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Veneers vs Crowns: What’s difference and what to choose?

Dr.-B.-Lipovetskiy (1)

The author of the article

Boris Lipovetskiy, DMD, 31 years experience

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Veneers and crowns can restore the beauty of your teeth in cases of damage or other issues. However, they have significant differences. Which is the better choice in your case?

In this article, we will answer the following questions:

  • What is the difference between veneers and crowns?
  • What are their pros and cons?
  • Which method of restoration should you choose?

Key Differences Between Veneers and Crowns

They mainly differ in methods of attachment and purpose:

  • Veneers. Installed to enhance the aesthetics of the smile. They are affixed to the front part of the teeth.
  • Crowns. Suitable for restoring serious damage. They are fixed atop a prepared tooth.

What are dental veneers?

Porcelain veneers before and after

Porcelain veneers look like thin plates made of ceramic, zirconia, or composite. To install them, a doctor shaves off a small layer of enamel from the front smile and affixes them using a special dental adhesive.

Learn more about different types of dental veneers.

Their thickness is only 0.2-0.5 mm. Indications for installation include:

  • Enamel has darkened, changed color.
  • Small chips have appeared.
  • Large gaps between teeth.
  • Tooth crowding.
  • Correct minor defects
  • Change enamel color
  • Look natural
  • Restore the correct shape of teeth
  • Not suitable for repairing serious defects

What are dental crowns?

Crowns are prosthetics, and they cover the whole tooth surface. Made from ceramic, or zirconia. For prosthetic placement, the doctor grinds the enamel and creates a stump. Fixed with dental cement.

There are several indications for crown placement:

  • The tooth has been destroyed by ⅔.
  • Deep caries, pulpitis has developed.
  • There are large chips, cracks.
Dental crowns before & after
  • Protects the dentin from all sides
  • Strengthen a loose tooth
  • Restore the aesthetics of the smile
  • Significant enamel grinding is needed for installation

What to choose: crowns or veneers for teeth?

  • In cases of significant damage

    To restore masticatory functions, dental crowns are a better fit. They not only disguise defects but also strengthen the tooth.

  • For aesthetic smile disturbances

    Veneers effectively mask external flaws, such as darkening, color changes, and enamel stains.

  • For restoring front teeth

    Natural appearance is crucial for the smile zone. Therefore, doctors recommend choosing porcelain veneers for the front teeth (if they are intact).

  • For restoring molars

    They are not so visible while smiling. But they endure significant pressure. For molar restoration, strength is more important than aesthetics. Therefore, crowns are suitable.

How much do ceramic veneers cost?

We place ceramic veneers for their advantageous natural appearance and strength. They last from 15-20 years.

The cost of porcelain veneers starts from 899$ per tooth (promotion at the ADWcenter clinic), depending on the type of ceramic. Porcelain costs more because it is the most aesthetic and durable material.

How much do dental crowns cost?

The price of dental crowns ranges from $800 to $1,300 per tooth. The price depends on the material. Zirconia or E-max ceramic cost more because they appear more natural.

Comparison and Conclusions

Porcelain Veneers Teeth Crowns
Coverage AreaCover only the front part of the tooth. Suitable only for front teethCover all sides of the tooth. Can be placed on incisors or molars
AestheticLook natural in the smile zone. Match the shade of natural enamelProsthetics made of ceramic, zirconia look natural
InvasivenessInstallation requires grinding a small layer of enamelInstallation requires significant grinding of enamel on all sides
DurabilityCeramic restorations serve from 15-20 yearsCeramic prosthetics serve from 15-20 years. Zirconia constructions serve from 20 years


Personal care for both types of veneers is quite similar. In both cases, it is better to use a paste without abrasive particles, and a soft or medium brush. They will not damage the surface of the prosthetic.