What is the Difference Between Dental Crowns and Veneers?

A smile makeover includes more than one dental restoration treatment. When going for restoration, how do you know which method best suits your requirements? Here are some clues about dental crowns and veneers:

Dental Crowns vs Dental Veneers

What is a Veneer?

A dental veneer is a thin slice of ceramic material which is placed on the front surface of a tooth. It can be customised to match the colour of the rest of the person’s teeth.

What is a Crown?

A dental crown is a cap made up of various materials meant to provide strength to a tooth. They are custom-made for a patient to help reduce tooth decay.

With the introduction of advanced technology of CEREC, both crown and veneer can be custom made for a patient in no time. It only takes about one hour for the procedure to restore a single tooth.

The differences between a crown and veneer are as follows

When are they Needed?

Dental crowns are needed for serious dental issues such as substantial tooth decay or major misalignment of teeth. Veneers are more of a cosmetic procedure and are needed for minor discolouration of front teeth.

What is the Basic Requirement?

The basic requirement for placing a crown is that the real tooth needs to be reduced by almost 60% to 75% of its visible surface. The adjacent gums also need to be trimmed to house a crown properly and will heal and regrow with time. This procedure is always done under the effects of local anaesthesia.

While veneers require most of the enamel intact, the tooth reduction required to place a veneer is almost 0.5mm. In some cases, even the anaesthetics are not required.

The Number of Teeth they Cover

Crowns cover all the visible surfaces of a tooth. This coverage is to provide strength to a reduced tooth. Whereas a veneer covers only the front surface of a tooth and is meant to serve as a top layer of real teeth.

What Function Do They Serve?

Crowns are meant to mend major teeth issues. They can make apparent shape changes and teeth alignment corrections. Crowns can strengthen failing or seriously decayed teeth. They can be used for any kind of teeth including molars, pre-molars or lower front teeth.

Veneers can provide serious aesthetic makeovers of teeth as they can help with minor shape changes and cover surface roughness. Veneers cannot strengthen tooth-like crowns do.

The thickness of a Crown and Veneer

Crowns are thicker with about 2mm or more thickness and cover all the visible surfaces of a tooth, while veneers are very thin, measuring about 1mm or less.


Crowns prove to be stronger and durable compared to veneers. Crowns act like real teeth and support eating most kinds of food, leaving behind only hard or sticky food. If properly cared for, crowns can last for almost 10-15 years.

Veneers are strong but brittle due to their thinness. They might break under high forces in the oral cavity.

Both crown and veneer serve different purposes and depending on the material used to make them, they have their own strengths and weaknesses. To know the right option for your dental needs, consult our dentists at Healthy Smiles Dental Group. Reach us at info@healthysmiles.com.au or call us on 03 9877 2035.

Dr. Ved Berani

Author: Dr. Ved Berani

Dr. Ved Berani, a second-generation dentist and the principal dentist at Healthy Smiles and Sleep Dream Smile, shows great pride in his work by helping his patients achieve cosmetic and aesthetic results all while utilising sleep dentistry and sedation.

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