Every smile is unique and beautiful in its own way, but it’s not uncommon for patients to want to improve the look of their smiles with either teeth whitening or dental veneers. Both of these treatments are designed to improve the appearance of a smile.
Dental Veneers vs. Teeth Whitening
While teeth whitening can brighten a patient’s tooth enamel, dental veneers offer a range of smile restoration options such as selecting tooth color, shape, size, and giving the patient the option of almost completely revamping the look of his or her smile.
Dental veneers and teeth whitening are both useful cosmetic dentistry treatments, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Understanding the differences between these treatments can help you decide which is best for you.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening (also called teeth bleaching) is a common cosmetic dentistry procedure performed in the dental office that whitens and brightens a patient’s teeth with applications of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These whitening agents eliminate tooth discoloration by removing stains that occur due to normal wear and tear like that which occurs due to eating and drinking certain foods like red wine, coffee, or berries.
Professional teeth whitening differs from over-the-counter treatments because it uses stronger whitening agents and also allows patients to work with our dentists to understand the results they can expect and achieve the exact degree of whitening desired.
The Pros of Teeth Whitening
- Teeth whitening is non-invasive and virtually pain-free (although some patients might experience slight teeth sensitivity for a short time after treatments)
- Teeth whitening produces fast results. Patients see noticeably brighter and whiter teeth after a single treatment which usually lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the type of treatment selected and the degree of whitening desired.
- Teeth whitening is typically less costly than other cosmetic dentistry treatments.
The Cons of Teeth Whitening
- Teeth whitening only brightens the color of teeth but does not address cracked, broken, chipped, misshapen, or crooked teeth.
- Teeth whitening can lead to some sensitivity following treatments. Our dentists take precautions to help reduce teeth sensitivity and to protect the gums from becoming irritated during treatments.
- Teeth whitening is not always as successful for teeth that are gray or brown in color as it is for slightly yellowed teeth.
- Teeth whitening only brightens natural teeth and will not affect the color of crowns, composite fillings, or other dental appliances.
- Teeth whitening is not a permanent treatment. Teeth can once again become stained over time.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are very thin tooth-colored and tooth-shaped shells that are comprised of composite porcelain. Designed to fit over the front surface of a patient’s teeth, dental veneers are permanently bonded to each tooth after the tooth has been resurfaced. Veneers are custom-designed and shaped to fit each patient’s individual teeth to achieve the desired color, shape, size, and look.
The Pros of Dental Veneers
- Dental veneers are a permanent solution and can last for up to about 20 years with proper care.
- Dental veneers enable patients to select highly customized smiles by selecting the shade, size, and shape of each tooth.
- They can be used to cover stains that are difficult to remove with teeth whitening treatments alone.
- They can be used to correct tooth gaps, cracks, chips, worn tooth enamel, and to correct the appearance of crooked teeth.
- Dental veneers can also be used to change a tooth’s apparent size and shape.
The Cons of Dental Veneers
- The procedure is more invasive as teeth must be permanently resurfaced to prepare them for the application of veneers.
- Dental veneers require multiple visits to the dental clinic for consultation, preparation, and placement.
- Dental veneers are permanent and cannot be reversed.
- Patients with tooth decay, structurally weakened teeth, or other oral health problems might not be candidates for dental veneers.
- Dental veneers tend to be more expensive than teeth whitening treatments.
Find Out How Goochland Dentistry Can Help You Get the Smile of Your Dreams
At Goochland Dentistry, we offer comprehensive cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry services to help our patients achieve their smile dreams. If you’re hoping to improve the look or function of your smile, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dentists. Depending on the patient’s teeth, smile goals, and overall dental health, our dentists can help you determine whether dental veneers or teeth whitening is the best treatment option.
During a smile consultation our dentist talks with our patients about their smile goals, examines the health of their teeth and gums, and suggests a variety of treatment plans to help the patient determine the best option based on their unique needs. To learn more or schedule a consultation at Goochland Dentistry, we welcome you to contact our dental clinic today.