Pros and cons of veneers and crowns

Pros and cons of veneers and crowns

Veneer pros

  • Veneers may be more aesthetically pleasing than crowns in the long run, because they don’t show a gum margin after several years, as crowns sometimes do.
  • Some veneers don’t require a lot of trimming, so more of your healthy natural tooth remains.
  • Teeth with veneers have minimal movement.

Veneer cons

  • Veneers leave more areas of your tooth exposed to new decay.
  • Composite veneers cost less, but may only last 5–7 years. Other materials last longer but may have to be replaced.
  • Veneers aren’t reversible.
  • Veneers may not be covered by dental insurance.

Crown pros


  • All of the tooth is covered, so your tooth is more protected from decay.
  • Porcelain crowns look and feel just like your natural teeth.
  • Crowns are relatively permanent and don’t have to be removed for cleaning as dentures do.
  • Dental insurance may cover a portion of the cost of a crown.

Crown cons

  • More of your natural tooth is removed to make room for the crown.
  • Your crowned tooth may be more sensitive to heat and cold initially and you may experience gum pain. If sensitivity increases, schedule a follow-up visit.
  • Porcelain is fragile and can be damaged over time.
  • Porcelain fused to a metal alloy (PFM) crown shows a thin dark line between your natural tooth and the crown.

Questions to ask your dentist

You’ll want to know at the outset how much your crown or veneer is going to cost, and how much, if anything, your insurance will pay toward the cost. You’ll also want to know about your dentist’s experience with both procedures.

The bottom line

Both veneers and crowns can improve your smile and the function of your teeth. Both are costly procedures, especially when more than one tooth is involved. Veneers are used when you want cosmetic improvement, like covering crooked or chipped teeth, especially your front teeth.

Crowns are used when the tooth has a lot of decay or is broken or needs a root canal. Crowns may also be more appropriate when you need to brace adjoining teeth. Getting regular dental checkups and practicing good dental hygiene are vital for maintaining your veneer or crown and the rest of your teeth.

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