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Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC

Veneers Vs. Crowns Comparison


Crowns by Dr. Starr's Office, in Washington DC, Your teeth are a critical component of your mouth. They are responsible for numerous daily functions, including eating and speaking. In addition to functional purposes, the teeth also serve an aesthetic purpose, providing you with a beautiful, confident smile. Any damage to the teeth, no matter how minor, can impact your smile, your appearance, and your confidence. More extensive damage not only affects your appearance, but it can also impact your oral health as well. At Neil Starr, DDS, PC, we can correct imperfections in your teeth, restoring your smile, with veneers and crowns.

What Are Veneers and Crowns?

Veneers and crowns are restorations for tooth defects. Veneers are thin, shell-like restorations that are designed to cover the front portions of visible teeth. They effectively cover over minor imperfections in your teeth, restoring their appearance, and the appearance of your smile. They are frequently made from porcelain, which is a material that can perfectly imitate the enamel of your natural teeth.

Crowns, on the other hand, are designed to fix larger imperfections and damage. These restorations are caps that are made to cover over the entire visible portion of the affected tooth. Where veneers are used only for teeth visible in your smile, crowns can be used on any tooth. They can be made from any one of a variety of materials, including metal, porcelain fused to metal, and ceramic. Ceramic crowns are the most popular material, due to their ability to perfectly blend in with the rest of your surrounding teeth.

What Do They Fix?

Veneers are used to correct minor imperfections in your visible teeth, including such issues as:
•  Small chips or cracks in your enamel.
•  Minor gaps between your teeth.
•  Minor overlapping that does not affect your oral health.
•  Teeth that are smaller than the others.
•  Teeth that are oddly shaped.
•  Discoloration that has not responded to whitening.

Crowns are often used when the imperfections or damage to your teeth is more severe. They are designed to strengthen weak teeth and protect damaged teeth from infections. Common reasons for crowns include:
•  Cracks or chips that have gone into the inner layers of your teeth.
•  Larger cavities, where a regular filling would only compromise the strength of your tooth.
•  Protecting a tooth that has undergone a root canal.
•  Covering dental implants, and replacing the visible portion of a missing tooth.

Veneer and Crown Placement

The procedure for placing veneers and crowns is fairly similar. Both require the removal of a portion of your tooth enamel from the affected teeth. Removing the enamel is crucial for enabling a comfortable, natural fit and feel. The major difference in preparation between veneers and crowns is that veneers need significantly less enamel removed. This preparation, called trimming, is done under a local anesthetic.

Once the affected teeth have been prepared, an impression of your mouth is taken. This impression is then sent to our dental lab, where your veneers or crowns are designed and then created. It can typically take up to two weeks for the restorations to be completed and sent back. If you are getting crowns, you will be provided with temporary restorations, which will help to protect the teeth. In most cases, temporary veneers are not needed. Once your restorations are completed, you return to the office for a second visit, where they are checked for fit and bite and then cemented into place on your teeth.

If the quality of your smile has been affected by damage, even small damage, veneers or crowns may be able to help. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Neil Starr, DDS, PC today at (202) 897-0015.


Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC

Washington Office

1234 19th Street N.W. #306
Washington DC, 20036
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