When you are unhappy with the look of your teeth, you have several options to enhance their appearance. Two of the most common procedures that are done right in the dental office are tooth whitening and dental veneers. Both procedures are non-invasive and provide great results, but which one will work better for you greatly depends on the severity of the discoloration of your teeth.
Whitening your teeth has many advantages: it is done quickly, there are no special instruments or procedures required, and you can go about your day immediately following the tooth whitening process. Like any procedure, tooth whitening has its faults. One of the greatest concerns is whether or not it will whiten your teeth to the degree that you would prefer. This greatly depends on the severity of the stains on your teeth and how they occurred. Generally, tooth whitening only works on extrinsic stains (stains that are on the exterior of your tooth enamel). These stains occur from food, lifestyle habits, and aging. Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, which occur as a result of too much fluoride, certain antibiotics, or discoloration due to trauma, are not able to be fixed with tooth whitening.
Dental veneers are a great non-invasive dental procedure for those that wish for their color to be restored on their teeth, as well as hiding any other cosmetic issues, including chipped teeth, crooked teeth, or large gaps in between teeth. As you can see, dental veneers provide greater power for fixing cosmetic issues, but when it comes to stains, they do not have the same issues as teeth whitening. Because dental veneers are placed over your enamel, any discoloration is immediately hidden and replaced with the bright, white color of the veneer. As an added benefit, dental veneers are permanent, which means you never have to go through another procedure to get the white teeth you desire, as long as you take care of them by brushing, flossing, and visiting us for regular cleanings. This is unlike teeth whitening which typically needs to be repeated every few years.
The decision between tooth whitening and dental veneers greatly depends on the reason for your cosmetic issues. If it is something that is beyond the surface of your enamel, tooth whitening will likely not have the desired effects – it may even make your teeth look more unpleasant because certain teeth without stains will become whiter than those with the intrinsic stains. Dental veneers, on the other hand, will help any type of stain, giving you the bright, white smile you desire.