Dental Veneers vs. Teeth Whitening: Which Is Right For You?

Veneering and teeth whitening procedures are two of the most common cosmetic dental treatments. Both offer noticeable results, so it isn’t surprising they are popular.

However, you may be wondering which treatment would be best for you, so we have some questions that will guide you. However, it is important to have a discussion about your cosmetic goals with your dentist. Your dentist can advise whether you’re a good candidate for these treatments, and guide you on which will help you meet your goals better.

smiling mouth man crooked yellow teeth

What Is the Cause of Your Staining or Discolouration?

Knowing why your teeth are discoloured is important, as this affects how effective teeth whitening will be. Your dentist will advise you on this factor.

The bleaching agent in teeth whitening works really well on surface stains, like those made by dark or very bright foods and drinks.

You should be aware, though, that not all teeth whitening options are the same. Over-the-counter treatments will only lighten a shade or two, and can be damaging to tooth enamel. Dentist-supervised treatments will give you a much brighter smile, lightened by several shades. Professional teeth whitening is also much safer since it’s supervised.

However, even professional teeth whitening doesn’t help some discolourations. These include dark marks if you had a trauma to a tooth. If you are looking to eliminate uneven white marks on your tooth’s surface from fluoride overexposure, bleaching won’t help, either. Teeth that are yellow or dark due to medications, or are yellowed due to eroded or worn tooth enamel, allowing the dentin layers underneath to show through, won’t be helped by teeth whitening.

If your discolourations are due to any of these concerns, you would benefit more from dental veneers. Because they are thin shells that sit on top of natural teeth, they can cover any colour concerns that can’t be lightened. If you suspect extrinsic stains from food and drinks like coffee or red wine will also be a factor for you, porcelain veneers will probably be best for you, as porcelain shells are stain resistant.


Do You Have Any Additional Aesthetic Goals?

Do you have any other cosmetic concerns about your teeth? Are a couple of your teeth crooked or have an uneven shape or size? Do you have chipped teeth? Dental veneers would be able to cover these concerns, so you can correct these at the same time as you brighten teeth, for a smile makeover.


Do You Have a Lot of Dental Work?

If you have several crowns and fillings, these restorations don’t lighten when you have a teeth whitening treatment. Teeth whitening won’t damage them, but if you have several restorations that have become stained over time, you will have noticeable areas where these are still stained. A few restorations won’t be obvious, but multiple ones, especially on very visible teeth at the front, will affect your results.

If this is you, dental veneers would be recommended. In addition, choosing porcelain veneers over composite veneers to avoid future staining may be best for you.

Will You Commit to Ongoing Dental Visits Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments?

While a teeth whitening procedure completed by a dental professional will whiten teeth significantly in just one or two treatments, to maintain those results, you may need to go back to your dentist annually. This is a longer period compared to over-the-counter options, but you need to be prepared to have an ongoing commitment to maintain your bright smile.

placing dental veneers

Are You Concerned About Having Your Teeth Prepared?

As part of the veneer procedure, your natural teeth are prepared by removing a very thin layer of the enamel. This helps the veneers bond properly and look right. Veneers are a permanent solution, meaning that once you have them, you can’t remove them.

If you are uncomfortable with this, you may prefer teeth whitening treatments, as these involve a less invasive procedure than permanent veneers.

Are You Concerned About The Upfront Cost of Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers cost more as an initial investment, which may be a factor for some people. Over time, they are more cost effective, if you plan on maintaining your whitened teeth, and you aren’t just lightening for a special event. When you factor in the cost of yearly dental visits to keep your teeth white, the difference in cost over several years becomes minimal, since dental veneers can last for 15 to 20 years. However, the upfront cost may make a difference for you.

Find Out Whether You Are a Good Candidate for Dental Veneers or Teeth Whitening

Regardless of which treatment you are considering, you need to have healthy teeth before beginning treatment. Tooth decay and active gum disease needs to be addressed first. You need to have a full checkup to make sure you are a good candidate for having the treatment done safely.

At Dentistry on Wellington, we offer cosmetic procedures, including teeth whitening and dental veneers to help our patients brighten their smiles safely. 


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