Here is what experts advise:
Whether a patient needs dental crowns or dental veneers is mainly based on what the dentist/patient wants to achieve as a final result. Both veneers and dental crowns are very aesthetic and functional, but each dental treatment has a different use. When the main goal of the patient is to enhance the color and the shape of the teeth, then the best option is given by dental veneers.
Dental veneers also represent the best solution for the crowded teeth problem. Dental veneers are thin sheets of porcelain which are quite resistant, and the main advantage of this treatment is that they can be fitted with minimal preparation.
Dental crowns on the other hand are mainly used when the structure of the biologic teeth is very weak, or when there is very little tooth structure existent due to dental decay. The dental crowns also represent the best solution after a root canal treatment when the structure of the tooth is quite weak.
A skilled cosmetic dentist can achieve the same exact aesthetic results with both dental crowns and dental veneers. However, experts advise dental crowns should be used only when extremely necessary; if it is possible, use dental veneers because they require less preparation and fewer changes to the natural structure of the tooth.
In case of patients who struggle with worn, chipped or broken teeth because of tooth grinding, the most solid solution is to opt for dental crowns. It is always important to discuss with your dentist which type of treatment would be most beneficial in your case. Dental veneers are more expensive than crowns, but they also require less preparation, and this treatment allows you to maintain the most amount of healthy tooth structure.
Whenever it is achievable, experts also suggest to be as conservative as possible. There is no need to file down healthy teeth when you can opt for a few dental veneers which are applied directly onto the surface of the discolored/chipped tooth without intervening on adjacent healthy teeth.
Teeth with large, old fillings, or major areas with dental decay will require dental crowns for maximum results. Dentists can also perform a treatment which is a combination of dental crowns and dental veneers, making sure to preserve as much as possible the healthy teeth structures and achieving a harmonious result.
A few important tips to keep in mind when selecting a cosmetic dentist:
-make sure you will choose a professional who works with an in-house ceramist. In order to get the best results, there is needed a huge attention to detail and you must be able to communicate perfectly with the dentist and the ceramist professional
-ensure that your dentist has an office which is perfectly equipped with latest technology dental tools (such as CEREC cad/cam for Ceramic Restoration work, or 3D digital photography tools)
-ask he dentist to show you before/after pictures with dental work he has performed on his patients.