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Crowns vs Veneers - Which Are Better?

12 June 2022

Table of Contents

Crowns VS Veneers
Crowns vs Veneers - Shannen Heffernan
Crowns VS Veneers
Crowns vs Veneers - Shannen Heffernan
composite veneers before 3Dental
composite veneers after 3Dental

Before & After - click to enlarge

Composite Veneers (Veneers in a Day)

Patients often ask us:

Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of crowns and veneers and their similarities and differences. 

What Are Crowns And Veneers?

crowns before 3Dental
crowns after 3Dental

Before & After - click to enlarge


Crowns and veneers are dental prostheses that effectively and affordably repair, strengthen, and improve the appearance of your teeth, preventing future dental issues.

We often make them from porcelain, but various materials are available depending on the patient's individual requirements. 

We permanently fix the crowns or veneers to the teeth, generally after some preparation.

We expect crowns and veneers to last up to fifteen years with routine dental care, depending on the material used.  Dr. Niall Vallely

As with all our cosmetic consultations, we offer free initial crown and veneer consultations, and we have payment plans and financing available for both procedures.

Differences Between Veneers And Crowns

  1. A veneer only covers the front surface of the tooth, whereas a crown covers the whole tooth 360 degrees
  2. A veneer is not as invasive as a crown
  3. A crown is a 'cap' that we place over the top of the tooth
  4. Veneers are mainly an aesthetic treatment
  5. A crown will protect a weak tooth and prevent further damage
  6. A crown is generally thicker than a veneer

Crown vs Veneers: Which Option Is Right For You?

veneers and crowns 3Dental

Though crowns and veneers will provide a similar aesthetic outcome, we use them in different circumstances.

A crown is typically used when a tooth has been broken or is discoloured. The crown is a permanent cap that is placed on top of the tooth - hiding the offending tooth and improving your smile!

Veneers are more of an aesthetic treatment, in that that are an option open to people who merely want to brighten up their smile.

They are many use cases for each which is why we offer people free consultations so they can get all their questions answered and receive a recommendation on treatment from our dentists before making any decisions.

At this time, you can also discuss payment and financing options.

Why Dental Crowns?

What Is Dental Crown - Dr. Carmen Anastasiu - 3Dental Crowns

A dental crown is basically a 'cap' over the tooth. We remove a portion of a tooth's structure to prepare a foundation for the crown.

We then permanently secure the crown to the abutted tooth using dental cement. Dentists use crowns to rebuild and strengthen broken, decayed or damaged teeth.

Dental crowns restore the tooth's natural shape, size and functionality.

Why Dental Veneers?

A veneer is a thin strip of porcelain that covers the front of your teeth and is perfect for treating discoloured or chipped teeth as well as treating those who just want to brighten up their existing smile! Dr. Niall Vallely

While veneers are known for their cosmetic uses, they can also be used to treat broken and worn teeth. 

The amount of preparation that a tooth requires before placing a veneer depends on the problem being repaired and the veneer's material. For instance, composite veneers often do not require the removal of any of the existing tooth structure before we apply them. 

Veneers produce a highly aesthetic result and are often associated with a smile makeover or 'Hollywood smile.' You can see the different types of veneers available on our veneers page.

How Does The Process Work?

Process For CrownsProcess For Veneers
X-Ray to check health of the teethX-Ray to check the health of teeth
We take an initial index of tooth for the temporary crown, numb the patient and start preparing the tooth 360 degrees. We then take a scan or standard impression which will be sent to the lab to make the permanent crown.We take a scan of your teeth and make a smile design to see what your veneers will look like first. At the first appointment, we will also take an initial index of the tooth for the temporary veneer. We will then prepare a small amount of the enamel. Then a scan or standard set of impressions will be taken and sent to the lab for the permanent veneer.
Place temporary crown in place for 3 weeks until crown is ready to be permanently fittedPlace temporary veneer in place for 3 weeks until the veneer is ready to be permanently fitted.

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Advantages Of Veneers & Crowns

Advantage Of CrownsAdvantage Of Veneers
Can be placed on only one tooth (as opposed to several teeth which would be a bridge)Makes your smile beautiful
Protects teeth with cracks or cavitiesTailored to your individual style thanks to our digital smile design process
Enhances the tooth’s appearance while also protecting the weak structureCan replace the need for whitening or braces (in some cases)
Is used as a cover for a dental implant

Front Teeth Crowns vs Veneers

Crown For Front Teeth

dental crowns 3Dental

A crown for a front tooth is still a good option; it is just thicker than a veneer.

Choosing between a crown or a veneer for the front teeth depends on the severity of the tooth's condition. 

If your front tooth has had a root canal treatment, it is weaker as the nerve has been removed.

In this case, a crown may be a better option for the front tooth.

Veneers For Front Teeth

dental veneers- 3Dental

For cosmetic reasons, a veneer is a better option for the front teeth when the underlying teeth are strong and healthy.

We can use veneers to improve the size, shape, colour or shade, length and sometimes even the alignment of the teeth. 

In both cases, your dentist will recommend the best treatment for you.

Risks Of Veneers And Crowns

Risks For CrownsRisks For Veneers
The tooth is shaved down 360 degrees so it is a lot more invasive than a veneerCan be expensive just for aesthetic purpose
Typically only placed on one tooth at a timeAre usually non-reversible
Could have a visible metal base, depending on the design and the materials usedYou need several of them at a time

Some Before And Afters

dental crown before 3Dental
dental crown after 3Dental

Before & After - click to enlarge

porcelain veneers before 3Dental
porcelain veneers after 3Dental

Before & After - click to enlarge

Porcelain Veneers

What About Bonding?

Composite bonding is another excellent option to improve your smile. The material is a stronger composite than used in fillings as it is more durable. Dr. Niall Vallely

Your dentist can use it to close gaps between teeth (black triangles) that can develop after braces. It can change the colour of the teeth and shape too. Like any treatment, it has many advantages and disadvantages.

The main advantage is that your natural teeth are left underneath the bonding untouched, so if you ever wanted to take them off, you could have your natural teeth back. The main disadvantage is the stains from food and drinks with intense pigments, e.g. coffee and red wine. 

If they stain, this is irreversible. We can apply composite bonding to a small area of the tooth to repair a chip, for instance. We can also apply the bonding to the entire tooth, which gives us much more flexibility when choosing the shade. The full cover bonding is known as a composite veneers or veneers in a day.

What About Implants?

Implants are a great option to fill the gaps of missing teeth. The surgeon will have to determine whether the patient has enough bone to be eligible for an implant, and they take a CT scan to check the level of the bone. 

After receiving an implant, the dentist permanently fixes a crown to the implant. With implant treatments, we attach the crown to the implant instead of a prepared tooth. We do not use veneers with implants.

Overseas Dentistry

dentistry abroad 3Dental
Dentist Abroad with Dr. Peter Doherty

When people go overseas to get what they think are 'veneers' done, in reality, they are often getting crowns. We have seen many patients who believed they had veneers but actually had crowns.

We usually decide to shave down a tooth to fit a crown because the tooth is weak or failing and requires the crown to support it and hold it together. 

The risks of shaving down healthy natural teeth is very serious because if the tooth's nerve does not settle down, they will need a root canal treatment which is an additional cost. 

We will not unnecessarily remove healthy tooth structure when possible, and we can achieve incredible results without the downside of health risks.

20 Year Olds Getting Peg Teeth?

Ailbhe O'Sullivan dental hygienist 3Dental

Sadly, it is not uncommon for young people to travel overseas for cosmetic dentistry. They are often over-treated and receive unnecessary procedures. Many have most of their teeth filed down, and crowns fit purely for cosmetic reasons. 

This procedure opens them up to various health risks, including infection, tooth decay, sensitivity, damage, and problems with the nerves (requiring a root canal).

Lastly, when you are far away from your dentist, there is no one to look after you if you experience a complication. We would never recommend the unnecessary removal of the existing, healthy tooth structure. 

Our cosmetic procedures, like composite veneers, allow the patient to keep their healthy teeth intact, give them a stunning result, and often compete in price without all of the down side.

Book Your Free Consultation at 3Dental Clinics

We have clinics in:

  1. The Red Cow Complex, Naas Rd, Fox-And-Geese, Dublin, D22 KV24
  2. Old Quarter House, Little Ellen St, Limerick, V94 D72V
  3. 28 Briarhill Business Park, Galway, H91 C9DR

We offer free consultations in all our clinics - allowing you to get all your questions answered before you proceed with treatment!

A 360 View Of Our Dublin Clinic!


A 360 View Of Our Limerick Clinic!


A 360 View Of Our Galway Clinic!



crowns vs veneers - 3Dental

In conclusion, whether crowns or veneers are better depends on each unique case. There are many advantages to both when used correctly in the right situation. Your best option is to go to your dentist

After an examination, they can help you decide which is the best treatment to achieve a great result.

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