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Crowns vs Veneers - Which Are Better?

12 June 2022
Reviewed by Dr. Niall Vallely
Dr. Niall Vallely Profile Image

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

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 your 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.

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What Are The Differences Between Veneers And Crowns?

veneers and crowns 3Dental
Crown (Left): Covers the whole tooth, thicker and will protect a weak or damaged tooth
Veneer (Right): Covers the front surface of the tooth, is thinner and is mainly an aesthetic treatment
  1. A veneer only covers the front surface of your tooth, whereas a crown covers the whole tooth (360 degrees)
  2. A veneer treatment is not as invasive as a crown treatment
  3. A crown is a 'cap' that we place over the top of your tooth
  4. Veneers are mainly an aesthetic treatment
  5. A crown is more of a functional treatment and 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?

Although 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, chipped or is discoloured. The crown is a permanent cap that is placed on top of your 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 your 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. Dr. Niall Vallely

Dental crowns restore your 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 the health of your teethX-ray to check the health of your teeth
We take an initial index of tooth for the temporary crown, numb the patient and start preparing your whole 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 your 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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What Are The 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 appearance of your tooth while also protecting the 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

A Crown For Your Front Tooth

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 Your 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 your teeth. 

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

What Are The Risks Of Veneers And Crowns?

Risks For CrownsRisks For Veneers
The tooth is shaved down 360 degrees so it is a more invasive treatment than a veneerUsually non-reversible
Typically only placed on one tooth at a timeYou need several of them at a time
Could have a visible metal base, depending on the design and the materials used

Some Before & Afters & Testimonials!

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 bonding to close gaps between teeth (black triangles) that can develop after braces. It can change the colour of your teeth and the 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. Dr. Peter Doherty

Should I Go Overseas For Cosmetic Dentistry?

dentistry abroad 3Dental
Cosmetic Dentistry Abroad with Dr. Peter Doherty

When people go overseas to get what they think are 'veneers' done, in reality, they are often getting crowns

They are often over-treated and receive unnecessary procedures. Many have most of their teeth filed down, and crowns fitted purely for cosmetic reasons. 

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 a healthy tooth when possible, and we can achieve incredible results without the downside of health risks.

Ailbhe O'Sullivan dental hygienist 3Dental

What Are The Next Steps?

We offer free cosmetic consultations in all our clinics, giving you the opportunity to:

  1. Find out what treatment might be best for you
  2. Get all your questions answered by your cosmetic dentist
  3. We can even offer (at an extra charge) you the ability to see what your smile will look like using our digital smile design process!

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

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.

Recent Reviews


“Never bothered by having to go to the dentist again. I had to get whitening, bonding and a crown done over the space of a year and it was a great experience. The team are A1 and Fergal is a great...”

Keith O'Brien

“I would highly recommend 3Dental. This time last year I was in constant pain with infections and my teeth were in a bad way. I came across 3Dental while searching for dental implants. I had...”

Eileen Dempsey

“I have just had my Implant, from Doctor Peter Doherty, and have to say i was treated so well from start to finish, and the end result is amazing. I am so very happy with my new smile, i will attend...”

Viv van der Holst

“Firstly apologies for the delay in writing this review. I have been too busy smiling again :) And chewing food normally. I cannot express enough the gratitude I feel towards Dr Andoni Jones and his...”

Sean Dentur

“I got 6 implants over past 2 years in 3Dental. Very efficient/professional and kind staff. Would highly recommend them.”

Whitney Culleton

“I had an consultation for composite bonding with a female dentist back in December and I left not feeling great about the app so rather than leaving a bad review I reached out to Dr Niall for a...”

Tara Henshaw

“I had composite bonding done with Dr Carmen and gingivectomy with Dr Andoni Jones , they were both brilliant. Thanks so much to them both they were so friendly and so good at their job I'm delighted...”

Caitlin Morrison

“I've been going to 3Dental the last year with Dr Carmen. She's amazing so nice and her work is great Got my composite bonding with her defo recommend always give advice and always there if needs be...”

Jane Russell

“Such a brilliant clinic with fantastic service. Had to have a couple of things done with fillings and bonding so I saw a number of dentists, all of whom were total pros and expert at what they do. A...”

Caroline O'Brien

“I have had lots of treatment and also my 2 daughters here in 3Dental which included root canal wisdom tooth extraction crowns and now implants and All on the same premises. All staff we have met have...”

Zoe Bates

“I had 8 edge composite bondings on the top done and I'm super happy with my results. After braces my teeth were straight but all different sizes/shapes on the edge so bonding was the perfect...”

Abby Garcia

“Excellent place and fantastic job. I'm so happy with my veneers. I've wanted normal teeth for over 30 years and I'm so so happy with the results achieved by Dr Daniel Kim. Such a nice guy and really...”

Laura O'Brien

“Would highly recommend 3Dental to anyone. I have been getting a lot of cosmetic work done between, dental implants, crowns and veneers and through every stage they have walked me through what would...”

Michelle Walsh

“Got my smile back thanks to Paul and Andoni! Started my treatment this time last year and wish I had done it sooner! Paul is such a perfectionist and really listens to you (I was a nervous patient)...”

Nicola Myler

“An accident happened the weekend with my front tooth veneer I am from Waterford and couldn't get an appointment down here for another 2 weeks so I was so upset and my sister told me to ring 3Dental...”

Helen Redmond

“Amazing experience with 3Dental. Got Invisalign which didn't move one tooth. Needed to get fixed braces but it was seamless. Also had my braces during Covid pandemic. Although I could go to the...”

Emma Keating

“I had composite bonding done here by Dr Carmen. She was very patient and made sure I was completely happy with the final result before I left, she even offered to fix anything I was unhappy with...”

Lyle Andre

“Outstanding service from start to finish, I recently had my braces removed after 2 years with 3Dental and I have never been happier with my results. The lovely Katrina was my very competent dentist...”

The Scarlet Gamer

“I am so happy with the professional service I receive anytime I go to 3Dental. The new office is spacious & well designed. The staff are friendly & efficient. I love how they offer everything under...”

Lorraine Fleming

“I am in the process of having a front bridge to replace a bad front tooth, I am overwhelmed with the difference already, I'm actually smiling again and my confidence has already improved. Niall and...”

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