Having a great smile isn’t always as easy as brushing twice a day. Lifestyle habits and physical trauma can affect the appearance of your teeth over time. Fortunately, modern dentistry has provided a lot of options to help repair damaged teeth so that you can continue smiling as confidently as ever. Let’s look at teeth whitening vs veneers.
Teeth Whitening vs Veneers
Among these options there are two primary categories, teeth whiteners and veneers. Both procedures offer great results, but they’re completely different in nature. Before you make a decision, you should consider the pros and cons of both in order to ascertain which option works best for you.
The Basics of Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is a relatively simple procedure. The entire process takes about an hour, and it’s completely painless. When you go into your Coastland Dental dentist in Burbank, your dentist will apply a professional strength whitening gel to the front of your teeth.
This gel typically is usually 25-40% hydrogen peroxide, which is the active ingredient. By comparison, the highest percentage you’ll see in over-the-counter products is 10%. This is for your safety. Only a medical professional has the training and protective tools to use a more concentrated product without harming your gums, tongue, etc.
Once the gel has been applied to your teeth, your dentist will aim a specialized heating lamp at your open mouth. Over the hour-long process, they may re-apply the whitening gel as needed, especially on areas that are more heavily discolored. Some dental treatments also pair the whitening gel with a laser treatment.
Overall, professional teeth whitening is an affordable option that is perfect for people whose natural teeth are discolored but not misshapen. Your results may not be perfect the first time. People with heavier discoloration as a result of staining or poor oral hygiene may require multiple teeth whitening treatments in Burbank to achieve the results they want.
The Basics of Veneers
Veneers are ideal for two categories of dental patients.
- Patients who have misshapen or broken teeth
- Patients who have crowns or dental bonding on their visible teeth
Unfortunately, basic teeth whitening does not work on synthetic teeth, resin, or dental bonding. If you were to try it, the staining on the crown or synthetic part of a natural tooth would only be more prominent. Veneers essentially offer a completely fresh start, but you have to keep in mind that they are permanent, costly, and require several visits over four to six weeks.
A veneer is an ultra-thin shell of porcelain that is customized to your exact specifications. They completely cover the front of your teeth, hiding every stain, crack, and chip without fail. However, the process of getting veneers can be pretty involved depending on your case.
The Veneer Process
It generally takes about a month to get through the whole process from consultation to finished smile, but that may vary. During your initial consultation, your dentist will likely take x-rays to ensure that your bite is compatible with veneers. If they’re confident that veneers will work for you, you may have your impressions done the same day.
Depending on the amount of space you have, it may be necessary to trim away some of the enamel on the teeth that will be treated. This is clearly irreversible, so getting veneers is a commitment you will have to stick with for the rest of your life. In some cases, this part isn’t necessary, but it depends on the individual and the type of veneer.
Once prepped, if needed, you’ll have your impressions done. We send these off to the lab along with your color preferences. This way, your veneers can end up perfectly customized to you. They’re usually sent back to your dentist within a few weeks, and you’re ready for bonding.
The bonding process can prove lengthy depending on the number of veneers placed. Your dentist will methodically place and trim each veneer to give you the most perfect smile you have ever had. Once they’re bonding, your veneers aren’t going anyway, and you will have to replace them every 7-15 years.