What is the Difference Between Veneers and Crowns?

Difference Between Veneers and Crowns

Understanding the difference between veneers and crowns will help you make the best decision for your teeth. Both are dental restoration procedures that can help transform the appearance of your smile. An expert smile restoration dentist can use crowns or veneers to make your teeth whiter and straighter, and boost your confidence.

Although crowns and veneers have the same outcome, certain smiles might require one or the other. Once you understand the difference between the two procedures, you can ask your dentist which is best for you.

Let’s take a look at the differences between these two smile restoration procedures and some pros and cons of each.

Crowns vs Veneers

The application of crowns and veneers is the biggest differentiator. Veneers are a very thin layer of porcelain that is applied to just the front of your tooth. Each veneer is about 1mm thick.

On the other hand, a crown encapsulates your entire tooth. It is made of either porcelain, porcelain fused to a metal alloy, or an all-metal alloy.

Many people wonder “are veneers better than crowns?” There isn’t a clear cut answer to this question. Certain people will have a preference, or a dentist will make the best recommendation based on the condition of a person’s natural teeth.

Veneers are an excellent option for those who do not want to have a very invasive procedure. Veneer application does not require removing much of the natural tooth. Instead, just a thin layer of the enamel will be removed to create a rough surface that the veneer can bond to. It is required that you have enough enamel on your tooth, however. Otherwise the veneer won’t have a proper surface to bond to.

Therefore, if your teeth have considerable enamel damage, you will have to have a crown procedure.

Because a crown covers your entire tooth, your teeth will have to be shaved down to create enough room for the crowns. If you have any tooth decay, this will also be removed before the crown is applied. If there isn’t enough natural tooth to bond the crown to, your dentist may have to build up your tooth with an artificial compound.


According to the American Cosmetic Dentistry organization, veneers can cost between $925 to $2,500 per tooth. The material of your veneer will be the biggest price indicator. Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers, but they tend to last longer, which can save money in the long run.

The cost of a crown also varies by the material, the amount of prep work needed, and the size of the tooth.

According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, crowns can cost between $1,000 to $3,500 per tooth. However, if your smile requires additional procedures such as core buildup or root canals, the cost will be higher. Porcelain and ceramic crowns tend to cost a bit more than all-metal crowns.

Crowns and Veneers

Pros and Cons

Here is a list of pros and cons for veneers and crowns.

Veneer pros

  • Veneers often look great for longer than crowns do.
  • Veneers can leave more of your healthy tooth intact.
  • Teeth with veneers have minimal movement.

Veneer cons

  • Veneers leave more of your tooth exposed, which can leave it vulnerable to decay.
  • Composite veneers cost less, but may only last 5–7 years. Other materials last longer, but may still have to be replaced.
  • Veneers aren’t reversible.
  • Veneers may not be covered by dental insurance.

Crown pros

  • Your entire tooth is covered, which protects it from decay.
  • Porcelain crowns look and feel just like natural teeth.
  • Crowns don’t have to be removed for cleaning as dentures do.
  • Dental insurance may cover a portion of the cost of a crown if they will protect your overall mouth health.

Crown cons

  • More of your natural tooth is removed.
  • Crowns may cause sensitivity to heat and cold, and gum pain. This should go away after your mouth gets used to the crowns.
  • Porcelain may be damaged over time.

Affordable Crowns and Veneers

Now that you understand the difference between crowns and veneers, how much they cost,and their pros and cons, you can make the best decision for you and your smile!

If you have decided that you want crowns or veneers, but the cost is too high, there is a solution. Traveling to get porcelain veneers overseas or low-cost crowns abroad can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars!

The Mario Garita Dental Experience

Mario Garita offers affordable dental restoration procedures and dental implants in Costa Rica. Typically, you will find that dental procedures overseas are much more affordable than they are in the United States and you never have to sacrifice quality. Get in touch with Dr. Garita today to schedule your dental tourism trip.

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