Dental crowns and veneers can both be used to protect the surfaces of a tooth and disguise any signs of damage or discoloration. That said, each one brings its unique benefits and drawbacks. In spite of this, many people are more attracted to veneers since they are often less costly and require less enamel to be removed from a tooth. While veneers do have their place, and are a fantastic option in many cases, there are several situations in which they just cannot take the place of a crown.
Here are just four.
1. Serious Decay, Cracks, and Chips
When a veneer is fitted, a layer of enamel is taken from the front of the teeth, and then the veneer is fitted over the top. When a crown is fitted, enamel is take from around the whole tooth, and then the crown is fitted over it. This means that crowns provide more robust protection against damage, and this can be very advantageous if your tooth shows a high degree of decay. Even though caries can be corrected through fillings, the reduction in tooth strength is still best addressed by a crown. The same is true if your tooth has been seriously cracked or chipped.
2. Damage to the Root
Sometimes the tooth itself will look fine, but the root will be damaged. This is relatively common when the face or jaw has met with blunt force trauma. If the root is damaged, the tooth will become heavily discoloured over time, and that discoloration will generally be strong enough to show through a veneer. A crown is thicker, so it should hide that discoloration far more effectively.
3. Lack of Enamel
From drinking too many sugary drinks to grinding your teeth, there are plenty of habits that serve to strip enamel from the teeth over time. If the enamel on your teeth has been seriously eroded, it's generally better to go for a crown instead of a veneer. A veneer will necessitate the removal of even more surface enamel, and this could leave your tooth too exposed and therefore too sensitive. The added protection delivered by a crown will be advantageous when a significant level of the outer tooth is dentin, which lies beneath enamel, instead of enamel.
4. Heavy Grinding
If your problems have arisen thanks to pronounced tooth grinding, or even if your dentist notices signs of grinding that you weren't aware of, a crown should be used. Veneers are not as strong and do not fully encase the tooth like a crown, so they aren't as good at coping with the stress caused by heavy grinding.