One of the most frequent questions our patients ask us is: how can I improve my smile? Cosmetic dentistry is a priority these days. When a patient presents with dark coloured or stained teeth, small fractures, or slight malpositions, there are a number of possible treatments dentist can offer, including ceramic veneers and dental crowns.
What's the difference between ceramic veneers and crowns?
Ceramic veneers are thin sheets of ceramic material (between approximately 0.3 and 0.7 mm thick) that cover the tip of the tooth. The thickness depends on many factors, such as the colour to be masked, the position to be corrected or the defect to be improved. In the vast majority of cases, we have to reduce the tooth to be able to apply veneers. However, in some cases, it is not necessary to touch the tooth surface. Ceramic veneers are a very conservative treatment, keeping most of the tooth intact, without affecting the survival of the same. Ceramic veneers are applied to all those teeth that are visible when smiling, usually from incisor to incisor or from premolar to premolar, both in the upper and lower arch. Ceramic veneers are not applied on molars and these require other types of treatment. In some cases, full crowns, rather than veneers, are required.
When are full-face crowns necessary?
There are times when tooth destruction is severe or the patient already has some crowns. With ceramic veneers, little alteration is made to the tooth and generally, the enamel, the outermost and hardest part of the tooth, remains. In the case of crowns, regardless of the material we use, we have to remove all this outer layer of the tooth and reach the inner part, which is called dentin. To fit a crown, all faces of the tooth have to be reduced, not only the anterior and the tip. This means crowns can be made to fit all types of tooth.