When it comes to fixing chipped, cracked, or stained teeth, there are many alternatives to veneers that you can consider.

Are you someone who’s wondering:

  • How can I fix my teeth without veneers?
  • Is there a cheaper alternative to veneers?
  • Which is better, crowns or veneers?

Crowns are one of the most popular and versatile options other than veneers that many people know about. Like veneers, they cover up teeth that need repair and restore mouth function. There are also other alternatives for veneers, like dental bonding and in-office teeth whitening.

If you’re interested in learning more about these alternatives and which might be best for you, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re sharing professional information about how to fix teeth without veneers. In addition, you’ll learn about some of the best, most affordable alternatives to veneers.

Keep reading to get further insight about dental crowns vs. veneers pros and cons.

The Top 3 Alternatives to Veneers

Veneers are a thin, porcelain/ceramic cosmetic dental option that cover the front of teeth. Dentists can place them to:

  • Strengthen teeth
  • Cover stains
  • Change the shape of teeth
  • Make a smile brighter

However, veneers have limitations and aren’t always the best option for fixing chipped, misshapen, or stained teeth.

Fortunately, there are three options other than veneers that can you can look into:

  1. Crowns
  2. Dental bonding
  3. In-office teeth whitening.  

Here’s a deeper look at these three alternatives for veneers.

1. Crowns

Crowns are tooth-like caps that dentists place over existing teeth. Dentists often use them to fix teeth that are cracked, chipped, or decayed because crowns can:

  • Strengthen the tooth
  • Protect the tooth from further decay
  • Restore the tooth’s normal size, shape, appearance, and function

There are three main types of crowns:

  • Gold (all-metal crowns): Metal crowns aren’t tooth-colored, but they are inexpensive and strong. They’re often used on back teeth and molars.
  • Porcelain fused to metal (PFM): A PFM crown has the durability of a metal base with the tooth-like appearance of porcelain. Dentists often use PFM crowns on front teeth.
  • Zirconia: Zirconia crowns are strong and tooth-colored. Like PFM crowns, Zirconia crowns are used on front teeth.

Crowns are very versatile, strong, and long-lasting.

So what’s better, veneers or crowns?

Crowns Vs. Veneers: Pros and Cons

Answering the question, “Which is better, crowns or veneers?” is tough.

Veneers are primarily a cosmetic procedure used to brighten up the appearance of front teeth. On the other hand, crowns are a restorative procedure that restores a tooth’s normal function.

Ultimately, both crowns and veneers have unique advantages and disadvantages.

Here are some of the pros and cons of veneers vs. crowns:

Veneer Pros Veneer Cons
  • Look like natural teeth
  • Can make teeth whiter
  • Have the ability to change your tooth size or shape
  • Can cover cracks in teeth
Crown Pros Crown Cons
  • Strong and durable
  • Can be used on any tooth
  • PFM and Zirconia crowns are tooth-colored
  • Can fix chipped, cracked, or decayed teeth
  • Significant enamel is removed
  • Can chip or break (though, they’re less fragile than veneers)
  • Potential for sensitivity to hot/cold after a crown procedure
  • Cost can vary depending on the number of crowns and materials used


It’s always best to consult with your dentist about veneers vs. crowns. They can help you understand the pros and cons of each for your unique situation.

2. Dental Bonding

Are you wondering, “Is there a cheaper alternative to veneers?”

Yes, there is: dental bonding.

Dental bonding is a quick, easy procedure to fix broken, chipped, or misshapen front teeth. It’s cheaper than getting veneers, and the bonding process usually only takes 30-60 minutes.

In addition, the dental bonding material is tooth-colored to match the appearance of your natural teeth—like veneers and crowns.

However, unlike veneers and crowns, dental bonding only requires your dentist to remove very little (if any) enamel from your natural tooth structure.

When performing a dental bonding procedure, a dentist will:

  1. Place bonding material on your tooth
  2. Shape the material to fit your natural tooth
  3. Use a UV light to cement the material to the tooth

Following the procedure, your tooth structure will be restored, and you can start using your teeth like usual.

For minor chips in front teeth, dental bonding is an excellent alternative to veneers.

3. In-office Teeth Whitening

A third, affordable alternative to veneers is in-office teeth whitening.

Many people look into veneers because they want more beautiful, whiter teeth. However, we just mentioned that one of the downfalls of veneers is that they require permanent removal of your tooth enamel. 

If you want whiter teeth but don’t want to alter your natural tooth structure, in-office Zoom whitening is a quick and inexpensive way to get whiter teeth.

The Zoom process usually starts a week or two before whitening and requires two appointments:

Appointment #1: A week or so before your actual whitening appointment, the dentist will make you a custom tray and pre-treat your teeth with sensitivity toothpaste. This initial appointment usually takes about 15-20 minutes.

Appointment #2: The second appointment can take up to 2 hours and usually involves four, 15-minute whitening sessions. A dental assistant will use whitening gel and light activation (that blue light you commonly see) to whiten your teeth. They’ll perform this process up to four times. Sometimes, you may only need two or three of these 15-minute sessions to get the desired results you want.

There are some things to know before getting a Zoom whitening treatment:

  • Not all stains can be entirely removed
  • You must deal with prior dental issues (e.g., decayed teeth, receding gums, etc.) before the treatment
  • Some people may experience a temporary increase in sensitivity following the procedure

But at the end of the day, tooth whitening is one of the best options other than veneers for a brighter smile. 

Affordable Alternatives to Veneers in Richmond, VA

Veneers are a cosmetic tool that dentists can use to help fix front teeth. Specifically, people are often interested in veneers because they can:

  • Make teeth whiter
  • Change the shape or size of teeth
  • Cover up cracks or stains

However, the veneer process is irreversible and can also be expensive. In addition, veneers can chip or crack, and they often need to be replaced every 10-15 years.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to veneers for those interested in how to fix teeth without veneers. Three of the best options other than veneers are:

  • Crowns
  • Dental bonding
  • In-office teeth whitening

If you need some dental work done and are wondering, “What’s better, veneers or crowns?” or want to know more about crowns vs. veneers pros and cons for your unique situation, you can always talk to your dentist.

At Northside Dental Co, we offer both cosmetic and restorative dentistry options. If you want to get veneers placed on your front teeth, we can make that happen. Or, perhaps you’re interested in one of the alternatives, like dental bonding or in-office whitening. Our dentists are ready to provide you with expert insight into what’s best for you, whatever your needs.

Schedule your appointment online today to get the professional dental care you deserve.