According to the American College of Prosthodontists, approximately 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Many more Americans have some sort of damage or decay in their teeth. Two of the most common treatments for these types of defects include crowns and veneers. Crowns are a very common option, as more than two million are implanted each year.
What is a Crown?
A crown can be described as a cap that covers a tooth or implant. They are typically around two millimeters thick. They may be composed of porcelain, metal, and other blends of material. The dentist may need to extract the decaying part of a tooth. Depending on the size and condition of the tooth, the dentist may need to “build up” or “grind down” the tooth to allow for proper placement.
Materials That Compose Crowns
The gold material is often used because of its durability. It is strong enough to withstand significant pressure such as from grinding the teeth. The metallic appearance of this material does not blend in well; therefore, it is typically used for rear teeth that are not very visible. Due to its composition, it may make your teeth more sensitive to hot or cold.
Unlike gold, porcelain blends in well with your natural teeth and does not increase sensitivity. It is often the preference for crowns that will be highly visible. The downside here is that porcelain tends to lack durability. Those who grind their teeth or have a very fragile existing tooth should likely choose another option.
Composites are very durable and affordable. Those who are sensitive to metals may consider this option. The primary problem with composites is that they require more frequent replacement.
Porcelain fused zirconia is durable and strong like gold material. It blends in well cosmetically and is reasonably affordable. The primary drawback is that it is inappropriate for those needing a partial tooth restoration. In general, most crowns will last for 10 to 15 years.
What is a Veneer?
A veneer is a thin layer that adheres to the front of an existing tooth. They are made from porcelain and other materials and are roughly one millimeter thick. They are commonly used to treat teeth that have become discolored, damaged or are improperly aligned. The majority of the original tooth may remain intact.
The enamel of the existing tooth typically must be filed down for proper adherence. The dentist either digitally scans your teeth or uses a model or mold. This is typically sent to a laboratory where the actual veneer is produced. You may be provided a temporary veneer in the interim. A special adhesive is applied and hardened using ultraviolet light to complete the process.
Determining Whether to Use a Crown or Veneer
Teeth that have significant damage, a large filling or a root canal are best suited for a crown. Veneers tend to be preferred for more cosmetic applications. Most people find that veneers are more attractive than crowns. Unlike crowns, the underlying tooth is mostly intact. This makes those with veneers more susceptible to tooth decay.
Dental insurance is more likely to cover crowns compared to veneers. Composite veneers are generally affordable; however, they may need replacing within five to seven years. Most people find that crowns feel very natural. Some individuals experience sensitivity from crowns.
Costs of Crowns and Veneers
There are a host of variables that can impact the cost of crowns and veneers. These may include the size and position of the existing tooth. Prices tend to vary across different geographic regions. Whether dental insurance coverage applies can be a key factor in the amount of out-of-pocket expenses. The general price ranges are as follows:
• Composite veneers: $250 to $1,500 per tooth
• Porcelain veneers: Are more costly than composite veneers and may be up to $2,500 each
• Crowns: May range from $1,000 to $3,500 per tooth
The costs of crowns may vary based on the amount of preparation required. Often porcelain and ceramic crowns will exceed the overall cost of all-metal crowns.
Importance of Choosing an Experienced Oral Health Professional
You are always encouraged to seek dental care from an experienced professional. Procedures involving crowns and veneers require skill to achieve the best outcomes. You should have a dental exam twice per year, which is an effective way to detect problems and prevent them from worsening. You should also remember that brushing after every meal and flossing daily is a fundamental way to protect your teeth.
Provider of Comprehensive Dental Care in Mesa
The team at East Valley Dental Professionals has been providing effective dental care for patients in this area for more than 30 years. What has been the formula for our lasting success? We strive to provide exceptional care for the entire family in a comfortable and friendly office environment. Contact the office today at (480) 838-3033 for an appointment.