When looking at ways to artificially improve the look of your smile or particular teeth, your dentist may recommend two things: crowns or veneers. If you’re given the option of both, it is important to know the difference so you can make your mouth look just the way you want it. While both a crown and a veneer can improve the look of your teeth, they do it in a different way. Your Tampa dentist can go over which would be best for your situation based on how you want your mouth to look.

A dental crown covers your entire tooth to give it a new, smoother finish. Your Tampa dentist will likely recommend a crown if you’ve had significant damage to the tooth. They may need to shape or size down your original tooth in order to place a crown over top, though the reduction in size is minimal. Your Tampa dentist will show that crowns are more often restorative than veneers, as they are commonly used for decaying or severely cracked and damaged teeth. Important to note, however, is that once your tooth has a crown, you will always need a crown on that tooth as your original tooth would not be strong enough to withstand wear and tear.

While crowns are restorative, veneers are more for visual changes. The main difference between a crown and a veneer is that a veneer only covers the front surface of your tooth so that it is visible while smiling. Veneers are more commonly used for slight chips on the tooth or when you want to make your teeth seem more uniform. They can also be used if you want to make your teeth look whiter and brighter. Similar to crowns, there may be some reduction needed on your tooth in order to apply a crown; your dentist can advise if this is necessary, though.

Both crowns and veneers can visually improve your smile, but the extent is slightly different. If you are considering either of these processes, consult your dentist to decide which, if either, is appropriate to achieve your desired look.