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How to Choose Between Teeth Whitening And Dental Veneers

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Sparkling white teeth are more often achieved by cosmetic dentistry than by nature. If you want to brighten your smile, you have two real options: professional teeth whitening or dental veneers. While at-home whitening can lift a few shades, it just won't have the dramatic impact of these two procedures. But how can you choose between the two?

Teeth Whitening: Advantages and Disadvantages

Professional teeth whitening is done in a couple of different ways. It can be done through an applied bleaching agent, through laser light, or through a combination of both. Either way, it can usually lighten your teeth by a few shades each session, with a required waiting period between sessions. The downside of professional teeth whitening is that you may experience sensitivity in your teeth later on. Further, it can only lighten your teeth so much.

If you've had significant work on your teeth, whitening in this way may make them look uneven. This is because your fillings may lighten at a different rate from the rest of your teeth. Even if you haven't had work on your teeth, the lightening process can be a little unpredictable. If you have serious staining on your teeth, you may find that teeth whitening makes them look a little blotchy, though this can be evened out with some work.

Veneers: Advantages and Disadvantages

Unlike teeth whitening, veneers can dramatically change the color of your teeth to any shade almost immediately. A veneer is a surface that is placed over your teeth. Before they're placed, you can choose the color of porcelain dental veneers that you want. The veneers are glued over your existing teeth. They also have the advantage of being able to change the shape of your teeth and the spacing of your teeth, because they fit over your existing tooth.

Veneers are a more advanced process than whitening. They take longer to install, require that some of the enamel of your teeth be removed, and cost more. However, if your teeth are very badly stained, veneers may actually be the only option to get the appearance you want.

Choosing Between Whitening and Veneers

If you have moderate to severe staining of your teeth and you're interested in changing the shape of your teeth, veneers are a better option. If you simply want to brighten your teeth a little and are perfectly satisfied with them otherwise, a professional whitening may be a better option.

If you're trying to choose between whitening and veneers, you may want to consult with your dentist first. They'll know more about your dental history and which option is better for you. They can also show you exactly what your end results would look like.