Dental Crowns vs Veneers

A common question people often ask is “Should I have dental crowns or dental veneers?”, so , let’s take a walk through your options and discover which is best!

We will start by taking a look at what each of these restorative options are.

What are dental veneers

What are dental veneers

Dental veneers are an extremely thin covering, generally made from high-strength dental great porcelain, they usually only cover the viewable front surface and tip of your tooth. They literally veneer teeth!


cover (something) with a decorative layer.

What are dental crowns

A dental crownDental crowns can be equally as thin as dental veneers (sometimes 0.5 mm) but they cover the full circumference of your tooth, rather than just the outer viewable surface of your tooth.

Dental veneers pros and cons

Dental veneers can be extremely versatile, lower cost, highly aesthetic and beautiful, transform the look of your smile but they can sometimes be more fragile and likely to fracture.

Dental crowns pros and cons

Dental crowns can also be extremely versatile, highly aesthetic and beautiful and transform your smile whilst also being more durable but because they cover the full circumference of your tooth they can the more destructive to your natural underlying tooth structure, they may also cost a little more than veneers.

The uses of dental crowns versus veneers

Dental crowns can be used for:

  • Covering extremely dark or non-vital teeth
  • Changing the shape of your teeth
  • Rebuilding the bite on your back teeth to change the way your teeth meet
  • Making large changes to the angulation and rotation of your teeth
  • Rebuilding large areas of decay and restoring the tooth to its former shape

Dental veneers can be used for:

  • Covering extremely dark and non-vital teeth
  • Changing the shape of your teeth
  • Making small changes to the rotation and/or ambulation of your teeth

Types of dental crowns

Dental crowns are usually made from a few different materials:

  1. Gold. This was once the preferred option as gold is such a nice metal for technicians to work with and is relatively inert. It is however rarely used today.
  2. Porcelain fused to metal. This is where a metal casting is made to fit directly over the prepared tooth, on top of this metal casting porcelain is fused which is the part you see. These are sometimes used today but are becoming less often.
  3. All porcelain. With the advent of high-strength porcelain these are now becoming more prescribed than ever, zirconia is the preferred choice of material as it is naturally occurring, extremely strong and translucent like natural teeth.

Types of dental veneers

Dental veneers will usually be made from one of two different materials:

  1. All porcelain, similar to dental crowns.
  2. Composite resin. This type of veneer is often called an ‘immediate veneer‘ or ‘instant veneer‘ this is where the resin is applied directly to your tooth by the dentist in the chair and cured with a high-strength light.

How long do dental crowns last?

Dental crowns have an average life expectancy between 5 and 15 years. There are instances however when dental crowns have last considerably longer than this, up to a lifetime! It is worth noting however that it is not usually the crown which files, it is normally the tooth underneath which requires treatment necessitating removal and remaking of the crown.

How long do dental veneers last?

On average dental veneers last approximately 10 years. They are however far more susceptible to damage and fracture than dental crowns. The most common reason for replacing a dental veneer is a dark line appearing around the gum margin as the gums recede as we get older, this then means that the underlying tooth shows through which can then be darker.



As you can see, it’s not a straight decision about which to have, dental veneers or crowns… It’s more about taking a clinical view over which type of restoration is best for you, you may find that a combination of crowns and veneers are used on different teeth to restore your smile.

We hope with this has given you a good insight into the type of restoration you would like, dental veneers or crowns? Do you have any further questions? Please feel free to ask them in the Ask Dr Dermott section of this website.



Originally from Birmingham, Philip achieved his Bachelor of Dental Surgery, BDS with Merit from University of Wales Cardiff Dental School In 1997. Having worked in several practices, he has been dedicated to private practice since 2002. He offers private dental treatments to the people of Stourbridge, Hagley, Pedmore and the wider West Midlands area.

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