Making the right decision between porcelain veneers and dental crowns can be overwhelming, especially when there is so much information out there and it’s difficult to understand the difference between both options.

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Your teeth are essential for eating, speaking and looking your best, so you’ll want to make sure you’re making the right decision when it comes to choosing between porcelain veneers and dental crowns.

Dr Joe Oliver is a leading cosmetic dentist providing veneers in London and Manchester with over 30 years’ experience treating all manner of patients and celebrities alike. You might recognise him from Channel 4’s Ten Years Younger and his features in popular publications such as Vogue, Tatler and OK! magazine, among others.

If you’d like expert guidance for your specific circumstances, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Dr Joe Oliver provides free no-obligation consultations online. Alternatively, you can call us on 020 4579 1355 or email

Dental Crowns vs. Veneers: What’s The Difference?

Dental crowns and veneers are two of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments used to improve the appearance of teeth. Both treatments can be used to repair chipped, cracked, discoloured, or misaligned teeth. However, some key differences between them should be considered when deciding which one is right for you.

If you have a broken tooth or damaged teeth, you might think the only option is to get a dental crown. But cosmetic veneers can also be considered for dental restoration, particularly if you are hoping to retain the appearance of a natural tooth.

Porcelain veneers are placed on the front surface of your existing tooth and are often preferred for aesthetic purposes since they display less gum margin. A dental crown covers the entire tooth surface. Crowns may be more durable against wear and tear than veneers, but that’s because they are usually thicker than cosmetic veneers.

Choosing between crowns and veneers will depend largely on the condition of the natural tooth that needs to be treated. Typically, a crown or dental implant may be needed when significant restorative treatment is required to fix the tooth structure.

Why get veneers instead of a dental crown?

Veneers are a popular way to improve the appearance of your front teeth, like concealing crookedness or chipping. Crowns, on the other hand, are better suited for treating teeth that have a large amount of decay or broken tooth structure, or for patients who have had root canal treatment.

Since a porcelain veneer does not cover the entire tooth, some patients prefer veneers over crowns for their natural feel. They are suitable and effective for fixing chipped teeth and other minor damage to the tooth surface.

Do porcelain crowns last longer than dental veneers?

Veneers and crowns have a long lifespan which is comparable with proper care. Porcelain veneers can last between 15 and 20 years when cared for properly. Dr Joe Oliver has many patients whose veneers have lasted more than 25 years.

Dental crowns are durable and long-lasting – you can expect a well-fitted and cared-for crown to last at least 10 years.

What are the disadvantages of dental crowns?

One thing to consider when choosing between veneers and crowns is the cost. For patients who don’t have dental insurance, crowns or dental implants could be costly with prices that might run into the thousands depending on the dental work required and crown material.

Crowns can also cause sensitivity or pain in adjacent and opposing teeth if the crowned tooth rubs or grinds on other teeth, or if it changes your bite.

In unfortunate cases, the patient may also experience nerve damage as a result of the procedures required to prepare the tooth for a crown. This may lead to the need for root canal treatment or further dental procedures to address tooth decay caused by an ill-fitting crown.

An experienced cosmetic dentist will always check that the original tooth can support a permanent crown, and there are indeed benefits associated with dental crowns such as pain relief, support for a weak tooth and better alignment.

Which is more expensive – crowns or veneers?

Porcelain veneers are typically slightly cheaper than dental crowns but this will depend on cosmetic procedures required for your circumstances. You can view the full price list here.

Dental Veneers and Crowns: How Does the Procedure Differ?

Porcelain veneers

The steps involved in the process of fitting a porcelain veneer depend on the kind you select. Usually, it consists of multiple stages. Composite bonding or composite veneers may only require one visit to the dentist. During this time, a filling material is applied directly onto your teeth for a desired aesthetic result.

For porcelain veneers, our team will construct a 3D simulation of your perfect smile through the use of X-rays and impressions if necessary. This way we can make sure that we have all the information needed to ensure that your teeth are healthy.

The tooth surface will then need to be prepared. This involves removing a minimal amount of enamel from the tooth, taking an imprint, and placing a temporary veneer or set of veneers on your teeth. In the final stage, temporary veneers are removed, and the final veneers are bonded to your tooth.

Dental crowns

It typically takes two visits to a dentist to properly place a dental crown. At the first appointment, your tooth is prepared and at the second, the crown is fitted in place.

During the initial consultation, our experienced team will take an x-ray of your mouth to evaluate the root and tooth structure.

To make space for the crown, a local anaesthetic may be used while we reshape the dental structure so that it can accommodate the crown.

To craft the perfect crown for your tooth, a dental expert such as Dr Joe Oliver will take an impression of your existing tooth. This ensures that the final product is tailor-made to fit into your mouth and provide you with optimum comfort.

A temporary crown is placed over the existing tooth to provide protection until your next dental appointment. It serves as a sort of shield to protect the tooth during this interim period.

For the completion of your dental crown procedure, you will need a second visit to the dentist. At this point, Dr Joe Oliver will securely cement the permanent crown in place for a long-lasting result. He will wait to begin the fitting until you’re satisfied with its shape, placement and fit.

Get in touch

To book a no-obligation consultation, please get in touch. You can call us on 020 4579 1355 or email for more information.