If your smile is looking a bit dull, discoloured or stained, you have a few cosmetic options to help improve its appearance. Two of the best ways to brighten up and restore a beautiful smile are teeth whitening and dental veneers.
What does teeth whitening involve?
Teeth whitening procedures range from quick and effective in-chair treatments at the dental clinic, to at-home treatments that you carry out yourself over the course of a few weeks. The treatments involve applying a whitening solution to your teeth which will brighten the colour and help hide any stains.
What do dental veneers involve?
Dental veneers are custom-made, thinly constructed shells that cover the front surfaces of your teeth and hide any imperfections. They are great for hiding stained or discoloured teeth and are designed to look very natural and realistic.
Which is the right choice for me?
Both of these procedures have certain advantages and disadvantages, and which one you choose will depend upon your individual circumstances, needs and budget.
What are the benefits of teeth whitening?
Treatment is safe and effective
There are few side effects to teeth whitening, with the only problem you’re likely to experience being temporary teeth and gum sensitivity. When carried out as instructed, teeth whitening will not damage your teeth.
It’s also quite an effective treatment, although the amount that teeth will lighten will vary between people. Teeth whitening treatments will generally improve a tooth’s colour by several shades. Very discoloured or stained teeth will not whiten as much as whiter teeth. Yellow coloured teeth will whiten better than grey-coloured teeth.
In-chair treatment is usually more effective at whitening teeth than at-home treatment. This is because a dentist can use a special light to help lift stains from each tooth’s surface. In-chair treatment is the most expensive type of whitening treatment, however.
Teeth whitening is non-invasive
None of your original tooth structure needs to be removed for teeth whitening to occur, so it’s considered a non-invasive procedure. This is in contrast to dental veneers, which involve a small amount of basic preparation of your teeth before they can be attached.
The dentist will remove about half a millimetre of enamel from your tooth to ensure the veneer fits comfortably. However, once this enamel has been removed it cannot be replaced. You’ll need to have veneers permanently.
It’s cheaper than veneers
While costs will vary depending on what treatment option you choose, teeth whitening procedures are generally less expensive than veneers.
It’s a more versatile treatment
Teeth whitening is usually suitable for most people (with only a few exceptions). Veneers, while a good option for many, are not suitable for people:
· with active gum disease
· with weakened teeth
· with a great deal of decay
· with an inadequate amount of existing enamel
· who are prone to grinding or clenching their teeth
In-chair whitening can give you results in a single treatment that will take around an hour. At-home treatments will take a little longer, but you should see results in a few weeks.
What are the benefits of dental veneers?
They last longer than teeth whitening
Because veneers are a more permanent restoration, they will last longer than a teeth whitening treatment. Teeth whitening treatments will need to be repeated over the years as your teeth gradually become stained and discoloured again.
Teeth whitening will generally last up to two years, although that depends on your food and lifestyle choices. With good oral hygiene, your dental veneers could last anywhere between seven and twenty years before needing to be replaced.
They are a long-term solution to your discolouration problems.
They are very effective
Dental veneers are a quick and painless way to improve the colour of your teeth, particularly if they are very discoloured. The results will be the same for everyone, whereas results for teeth whitening treatments can vary depending on the individual.
Veneers are durable enough to handle most of the forces they would be subjected to by a normal diet. And they are custom-designed to look very natural and realistic.
Veneers will look just like your normal teeth – only better.
You can choose the shade of your teeth
Because dental veneers are custom-created for each patient, you can choose the shade and tone you want your teeth to have. And because dental veneers are highly stain-resistant, the colour will not change much over time.
Veneers have other benefits
Not only will veneers improve the colour of your teeth, but they can also give you a more aesthetically pleasing smile by improving the shape, length, alignment or appearance of your teeth.
Both teeth whitening and dental veneers are great choices for restoring your smile to its former glory. Ultimately, the decision is up to you – and should be made in consultation with a qualified dentist such as Lentini Dental. Your dentist will best be able to advise you as to which treatment will be most effective for you. The choice will depend on:
· How fast you want results
· Your individual goals
· Your level of tooth discolouration
· Your budget
Whichever option you choose, you should soon be able to proudly show off a whiter, brighter and more beautiful smile to the world.