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Should You Get Teeth Whitening or Veneers?

December 24th, 2023

If you want your teeth to look brilliant and beautiful, you have a couple of treatment options. But how can you choose the right one?

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Perhaps you want a dentist to fix your yellow teeth. Still, there’s a chance you don’t know which treatment to choose. Maybe you’re waffling between either teeth whitening or porcelain veneers. After all, both of these options could make your smile brighter. Luckily, it isn’t too hard to discern the better choice. Your local practice can even help. To that end, here’s a summary of teeth whitening, veneers, and which procedure to choose for your smile.

What Is Teeth Whitening?
Per its name, teeth whitening is a service that directly whitens your grin. It often results in pearly whites that are six to eight shades brighter. Just make sure you get it through your dentist.

Professional teeth whitening works by placing a special gel on your smile. As this material seeps into your enamel, it bleaches the top tooth layer to remove various stains. Rest assured, though, the gel is quite safe. You shouldn’t face any gum irritation or tooth sensitivity as side effects.

Generally, whitening treatment comes in two types. The first is an in-office procedure that takes roughly an hour. Meanwhile, the second is an at-home bleaching kit you can use yourself. In exchange for its convenience, this second approach requires a few weeks to work.

What Are Veneers?
Put simply, veneers are thin, tooth-sized shells placed on the fronts of teeth. They’re typically made of porcelain or dental ceramic.

Veneers’ effects are pretty straightforward. Once placed on teeth, they hide various smile flaws from view. (These include chips, cracks, stains, and even misalignments.) They’re thus a highly versatile cosmetic option. Best of all, the shells are lifelike and blend seamlessly with adjacent teeth.

Notably, veneer treatment is a tad invasive. A dentist must remove bits of your enamel to make room for the shells. (Veneers won’t fit well otherwise.) As such, treated teeth will always need these (or similar) restorations in the future. The alternative is an increased risk of tooth sensitivity.

Which One is Right for You?
Whether whitening or veneers are better will depend on your needs. Based on your situation, one or the other might be more effective.

For instance, whitening is best if you need quick, cheap, and non-invasive results. Its bleaching process doesn’t take long and leaves your tooth structure intact. Plus, whitening can lift light to moderate stains for a relatively low price. As a result, many patients see it as a very cost-effective procedure.

On the other hand, veneers are ideal if you want comprehensive and long-lasting effects. While placing them does remove some enamel, they compensate by hiding a wider range of flaws. The shells won’t just hide your stains – they’ll hide chips, cracks, and other imperfections as well. Furthermore, veneers can last 15 years or more when well-maintained. Despite being pricey, then, they’ll compensate by beautifying your smile for a much longer time.

All that said, talk to your local dentist before deciding anything. They’ll know your dental history and your preferences. With these facts in hand, they can give you an informed treatment suggestion.