Teeth whitening and dental veneers are two of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments for people who want to enhance the appearance of their smile. However, while both treatments can produce excellent results, they achieve results in different ways. One treatment may be more advantageous than the other, depending on certain circumstances.
In this post, your #1 Ballantyne, Charlotte dentists cover teeth whitening treatments and dental veneers to help you determine which is the best cosmetic dental treatment for you.
What Is Teeth Whitening Treatment?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that uses bleaching agents to remove stains and brighten the color of your teeth. It is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure because it is fast, easy, and affordable. It’s a good option if you have healthy teeth but are looking to address mild to moderate discoloration.
Teeth whitening is also a more affordable option compared to veneers and can be performed in your dentist’s office or at home using a custom-fitted tray and gel. There are various over-the-counter teeth whitening products available on the market today for home use. However, only teeth whitening treatments performed by our dentists in Ballantyne, Dr. Aten and Dr. Garofalo, use the right concentration of whitener to achieve dramatic results.
The Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening Treatment
- Effective: Teeth whitening treatments can effectively remove teeth stains caused by coffee, tobacco, wine, or aging.
- Quick results: You can notice the results of teeth whitening treatments within a few days and sometimes even after a single dental visit.
- Affordable: Teeth whitening treatments are relatively affordable compared to other cosmetic dentistry procedures.
- Non-invasive: The treatment is less invasive compared to other cosmetic dental procedures.
- Sensitivity: Teeth whitening treatments can cause temporary tooth sensitivity, particularly if the bleach solution is left on the teeth for too long.
- Maintenance: Teeth whitening treatments need to be repeated periodically to maintain the desired results.
- Not for everyone: Some patients may not see the desired results from teeth whitening treatments, especially if their teeth are stained due to antibiotics or other medical conditions. Achieving the desired results may also be difficult for people with gray or brown teeth.
- Risks: Teeth whitening treatments can cause damage to the gums and enamel if not performed by a qualified dental professional, leading to increased tooth sensitivity and other complications.
- Not suitable for structural issues: Whitening treatments only address teeth color and are not suitable for teeth shaping, fixing teeth with gaps, and other structural issues.
- Only suitable for natural teeth: Teeth whitening can’t be used on prosthetics and bonding materials such as dental fillings or dental crowns. It only works well on natural teeth.
What to Expect During a Teeth Whitening Appointment
Our in-office teeth whitening in Ballantyne, Charlotte is simple. First, our dentists will examine and clean your teeth to address any tooth decay before beginning the whitening process. Once your teeth are clean, they will apply a bleaching agent on your teeth’s surface and allow it to sit on them for a time before they remove and reapply it.
The entire process takes about 30 – 60 minutes, but multiple dental visits may be required to achieve the desired results. The procedure is painless and often yields teeth that are 5 – 10 shades whiter than before. Generally, these results last about a year. However, their lifespan will depend on your oral hygiene and dietary habits.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain or resin placed over your teeth’s front surface to change their color, shape, and size and cover teeth imperfections. They are a great option if you have chipped, cracked, broken, misshapen, or crooked teeth or gaps between your teeth. Veneers can also be used to cover up severe discoloration that cannot be removed with teeth whitening.
However, veneers are a more invasive and expensive option compared to teeth whitening and may require multiple visits to the dentist.
The Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers
- Improved appearance: Dental veneers can significantly enhance the appearance of your smile by creating a more uniform and symmetrical look. Besides whitening teeth with veneers, you can also correct a wide range of cosmetic dental problems and improve your smile and the overall appearance of your teeth.
- Long-lasting: Dental veneers are made from durable materials such as porcelain or composite resin, which can last up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance.
- Natural-looking results: Veneers are natural-looking, stain-resistant, and can achieve your desired whiteness. They are made to match the color and shade of your existing teeth so they look natural and blend in well with your smile.
- Quick and painless procedure: Veneers are typically completed in just two visits to the dentist, and the process is usually painless.
- Versatile: Veneers can be used to address a wide range of cosmetic dental issues, making them a versatile option for many people.
- Easy Maintenance: Once the veneers are in place, they are relatively easy to maintain and clean. Regular brushing and flossing, along with regular dental examinations, can help keep your veneers looking their best for years to come.
- Costly: Veneers are one of the most expensive cosmetic dentistry treatments, so they may not be an option for everyone.
- Irreversibility: Once the veneers are in place, they cannot be easily removed or reversed. This means that if you no longer like the look of your dental veneers, you will need to have them replaced with a different cosmetic dentistry treatment.
- Sensitivity: Some people may experience increased sensitivity in their teeth after getting dental veneers. This can be due to the removal of a portion of their natural tooth’s structure, making hot or cold foods and drinks uncomfortable to eat or drink.
- Not for everyone: Like teeth whitening, veneers are unsuitable for patients with decayed, weakened, or damaged teeth or severe oral health issues.
What to Expect During a Dental Veneers Procedure
During your dental visit, our dentists will examine your teeth to ensure you have healthy teeth. This is because dental veneers require healthy teeth, and your dentist needs to prepare your teeth by removing a small amount of your enamel. Removing some of the enamel of a weakened or compromised tooth can be problematic or increase the rate of tooth decay.
Dental veneers procedure is more invasive and will permanently alter your teeth since tooth enamels do not grow back. However, it is painless, and the veneers will be bonded directly to your teeth to replace the removed enamel. Moreover, the procedure and time required to complete the treatment vary depending on the materials used in manufacturing your veneer.
For porcelain veneers, our dentist will make impressions of your tooth after removing the enamel. Then, these impressions are transferred to a lab to create permanent veneers. Since this process takes some time, your dentist may give you a temporary veneer until the permanent one is ready. During your next dental visit, your dentist will bond the permanent veneers to your teeth, fine-tune their shape and polish them to give you a more natural look and feel.
For composite veneers, your dentist will remove less of your enamel than porcelain veneers. Once done, the composite material is applied to your teeth, molded, and shaped to achieve your desired result.
Veneers vs. Teeth Whitening: Which Procedure Is Best For You?
After reading the descriptions and the pros and cons of each treatment, you may still be unsure of what treatment option to choose. Luckily, you can make this decision easier on yourself by considering the following factors:
The severity of discoloration: If you have severe discoloration that cannot be removed with teeth whitening, veneers might be a better option for you.
The condition of your teeth: If you have healthy teeth with no major structural issues, teeth whitening might be the best choice. However, veneers might be better if you have chipped, broken, misshapen, or crooked teeth.
Budget: Teeth whitening is generally more affordable compared to veneers, but the cost can vary depending on the type of whitening treatment you choose.
Maintenance: Teeth whitening requires regular maintenance to maintain the results, while veneers are a more permanent solution.
Teeth Whitening and Dental Veneers Treatment in Ballantyne, Charlotte
Ready to explore the best improvement option for your smile? Aten & Garofalo Dentistry is here to help! We offer the best and the most affordable cosmetic dental treatments in Ballantyne, Charlotte, NC to brighten your smile.
Schedule an appointment today to examine your teeth and explore the best options to achieve a natural, beautiful, and healthy white smile with dental veneers and teeth whitening procedures!