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The difference between veneers and crowns – which is the better option for you?

Even though both veneers and crowns can restore the function and aesthetic appearance of your teeth, there are certain differences. The main difference is that veneers cover only the front part of the tooth, which the crown covers the entire tooth.
Before deciding whether to get veneers or crowns when improving your smile, it is very important to be properly informed and to consult an experienced dentist.
This blog outlines all the advantages and disadvantages of tooth crowns and veneers, and will help to reveal which of these two solutions would be best for you!

What is the difference between veneers and crowns?

A veneer is a very thin layer of ceramic or other material such as zirconium, which is about 1 mm thick and is placed only on the front surface of your tooth.
A crown is about 2 mm thick and covers the entire tooth. It can be made of zirconium, metal-ceramic, zirconium-ceramic, or fully of ceramic.

Whether you are a candidate for crowns or veneers depends on the condition of your teeth, so if you have any of these problems, you are likely a candidate for veneers or crowns:
⦁ Teeth with uneven colouration,
⦁ Broken or chipped teeth,
⦁ Decayed or weakened teeth,
⦁ Crooked teeth.


Veneers are a prosthetic replacement that covers only the front (visible) surface of the tooth. Veneers are less invasive than crowns as the majority of the tooth remains untouched (no need to abrade teeth as with crowns).

In order to install the veneers, the dentist “sands” about 0.3 mm off the front surface of the tooth to create a rough surface that the veneer will be attached to. Of course, the dentist will give you anaesthesia so that you do not feel the sanding.

Smile before and after veneers

How are veneers installed?

⦁ After a detailed exam, the dentist will sand down and prepare the front surface of the tooth to which the veneer will be attached.
⦁ The dentist will make an imprint of your prepared tooth using digital scanning or a mould. The digital scan or mould is sent to the laboratory that creates the veneer.
⦁ Most often you will receive a temporary veneer until the permanent one can be made in the laboratory.
⦁ After 5–7 days when the veneers are finished, you will return to the dentist to have the permanent veneers placed on the teeth. The veneers are cemented to the teeth using special dental cement and an ultraviolet lamp.

Dental crowns

Unlike veneers, the crown covers the entire tooth. In order to prepare the tooth for the installation of the crowns, more abrasion is required than for veneers.If you have cavities, the dentist will remove or treat that part of the tooth before having the crowns made. In preparing the tooth for crowns, the dentist will give you anaesthetic so that the procedure is painless, just like in the preparation for veneers.
Teeth are prepared for crowns if the tooth is more damaged due to caries, abrasion, medical treatment or when needed to change the height of the bite, to replace existing worn crowns or bridges. If we assess that there is a possibility that the tooth will fracture, then crowns are a better option than fillings. A crown fully protects the remaining structure of the tooth.

Smile before and after crowns

How are crowns installed?

⦁ After a detailed exam, you will receive anaesthesia and the teeth to be covered by the crowns are abraded.
⦁ The dentist takes an imprint of your teeth using digital scanning or by making a mould. The digital scan or mould is sent to the laboratory that will create the crown.
⦁ The dentist may install a temporary crown on the abraded tooth so that you can function normally until the permanent crown is prepared.
⦁ After a few days, when the permanent crown is finished, the dentist will remove the temporary crown. The permanent crown will then be installed on the tooth and adapted to perfectly fit and to ensure a proper bite. After the dentist is certain that the tooth fits right, the crown will be permanently cemented to the tooth.

You can function normally with crowns, just as before with your natural teeth.

The difference between veneers and crowns – which is better for you?

If your tooth is already very worn, a crown is likely the better option for you. If your tooth is completely untouched, and you just want to beautify your smile, then veneers might be the better option.

What is the price of crowns and veneers?

The price of crowns and veneers depends on a number of factors:
⦁ Size of the teeth,
⦁ Position of the teeth
⦁ Material the crowns/veneers are made of.

Price of veneers
The price of veneers depends on a number of factors, and the price range can be divided into ceramic veneers and composite veneers.
Take a look at the price list for veneers at our clinic.

Price of crowns
The price of crowns varies depending on the material to be used in making the crowns, the quantity needed for preparatory work, and the size of the teeth.
Ceramic and zirconia-ceramic crowns are usually somewhat more expensive that metal-ceramic crowns. Take a look at the price list for crowns at our clinic.

Advantages of veneers

⦁ In the long-term, veneers can be more aesthetically pleasing than crowns, as no retraction of the gums occurs after several years.
⦁ Veneers require much less abrasion of the tooth than is needed for crowns.
⦁ Veneers have a long-life if all the rules are followed in properly preparing the tooth.
⦁ Due to their exceptional properties of transparency and translucence, veneers made of ceramic glass and clay ceramics faithfully mimic the enamel of natural teeth, giving a premium aesthetic appearance.

Disadvantages of veneers

⦁ With veneers, the majority of the natural tooth remains, and it may be sensitive to bleeding.
⦁ If veneers are made based on the improper indications of the dentist, this can lead to frequent cracking or ungluing of the veneer.
⦁ There are few indications for veneers (the teeth must be quite healthy, without large fillings, relatively small tooth rotations can be corrected).

Advantage of crowns

⦁ The crown covers the entire tooth, and so it is more protected than with veneers.
⦁ Zirconium-ceramic crowns most faithfully mimic the natural tooth, giving a natural appearance to the tooth.
⦁ Crowns are relatively long-lasting and do not need to be removed for cleaning like dentures do.

Disadvantages of crowns

⦁ A large portion of the natural tooth is removed (abraded) to make room for the crown.
⦁ The gums require some time to adapt to the shape of the crown, and this can cause a feeling of pressure on the gums.

Some questions to ask your dentist before making the final decision about veneers and crowns:

⦁ Are there any other options that I should consider, like dentures or implants?
⦁ What materials can be used to make the crowns/veneers?
⦁ Will I need to wear a tooth guard overnight?
⦁ How do I care for the crowns/veneers?

Dentist tips

Our dentist Vlatko Biondić has a wealth of experience in making veneers and crowns.

Here are a few tips he has for you if you are considering either option:

⦁ If you are undecided between crowns and veneers, always consider that crowns require much more abrasion of the tooth surface than veneers. Crowns are an excellent choice for people who have very worn, black or very dark teeth.
⦁ It is a good idea to discuss with your dentist in what way, and how deep, your teeth will be abraded in preparation for the installation of veneers.
⦁ Since it is very important to also match the colour of crowns and veneers, ask about the laboratories that your dentist works with, to ensure that you will get the colour of teeth that you want or need in order to ensure that they are the same colour as your natural teeth.

When to use veneers and when to use crowns?

First of all, the dentist will give you the best tips as to when veneers can be made, and when it is necessary to abrade teeth for crowns. For smaller fractures, colour changes or tooth position, veneers are the best choice. They best imitate the natural colour and appearance of teeth, and represent the pinnacle of aesthetic dentistry today. Veneers are used when the patient wants to aesthetically improve their smile and correct minor imperfections, such as crooked or chipped teeth. They are most often placed on the front teeth.
Crowns are most often used when the tooth has been treated many times, bleeds, or is broken. Crowns are a suitable solution and option in a bridge when only one tooth is missing and needs to be replaced, while also improving the appearance of the remaining natural teeth.
Of course, regardless of your decisions, once you get veneers or crowns, it is very important to properly maintain them and have regular check-ups with the dentist. Be sure to get all the information before deciding which dentist to go to for veneers or crowns.