Teeth Whitening vs. Porcelain Veneers: Which is Best?

Teeth Whitening vs. Porcelain Veneers

Are you looking for a minimally invasive way to improve the look of your smile? If so, then chances are you have heard of popular options like teeth whitening and veneers. Both of these cosmetic dental procedures offer slightly different cosmetic options to effectively improve the appearance of your smile. Therefore to decide which treatment is best for you, you will need to understand how each of these treatments work. 

Teeth Whitening

before and after teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a highly popular treatment because it is easy, effective, and affordable. During a teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will apply a whitener to the surface of your teeth. In some cases, additional components may be used such as whitening trays or a whitening light. Once the whitener has been applied, it will remain in place for approximately 30-60 minutes so that it can be absorbed into the enamel and dentin layers. Even once the whitener is rinsed off at the end of your appointment, the whitener will continue to dissolve stains from the enamel and dentin layers for up to 24 hours after its application. The final result is teeth that range from about 5-10 shades lighter than before. The results from teeth whitening tend to last about a year, depending on your individual dietary and oral hygiene habits. 

Porcelain Veneers

veneers preview

Porcelain veneers is another highly popular treatment most known for their versatility. When having veneers placed, you can expect to attend a minimum of two dental appointments. During the first appointment, your teeth will be prepared to have veneers placed by having a thin layer of enamel removed. After the teeth are prepared, a dental impression or oral scan will be taken and temporary veneers will be placed to protect the teeth. The information from the impression or scan will be sent to a dental laboratory, where your veneers will be custom fabricated. Once they are complete, you will return for your second appointment, where the temporary veneers will be removed and replaced with your permanent veneers. Permanent veneers generally last about 10-15 years. 

Which is Best?

As you can see, both treatments offer different ways to improve the appearance of your smile. When deciding which treatment is best for you, it is important to consider your cosmetic goals, budget, and the amount of time you are willing to dedicate to treatment. Taking these things into consideration can help you to determine which treatment is ideal for you. 

You will also want to consider some of the key differences between these two treatments. For example, while teeth whitening can only improve the color of the teeth, veneers can improve the shape, size, spacing, and alignment of teeth in addition to the color. Veneers can also be used to repair minor damage, like chips and cracks. However, teeth whitening can be performed during a single appointment and does not permanently alter your enamel. Not only that, but teeth whitening is more affordable than porcelain veneers, although it will need to be repeated to maintain the results. These are all things that you should consider in order to determine which treatment is best for you. 

Photo of Dr. Admar

Dr. Admar holds dual certificates — a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 from India and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2014 from Canada. He is now a full time practicing dentist in Kamloops where he provides a variety of services. Dr. Admar spends hundreds of hours in continued dental education to stay up to date in cosmetic and implant dentistry and he has achieved several advanced qualifications.

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