Crown Vs. Veneer: Which Works Best for a Cracked Tooth?

Crown Vs. Veneer: Which Works Best for a Cracked Tooth?

An errant hockey puck or a flung baseball bat can easily crack a tooth, but you don’t have to be an athlete to suffer traumatic tooth damage. Crunching ice or hard candy, using your teeth as a tool, or even grinding your teeth can lead to cracks, chips, and fractures.

If this happens to you, don’t ignore it. Untreated tooth damage tends to worsen as bacteria enter the crack and set up shop inside your tooth. You can prevent this progression by repairing your cracked tooth with a restorative treatment.

At Heritage Dental in Tomball, Texas, Dr. Thomas Hernandez and our team offer the most advanced tooth restorations available. Here, we take a closer look at two of them — veneers and crowns — to help you decide which is best for your cracked tooth.

Veneers vs. crowns

Veneers and crowns are both excellent dental restoration options. They each improve the function of your teeth and the look of your smile. Here’s how they compare.

Material

Although both veneers and crowns are often made of porcelain, they can also be made of other materials. 

For example, crowns may also be made of porcelain, metal, composite resin, or a combination of these materials. 

When not made of porcelain, veneers are often manufactured using zirconium.

Thickness

Veneers are typically very thin and usually don’t exceed 1 millimeter in thickness.

Crowns are thicker — about 2 millimeters. While that might not seem like much of a difference, it doubles the strength and durability of your tooth compared to veneers.

Placement

Veneers cover only the front side of your damaged tooth. 

Crowns cover the entire tooth.

Invasiveness

Both crowns and veneers require us to remove some of your existing tooth so the restoration will adhere. We only need to shave off about a half millimeter of your enamel to place a veneer, but we have to grind down more — the amount depends on the extent of the decay or damage — to place a crown.

Which is better for a cracked tooth — veneer or crown?

The answer to this question depends on the extent of the damage and the location of the affected tooth.

When a crown is better

For severe cracks, especially those that have already begun to harbor decay, a crown may be the best choice. 

If your cracked tooth contains a larger filling, a crown covers and strengthens the whole tooth and prevents it from cracking further. 

If your cracked tooth has led to extensive decay inside, you may need a root canal, and in this case, you’ll need a crown.

When a veneer is better

When you crack a front tooth, veneers are a great way to cover the damage and protect the tooth from decay. Veneers also allow us to preserve more of your natural tooth, which is always our goal.

Veneers are also an excellent way to improve your smile cosmetically. If you have discolored teeth that don’t respond to professional teeth whitening treatments, or you have slightly misshapen or gapped teeth, veneers can give you a uniform smile. 

The best way to know whether you need a veneer or a crown is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hernandez. He thoroughly examines your damaged tooth or teeth and lets you know which restoration treatment will serve you best. Call or book online today. 

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