Over time, teeth can dull in color, chip, crack, and develop other imperfections even when you practice regular at-home oral care. As a result, you may not feel as confident showing your smile off. Thankfully, visiting a cosmetic dentist is a great way to achieve your ideal smile since there are multiple solutions available to you. Two of the most popular cosmetic enhancements in dentistry include teeth whitening and veneers, both of which have their own pros and cons. If you’re unsure which service can best meet your needs, keep reading!
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a relatively affordable cosmetic service that uses bleaching materials to lift stains from teeth. Keep in mind that the ingredients used in professional-grade products at the dental office are much stronger than anything you’ll find over-the-counter. Stains that you may struggle to remove through at-home brushing (even with a whitening toothpaste) or whitening strips and trays from local pharmacies should be relatively easy to remove with the help of professional products.
With that said, teeth whitening only addresses the color of your enamel, not the shape or size of your individual teeth. If your cosmetic concerns involve chips or cracks, whitening won’t be enough to achieve your ideal smile.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are ultra-thin ceramic sheaths designed to bond to the surface of teeth that make up your visible smile. The veneers are customized to fit over your teeth exactly, ensuring they not only look natural once bonded, but blend in with your existing teeth. This way, only you and the dentist that place them will know you received veneers.
In order for the veneers to sit flush, a small amount of enamel must be removed. For some, this is less than ideal, especially if they do not have a lot of enamel to work with already. Veneers are also much more expensive than whitening treatment because of the materials required and high level of personalization. However, they are also the fastest way to completely transform your smile.
Which Option Should You Choose?
You’ll need to consider your budget as well as your specific needs in order to know whether veneers or whitening is right for you. For example, if you’re main concern is the color of your smile, whitening may be the best option. If you do plan to get veneers later, be sure to whiten your smile first so your future veneers can be color-matched to your newly brightened teeth. Veneers do not respond to whitening whatsoever, meaning if you whiten your smile after receiving your veneers you run the risk of them mismatching your whitened teeth.
Furthermore, veneers are better suited for those with higher budgets and many imperfections to address at a time (i.e. chips, cracks, gaps, and major stains). You’ll also need to be okay with permanently modifying your teeth to receive them.
The best way to know for sure which option is right for you is to speak with a cosmetic dentist directly. They’ll design a treatment plan that meets your needs exactly, so you can begin smiling with confidence!
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer Reed has been practicing dentistry for nearly 30 years and enjoys all aspects of dentistry, particularly services that allow her to completely transform her patient’s smiles and help them achieve their dream appearance. Whether you’re looking for veneers, teeth whitening, or another cosmetic enhancement, you can schedule an appointment by contacting her through her website.