If your smile has seen better days and you're looking to brighten it up a bit, you have a few great options. Restorative dental technology has seen incredible developments over the last few years, and there are now multiple options that can give you great results.

The two most popular options currently are crowns and veneers. While both will give you a beautiful smile, there are a few differences between them that you should consider before deciding which is best for you. Read on for everything you need to know! You can find more great information online - try Golsen Dentistry from Alpharetta, Georgia.

Veneers and crowns – the rundown

Veneers and crowns both work by covering the existing surface of your tooth to restore its function and improve its appearance. The primary difference between them is how much of your original tooth you've left, the type of material used, and how much of your natural tooth is covered up. In terms of the final result, they look mostly the same.

Veneers are usually made of thin porcelain that's color-matched to the existing tooth. They're bonded just to the front of your natural tooth, and while strong, they can be cracked or broken by impact or by eating very hard foods.

By contrast, crowns cover the entire tooth and are usually much thicker than veneers. This makes them a bit more durable.

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Getting your teeth ready

Veneers require a little less preparation of your existing tooth than crowns, as less of the tooth surface needs to be removed to add the veneer. Usually, your dentist will just need to take off a thin layer of enamel from only the front of the tooth, and will leave the rest alone. For a crown, almost all of the existing tooth needs to be filed down or removed, so natural teeth are significantly reduced.

Choosing veneers

Veneers are an excellent choice when your teeth issues are pretty minor - stained, chipped, or slightly misaligned. They're also a great option for covering small gaps. Veneers are just as permanent as crowns, but may need to be replaced further down the line.

Veneers are generally considered 100% cosmetic and are rarely covered by dental insurance.

Choosing crowns

Crowns are usually preferred over veneers when the teeth are more badly broken, significantly chipped, or when you've had a previous root canal treatment. The crown protects the tooth and stops you from needing an extraction. After the tooth has been filed down, the root and remaining natural tooth are covered and protected by the crown, which forms the entire external surface of the tooth. Crowns are also used to protect teeth that have been damaged by grinding.

While some crowns are cosmetic, some are also used to restore the actual function of a tooth. These are more likely to be covered by dental insurance.

Keeping it up

Once you have your crowns or veneers fitted, you need to look after them as you would on natural teeth to keep them looking and feeling good. Whitening treatments don't work on them, so you'll need to keep them clean to stop them from getting discolored. Also, be careful when biting down on tough foods. You and your new smile will be delighted together!

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