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As cosmetic dentist in Encinitas, Dr. McElroy often provides patient with dental crowns and porcelain veneers. While you may think these two procedures are the same, there are clear differences between the two. A dental crown is a custom-made cap that is placed over an entire tooth. It is often used in restorative and cosmetic dentistry while also used in combination with other procedures, such as a dental bridge. A veneer only covers the front surface of the tooth to enhance its appearance. To help you determine which option is right for you, we have the information you need to understand the differences between the two options.

Benefit from a Dental Veneer

A dental veneer is a very thin shell that is bonded to the front surface of a tooth to improve its shape and proportion. The cosmetic procedure hides tooth discoloration, chips, and cracks. Often, they are used to give abnormally shaped teeth a more natural appearance while they can also be used to make the teeth appear straighter by hiding alignment issues.

When compared to a dental crown, veneers are thinner and require a less invasive procedure. On average, only 3% to 30% of the enamel is removed during the bonding process because they are 1mm thick or less. While they are effective for improving the appearance of the teeth, they do not restore the health or a function of a tooth. In addition, while they are durable, they do break easier than dental crowns.

Benefit from a Dental Crown

A dental crown is a cap that is placed over an entire tooth. When used for restorative purposes, it can be used to treat a broken or severely decayed tooth. By doing so, it restores the tooth’s health, function, and appearance. When used for cosmetic reasons, it can hide discoloration while improving the shape of a tooth. Often, crowns are used along with other dental procedures, such as a root canal, dental bridge, or dental implants.

Dental crowns are much thicker than a veneer, often having a thickness of 2mm or more. In addition, more of the tooth must be removed during the bonding process. Depending on the reason for the crown, 63% to 76% of the tooth may need removed.

Although several advancements have been made to make the procedure less invasive, it still requires more preparation than that of a dental veneer. However, a dental crown is more durable than a veneer while allowing it to be used for several reasons to not only improve the health of a tooth, but the function and appearance as well.

Dentist for Veneers and Crowns

Receiving a veneer or a crown will require you to permanently alter the integrity of your tooth. Therefore, it is a decision that needs to be made with your dentist to ensure you are making a wise choice. Dr. McElroy and his dental team will evaluate your needs to help decide which treatment will meet your needs. Contact McElroy Smiles by Design today to schedule a consultation.


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Encinitas Dentist for Teeth Cleanings, Pain-Free Dental Care, Gum Treatment, Dentures, Dental Implants, Invisalign, Teeth Whitening, Veneers, & More – Serving Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido & San Diego, CA

Your Top-Rated Dentist in Encinitas, CA

"This is a fantastic Dentist, McElroy and the associates in the office are amazing. Our daughters enjoy every time they are here. Very good practice, highly suggested!!"

- Cody H.

"I would definitely recommend Smiles By Design dental office to anyone who is looking for a personable, honest, thorough, and professional dentist. Dr. McElroy and his staff make you feel so comfortable, you forget you are at the dentist!! Highly recommend!"

- Kelly C.

"Had my first appointment at McElroy smiles by design, and the staff was so friendly and informative. It was an enjoyable experience and I plan on going back in the future."

- Isaac W.

"Thanks to everyone in the office! Great service and very punctual. Dr.McElroy is a wonderful dentist, he is very professional and friendly. He does what it takes to do the job perfectly— even if it requires extra time. I needed a lot of work when I first came to the office, but now when its all done, I love the outcome and my new smile! I am stoked!!"

- Wera S.

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of McElroy Smiles. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

What To Expect On Your First Visit

Dr. McElroy is excited to provide you a $99 new patient special!


Discuss Your Goals With Dr. McElroy


Thorough Exam & Professional Cleaning


Digital X-Rays


Discuss Your Potential Treatment Options


Bonus: Free copy of Dr. McEroy’s Book