Veneers vs Crowns

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Modern dentistry opens the field to much more than just helping patients to get rid of their toothache; certainly, if you’re facing the question of veneers vs crowns, you’re likely contemplating a mostly aesthetic choice. Though there are various options for aesthetic dental treatments, the different procedures and materials available are not always entirely clear, as evidenced by the dilemma that many wanting to restore their teeth are eventually faced with: crowns vs veneers.

In this article, Dr. Mihailo Aleksich explains the core arguments of the veneers vs. crowns question by highlighting their differences. As a rule, there are clearly defined cases of application, so it is never really down to the patient’s own choice, rather it is their individual situation that determines which procedure the dentist will administer.

In this guide:

Find out the ways in which veneers differ from crowns and which would suit your individual needs. Learn about the general cases where each procedure applies, what advantages and disadvantages veneers and crowns have, what costs you can expect, how the treatments are carried out, and how durable each prosthetic is. We also explain how getting treatment abroad can give you the best value for money.

Dr. Mihailo Aleksich Explains the Application of Veneers vs Crowns

A dentist explains the differences between crowns and veneers.

At first glance, veneers and crowns seem to have similar applications because they are both applied to teeth that are still intact to improve their overall appearance. And regardless which path you go down when considering crowns vs veneers, cost is always going to be determined by the material used. However, functionality of the teeth does of course also play a role, and both the initial condition of the teeth and the underlying reasons for carrying out one or the other treatment make their use very different. With a lot of patients, I frequently see that the differing critera of application are not entirely clear, which is why I would like to explain these two methods.

What Are Veneers and When Are They Applied?

Veneers are thin shells of ceramic or a ceramic-plastic mixture – known as composite – that are attached to the front of your teeth using a special adhesive. These shells are hand made to not only closely resemble real teeth, but also inconspicuously blend in with the rest of your mouth.

Veneers will always be bonded to healthy teeth since they serve an aesthetic purpose. That's not to say that there is no pre-treatment of the teeth if necessary, such as the removal of caries or performing a filling. Otherwise, all teeth are healthy before veneers are put onto them. For the application, the tooth's natural enamel must be visibly shaved down so that the veneers sits on it well and doesn't cause the tooth to look bulky.

Veneers can be used to cover up discolouration, small gaps between teeth and misalignments or broken corners. If done properly, veneers can be a highly effective treatment.

What Are Crowns and when Are They Applied?

Like veneers, crowns serve as artificial replicas of the natural tooth, and they are also attached using a special cement. Likewise, the tooth will have to be shaved to make sufficient space for the cap to be attached comfortably, but in this case, the shaving process is more extensive than with veneers. Crowns are usually applied to damaged teeth, like in cases of severe decay, chipping or when a tooth is close to breaking. In other words, cases where the damage can no longer be treated with a simple filling or inlays, a dental crown can be used.

You have a choice of different materials for crowns that will differ in appearance and price, but the goal is the same: fixed onto the broken tooth, the crown can restore a healthy function and feel to the tooth. The options are all-metal crowns such as gold ones, the most visually appealing and expensive all-ceramic crown, or hybrid metal-ceramic crowns (though hybrids can sometimes incorporate resin too). All-plastic crowns have a low durability and visual disadvantages, and are therefore only fitted temporarily until the final crowns have been crafted in a dental lab.

Approaching the crowns vs veneers debate therefore depends on both the patient's initial situation and the goal that is being pursued with the treatment. This is still true even if, for instance, the patient wants only to alter their front teeth; crowns vs veneers will always be answered by these factors.

If an aesthetically beautiful smile is desired and the teeth are healthy, veneers are an option. If there are one or more damaged teeth that cannot be treated with conventional fillings or are in danger of breaking, crowns are the solution.

- Dr. Mihailo Aleksich, Dentist and Dental Advisor at Qunomedical

What Are the Advantages of Veneers and Crowns?

Veneers are designed to improve the appearance of the teeth by covering multiple advantages in one: small gaps, misalignments or chipped teeth can be repaired and an even smile can be created.

Amongst the advantages of crowns is that they win the veneers vs crowns query in terms of durability, lasting years longer. Certain misalignments that cannot be corrected with orthodontic treatment can be corrected with a crown. The risk of tooth fracture after root canal treatment or in cases of severe grinding and abrasion of the teeth can be reduced by the use of a crown. Furthermore, since there is a medical indication in most cases, health insurance companies are more likely to cover at least part of the costs.

What Are the Disadvantages of Veneers and Crowns?

To apply veneers, the (healthy) teeth have to be shaved down beforehand. This loss of enamel is permanent, meaning you'll have to keep veneers fitted for life. With a lower durability, they also last fewer years than crowns do. It's also highly unlikely that your health insurer will cover any of the costs, being a cosmetic procedure.

A disadvantage of crowns is that they do not always look completely natural compared to the teeth next to them, especially when cheaper materials are used. Treating a damaged tooth with a crown also risks a higher discomfort arising from the procedure, though local anaesthetic should make it more than tolerable.

How Does the Process of Getting Veneers Work?

A dentist examines a patient's teeth so that custom veneers can be made.

The following process is the standard procedure for applying veneers:


Consultation and diagnosis: the dentist will initially perform a thorough examination and consultation. This will include determining the colour of the veneers, which should match your natural tooth colour as closely as possible. If you are interested in getting treatment abroad, it is a good idea to consult your dentist at home beforehand and perhaps also obtain a cost estimate.

Preparing your teeth: in the next session, the dentist prepares the teeth by removing a thin layer of the enamel from the front and edges to make room for the veneer shells to fit onto them neatly. This is done under local anaesthetic to avoid pain during the procedure.

Making the impression: after shaving down the teeth, the dentist takes an exact impression of them. This serves as a template for the creation of veneers in a dental laboratory.

Making the Veneers

The lab receives the impression and other information noted by the dentist to craft custom-made veneer shells to fit your teeth. The material used is usually ceramic, as this material allows for a very natural look.

Inserting the Veneer

Temporary veneer: while the final veneers are being made, temporary ones are placed onto the shaved teeth to protect them and minimise discomfort.

Placement of the final veneers: once the veneers are ready, they are attached to the teeth with a special cement. Fine adjustment may then follow to ensure that the veneers fit well and the bite is correct and comfortable.


Aftercare and check-ups: after your treatment, regular check-ups and good oral hygiene are important to ensure the longevity of the veneers. If the treatment took place abroad, your dentist at home will also check the condition of the veneers during the check-ups.

How Does the Process of Getting Crowns Work?

A lab technician making some crowns.

Crowns procedures are usually the same for everyone, following these general steps:


Consultation and diagnosis: during your first appointment, the dentist will carry out a full examination, which may include X-rays to assess the condition of the teeth and surrounding tissues. The different materials will also be discussed and the desired one determined. If you decide to have treatment abroad, the treating dentist will often request up-to-date x-rays, in which case the initial consultation can take place via video call.

Tooth preparation: the teeth that are to receive a dental crown are prepared by the dentist. In the case of severe caries, for example, these must be completely removed in advance to avoid discomfort later. It may also be necessary to remove healthy parts of the enamel to make room for the crown. This is done under local anaesthetic to avoid any pain.

Making the impression: after preparing the teeth to be crowned, the dentist takes an impression of them. This serves as a template for the crafting of the crowns in the dental lab.

Making the Crowns

Lab technicians carefully fabricate the crowns based on the impression and details given by the dentist. The material that was decided on during the consultation is used here. In the UK, it can take between two to three weeks to make the crown caps in a lab, whereas if you get them in a country like Turkey or Hungary, they are ready within a few days and can be fully fitted within one trip.

Inserting the crown

Temporary crown: while the final crown is being made, temporary crowns are fitted to protect the teeth and minimise discomfort.

Placement of the final crown: once the crown is ready, it is fixed onto the tooth with a special cement. Some fine adjustment may be necessary to ensure that the crown fits well and your bite is properly aligned.


Aftercare and check-ups: regular check-ups and good oral hygiene in the post-treatment phase are important to ensure the crowns' longevity. Patients treated abroad can go to their dentist at home for their check-ups.

How Do Veneers and Dental Crowns Differ in Price?

As an important part of considering crowns vs veneers, cost comparisons generally show veneers to be pricier than the same number of crowns, if a qualitatively comparable material is used. However, this does not apply to gold crowns, which are of course more expensive simply because of the value of the metal. It should also be noted that if you have insurance, it may cover part of the cost of crowns – which could also apply to some dental clinics abroad. Ultimately, whether for a full mouth or just your front teeth, crowns vs veneers always favours the former in terms of cost.

Find the Right Dental Specialist at a Fraction of the Cost

Qunomedical only lists dental clinics and doctors that have been thoroughly vetted with quality and affordability in mind. Contact us for your 100% free, non-binding assessment.

Even though you can have single crowns done abroad, a medical trip is usually only financially worthwhile if for multiple crowns.

Turkish dental clinics often offer the lowest prices, while still offering the same high quality as other countries do. You can save even more if you book the treatment as a package, which also includes accommodation and transfers.

In the table below you can see the average starting prices for a package of eight veneers or crowns in different countries.

Country8 Veneers8 Crowns
United Kingdom€6,500€6,000

Do Veneers or Crowns Last Longer?

A dentist explains the durability of veneers vs crowns to a patient.

Crowns are will last much longer than veneers. With good quality and care, crowns can easily last 15 to 20 years. However, the durability of the latter is also improving; at the moment, veneers last on average around ten to maybe even 15 years under optimal conditions. Both will have to be replaced once their time comes, though this is a far quicker and easier procedure since the shaving process does not have to be repeated.


If you've reached the veneers vs crowns crossroads, whichever one is right for you depends on factors unique to your needs. If your teeth are generally healthy but you're bothered by their appearance, veneers may be an option. But if you have more serious damage to your teeth or there is a risk of fracture, crowns are probably a better option if normal fillings don't offer enough protection. Always let your dentist consult you on what your most suitable option would be.

At Qunomedical, we've helped many patients receive the treatment they need by pairing them with the amazing professionals we work with, all of whom beat the costs at home. If you;re looking for outstanding care that is affordable, contact us and we will find you a suitable dentist.

Find the Right Dental Specialist at a Fraction of the Cost

Qunomedical only lists dental clinics and doctors that have been thoroughly vetted with quality and affordability in mind. Contact us for your 100% free, non-binding assessment.


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