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Do Teeth Whitening or Veneers Make Sense for Me?

March 13, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — franklindentalteam @ 9:07 pm
Lady receives teeth whitening

Everyone wants a bright and shiny smile, but teeth are exposed to many things that can leave their mark over the decades. Foods and beverages that are high in pigments and dyes such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries can leave unsightly stains or discoloration on your teeth. Tobacco use is even worse because it can leave yellow stains and nasty buildup on your smile. Luckily, cosmetic dental treatments like veneers and teeth whitening can remove or cover up these unpleasant flaws. Here’s what can make one of these treatments the better choice for you.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

While you can find many purported teeth whitening products at stores, whitening treatments from your dentist can deliver superior results that leave your teeth up to ten shades whiter. These treatments come in two forms:

  • In-office procedures can be completed in about an hour. Your dentist will place barriers in your mouth to protect the soft tissues and apply a few coats of whitening agent to your teeth. They will then treat your smile with a special light to lift stains and whiten your teeth.
  • Take-home kits can be finished over the course of two weeks. Each kit comes with a tube of professional-grade whitening gel and customized dental trays. You’ll just need to apply the gel to the trays and wear them over your teeth for two hours daily.

What Are Veneers?

If your stains aren’t responding to teeth whitening, veneers may the be appropriate course of treatment. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are cemented to teeth to cover up flaws like stains, discoloration, chips, and gaps, and they can even sometimes be used to address alignment issues. Veneers are typically placed over two appointments.

During the first appointment, your dentist will numb the treated teeth with a local anesthetic, and you may receive nitrous oxide if you need a little help sitting comfortably through the process. Your dentist will then remove a tiny amount of enamel from these teeth to make room for the veneers before taking bite impressions and placing temporary veneers upon them. You will then be sent on your way and the impressions will be sent to a lab where the permanent set will be constructed.

Your dentist should receive your final veneers about two weeks later. You’ll come back in for a second appointment, during which your temporary veneers will be removed and the permanent ones will be cemented in place. You’ll then be free to enjoy your transformed smile.

Which Is Right for Me?

Teeth whitening is a more affordable and less invasive procedure, and its results can be expected to last about three years with excellent care. Many patients have their teeth re-whitened periodically to maintain a flashy smile. Teeth that have received veneers will need to wear them from then on, making them a lifetime commitment. If your cosmetic concerns are only related to dental stains, teeth whitening is probably the better option unless your discoloration does not respond to it. Consulting with your dentist can help you know which is the best way to go.

About the Author

Dr. Donna Franklin-Pitts earned her dental degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C, and she now provides dental health services to children and adults in Tyler, TX. She is proud to be a member of the American Dental Association, the East Texas Dental Society, and the Texas Dental Association. Her office offers general, restorative, emergency, and cosmetic dentistry such as veneers and teeth whitening. To schedule a cosmetic dental consultation, contact her office online or dial (903) 730-6314.

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