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  • Writer's pictureDr. T.J. Emmer

What Makes Sense, a Laminate or a Dental Crown?

When does it make sense to apply a veneer or laminate and when should you opt for a full crown? First let’s make sure you understand both options.

When you have a tooth that has been chipped, broken or is badly discolored you may have a couple options for how best to restore it. Two of the most popular options are a laminate, also known as a veneer, or a dental crown.

A laminate or veneer is a very thin covering, typically made of porcelain or another resin-based material, and it is applied just to the front of your tooth. Typically, preparation is limited to the removal of some enamel to create a strong bond and snug fit between the covering and your tooth.

A dental crown is typically made of porcelain, or porcelain fused over top of gold, and it covers the entire tooth. Your tooth will require some preparation and shaping to be made ready and there is usually a mold and temporary crown. A crown, or veneer, is usually built over the course of two visits and in between you may have a temporary crown.

There are many factors to consider and discuss with your provider when determining the best approach for you. Here are five of the most important things to consider.

1. How does the tooth meet other teeth? Is there space around it and between it? Is it tightly fitted against your other teeth? Does it hit against the teeth above or below it with great force or frequency?

2. How much of the underlying tooth structure is left which now needs to be covered? What is the condition of that structure?

3. Did the tooth previously have a filling? How big was that filling?

4. What is the quality of the enamel of the tooth? What is quality and composition of the dentin? The dentin is the layer just under the enamel.

5. What is the position of the tooth? Is it in the front of back of your mouth? Is it crooked or in alignment with the rest of your teeth?

A veneer of laminate is often the best option for a tooth that primarily needs aesthetic repair, or which has a strong underlying structure and just a small chip or break or gap that needs to be restored. It’s also better suited for the front of your mouth than the back teeth which bear more pressure.

A dental crown is optimal for a tooth that has been weakened or doesn’t have much tooth structure left but has enough that it doesn’t make sense to lose it altogether. A crown is also the better option for a tooth that gets a lot of wear and tear or a patient who grinds their teeth.

Do you have a tooth that needs to be restored to its original state or needs repair? Are you in the Morristown NJ area? If yes, contact us to schedule a consultation.


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