Porcelain Veneers vs. Full Crowns - What’s the Difference?

There are a plethora of modern options when fixing damaged, discolored or gapped teeth. When deciding how to customize a patient’s smile, a dentist will go through a series of evaluations of the patient's current health to decide which option will best fit their needs. Common options when repairing and enhancing teeth are porcelain veneers and full crowns. Both porcelain veneers and crowns have the same purpose of restoring the patient's smile, however each is used to repair teeth in different ways.

Here are the Main Differences Between Porcelain Veneers vs. Full Crowns:

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain layers that are placed on top of an existing tooth. To put veneers on teeth a dentist will shave down the existing tooth slightly. Then the porcelain veneer layer will be adhered to the top of the tooth. Veneers are a great option to cosmetically fix a smile. They’re used to reshape and whiten the smile without the need for a full crown. They work for teeth that are still in healthy condition, but that could use a facelift due to chipping, discoloration or a gap.

What are Full Crowns?

Crowns are caps that are placed on top of the existing tooth. Full crowns are used for teeth that have more extensive damage or weakness than those that need veneers. Crowns come in different materials, but typically all porcelain are used when cosmetically repairing a smile. To place a crown, the dentist will modify the existing tooth slightly so that there is room on all sides of the tooth to fit a cap. Once placed and set the crown will act as protection for the existing tooth and will make the tooth stronger, a better shape and look better cosmetically .

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers vs. Full Crowns

Porcelain veneers are a good option to fix teeth cosmetically as they can be used to cover stained or chipped teethand to fill gaps. However, they’re not typically chosen by dentists for more serious damage or to strengthen teeth.  Full crowns are more commonly used to fix teeth that have become weak and need additional support. They require more modification of the existing tooth than a veneer as the entire tooth needs to fit within the crown. It is important to realize that even though your teeth are restored you can still get decay so it is important to continue with regular check up every 6 months. There are pros and cons to both porcelain veneers and full crowns. Keep in mind that your dentist will only suggest what they feel is the best fit for your unique dental situation.


Overall, porcelain veneers and full crowns each have a purpose when it comes to reconstructing a smile. Depending on your needs, your dentist will recommend whichever option they feel best suits your situation. When it comes to reconstructing or cosmetically enhancing your smile, there are plenty of options to ensure that your results are comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and last for the long term. The best way to decide the best options for you is to set up an appointment with your dentist and get their opinion on how to repair your smile.

Contact our office to explore porcelain veneers vs. full crowns further and decide which option best fits your needs.

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