Dental Crowns or Veneers for Two Front Teeth?

I have two veneers on my two front teeth. I need the veneers replaced. My dentist wants to crown one of my teeth as I had a root canal a few years back. The other tooth is perfectly healthy but needs a new veneer. My dentist also wants to do a crown on this tooth as he says it will be easier for the dental lab to match two crowns than match a crown and a veneer. These are my two very front top teeth. Does this sound right?

Doctor Answers 13

2 Veneers is the way to go!

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In dental school, dentists were taught to automatically crown a root canal tooth. With advances in adhesive esthetic dentistry we no longer have to follow that rule with anterior teeth.

The root canal tooth should be fit with a fiber post to give it added strength without compromising esthetics and both teeth prepared for porcelain veneers. The veneers should be designed in such a way so they look much like 3/4 porcelain crowns for added strength and longevity.

I have done this many times over the years with great success.

Crown and veneer

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To answer this we would need to see photos and xrays of the tooth. Generally speaking a crown and veneer are both made of the same material. The only difference is that the crown wraps entirely around the tooth and the veneer only covers the front and possibly extends slightly to the back. If there is enough tooth structure left, a veneer is fine for the root canaled tooth. If there was decay or tooth structure had to be removed to access the root canal then a crown is indicated. The same goes for the adjacent tooth. If there is decay or if there old bondings that need to be replaced a crown is indicated. If not a veneer is fine. Also the lab and your dentist will take into consideration your bite. If you've worn a lot of tooth structure or your bite needs more stability, crowns are indicated. Combining crowns and veneers is not uncommon. For aesthetic purposes don't worry too much if it a crown or veneer. They can be made to match perfectly and look great. Let the dentist and lab figure out what works best functionally for your smile. Best of luck and follow us for more information!

Porcelain Veneers: What's the best option? Crowns or Veneers?

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To fully and appropriately assess your best option, I would have to make a full exam of your particular circumstance. Your dentist has very likely made the appropriate suggestion, but a porcelain veneer can definitely be matched with an adjacent crown (depending on the skill and experience of you cosmetic specialist).

It can't hurt to get a second opinion.

Best of luck.

James Asaf, DDS

James Asaf, DDS
Beverly Hills Dentist

Dental Crowns or Veneers for Two Front Teeth?

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So the question is do I do dental veneers or crowns on my two front teeth to repair them. That certainly depends on the severity of any fractures or if the tooth has had a root canal.If the toot has had a root canal the more indicated treatment would be a full porcelain crown. That just goes all the way around…the material is the same and will look just as lifelike and just as beautiful as these days we don’t have to do those crowns with metals or any of the darkness therefore it depends on what it is that is needed by the tooth and that needs to be evaluated by your dentist.

Amanda Canto, DDS
Houston Dentist

Dental Crowns or Porcelain Veneers for Two Front Teeth, One of Which had a Root Canal

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I don't think I can give an accurate answer without knowing more, seeing a photo of the tooth in question and the radiograph (x-ray).  However, there is a changing consensus in dentistry on whether or not to place a veneer or crown on a root canal tooth.  The old thinking was to always place a crown on a root canal tooth.  The newer thinking is to preserve as much of the tooth as possible, meaning place a veneer rather than a full crown restoration.  One thing happens when the dentist prepares a tooth for a full crown, he removes the bump on the backside (tongue side) of the tooth, called a cingulum.  Some studies have show that when this is drilled away for full crown preparation that the tooth becomes 50% weaker compared to a tooth that had a porcelain veneer and did not have the cingulum drilled off.

I have done many cases where one of the front tooth is a porcelain veneer and the other is a porcelain crown.  However, you get the best match in color, shape and contour when both front teeth are prepared the same way (i.e. either for full crown or porcelain veneers).

So, saying all of this, but not having the opportunity to actually evaluate your teeth, all I can say is that if you consulted ten cosmetic dentists my bet is that you would get three different answers.  Several would agree with your dentist and do one crown and one veneer.  Several would want to do full crowns on both teeth.  And the remaining, like me, would prefer, if possible, to do two porcelain veneers.

One last thought.  Your dentist might recommend placing a post in the top 2/3 of the root canal tooth.  This is a good idea, as it will strengthen the root canal tooth considerably.  However, make sure he uses a bonded fiber post (it's like kevlar fiber, strong as metal, often used in bullet proof vests), and does not use a metal post.  A metal post can't effectively be bonded into the root canal space and also may case a dark shadow that will make that tooth, and veneer or crown, look darker than the non-root canal tooth.

Norman Huefner, DDS
Laguna Niguel Dentist

Crown or Veneer

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The dentist is correct that it will be easier to match the two teeth if they are both crowns. This comes at the expense of removing healthy tooth structure. 

I would base my decision on the darkness of the teeth. If the tooth with the root canal is very dark then I would recommend a crown to block out the discoloration. If the tooth is not discolored then you might be able to get away with another veneer. What you do with the other tooth depends on the skill of the dental technician. Some labs are very good at getting a veneer to match a crown, some not so much. 


Sylvan Fain, DDS
Miami Dentist

Porcelain Crown Or Veneer For Root Canal Treated Front Tooth?

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This is difficult to say for sure without pictures, but typically we could do a crown and veneer and make them match perfectly.  We always want to be as conservative as possible without sacrificing aesthetics.  Hope this helps. 

Dental Crowns of Veneers on two front teeth

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Your end goal is important here and I imagine aesthetics would be one of your main concerns considering these are your two front teeth. The Two front teeth set up your whole smile and since aesthetics is tied in closely to bilateral symmetry it is important your two front teeth match as close as possible. In fact in Comprehensive smile design we use the front two teeth to guide the aesthetics of all the teeth involved in the smile design. 

Matching two front teeth, one a crown and one a veneer along with your natural teeth can be a challenge, but as pointed out, todays materials (ex. eMAX, Empress) can be matched up very well. 

A few things have to be taken into account to achieve the best result if you are only restoring two front teeth. You are going to be limited in terms of space and colour based on your natural teeth beside the ones being worked on. Also, the shade of the two teeth being restored, (under the old veneer and crown) will determine how thick the veneer and crown will have to be and what materials are best to use under your particular circumstances. 


A well trained Cosmetic dentist and lab will work together to give you the best possible solution, pick best material, the best ingot, etc. for your specific needs. 


In your case, maybe two crowns would be the way to go. without pictures and radiographs (X-rays) it would be hard for any of us to give you a definitive treatment plan. Hopefully the comments here will at least give you a good starting point to have an open discussion with your treating doc. 

Paul Newitt, BSc, DMD
Vancouver Dentist

Cant say without a visusl exam.

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This is a very good question.  Unfortunately it simply cant be answered definitively without an exam.


Although some of the other doctors have given you definitive answers, there are just too many variables.  Indeed it is quite possible that you would have a superior esthetic result if you chose 2 crowns of the exact same material. 


If you are interested in two veneers rather than two crowns, I would recommend a in person consult with an experienced cosmetic dentist.

Steve Alper, DMD
New York Dentist

New materials match

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With the newer materials we have today there should not be a problem matching crowns and veneers on front teeth since they can be made with the same materials without metal underneath the porcelain. Whether or not a root-canaled front tooth needs a crown depends on how much strong tooth structure is remaining. I prefer to preserve as much tooth structure as I can, so I lean toward a veneer if possible.

Abraham Hoellrich, DDS
Columbus Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.