth, your cosmetic dentist might recommend either dental veneers or dental crowns as a solution. Both of these solutions can completely cover unsightly issues on the surface of the teeth, but you might be wondering exactly how they are different. Dental crowns and dental veneers are actually quite similar, but they do have a few significant differences. Keep reading to learn what those are.

Dental Crowns: The Crowning Glory of Your Molars

Dental crowns are typically made individually, with one crown being created for each tooth that needs this type of correction. Dental crowns are typically crafted from one of three materials:

  • Porcelain composite
  • Dental plastic
  • Acrylic resin

The materials listed above can be used to create a tooth that appears so realistic as to be indistinguishable from your other natural teeth. Dental crowns are used only on the back teeth in your mouth, typically on the molars.

The dental crown is much like a shell customized for your natural tooth. It fits directly atop your tooth and is then snapped into place. Thus, a dental crown will cover the top, front, and back of your tooth. Dental crowns are held in place permanently with dental cement.

Dental Veneers: A Shiny New Veneer For Your Front Teeth

If one of your anterior (front teeth) has some appearance issues, for example discoloration that cosmetic whitening can't resolve, your dentist may recommend dental veneers rather than crowns. Dental veneers are normally made from the same materials that dental crowns are.

The typical dental veneer is a single flat piece, which is the main way that it differs from a dental crown. While the crown covers the whole tooth, the dental veneer will only cover the front of the tooth. Like crowns, dental veneers are made specifically for each tooth so that they will blend in seamlessly with your other teeth.

Dental veneers are typically applied with dental cement. This allows them to stay permanently in place on your teeth. With both dental veneers and dental crowns, your dentist will usually recommend caution for at least a short period after they are placed in your mouth so that the dental cement can permanently set. However, in the long term, you will be able to treat both dental crowns and dental veneers just as you treat the natural teeth beneath them.

For more information, contact Milan Simanek, D.D.S. & Associates or a similar location.