A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain designed to fit over the front of the tooth to change its colour, shape or position. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten the front teeth. Veneers can also be used if you have gaps in your teeth when orthodontic braces may not be suitable, or if you have not had success with tooth whitening. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it in line with the others. Veneers last longer than composite bonding, and provide a superior appearance.
A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over the entire visible portion of your tooth. It’s a permanent solution for a damaged tooth and once it’s fixed in place, a crown will look, feel and function just like any other tooth.
Crowns are usually needed if you have a damaged or weakened tooth that cannot be fixed with a filling or have been root canalled. Sometimes crowns are needed because of aesthetic considerations but mainly it’s due to a lack of remaining tooth structure. Most commonly this is because a tooth has had a large filling or has sustained a fracture.
Crowns can be made from ceramic (such as porcelain), metal (gold or metal alloy), or a combination of both. The latest advances in ceramics mean that porcelain crowns are indistinguishable from your own natural teeth.