Teeth Whitening vs. Veneers: Which One’s Right for Your Smile

teeth whitening vs. veneers

How to Unlock Your Brightest Smile Yet

A healthy, white smile looks attractive and is a big self-confidence booster. But daily cups of coffee, enjoying a glass of wine in the evenings, and normal wear and tear can leave tooth enamel yellowed and stained. While stained or dull-looking teeth don’t necessarily mean there is an oral health issue, aesthetically it can be a frustrating problem. Cosmetic dentistry can help you achieve a whiter, brighter smile in two ways: professional teeth whitening or porcelain veneers. Here’s what you need to know to decide between these two popular options.

What Problems They Solve

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is used to brighten up natural smiles that have minimal to moderate staining.

Professional teeth whitening — whitening done under the supervision of a dentist — is much more effective than store-bought strips. These professional products penetrate the tooth enamel more deeply, allowing for a more effective result compared to store-bought whitening strips.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers solve two problems: staining on the teeth and undesirable tooth shape.

Veneers completely cover the tooth in a thin porcelain shell, hiding any stains and permanent discoloration on the natural tooth. These thin shells also hide chips, uneven shaping, and other superficial damage the tooth may have experienced.

Typical Treatment Process

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is an easy process. Dr. Staley offers in-office and at-home whitening so patients are able to choose how they’d like to brighten their smiles.

In-office whitening is done in about one hour during a single appointment. A whitening gel will be carefully applied to your teeth, and a curing light will be used to activate the product. You’ll only need to sit back and relax. You can expect to brighten your smile up to eight shades in a single appointment.

At-home whitening takes longer to accomplish the desired results, but they’re equally incredible. You’ll wear your whitening trays daily according to Dr. Staley’s instructions, and within 10 to 14 days, you can have a smile that’s up to 14 shades whiter.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers require a permanent change to your natural teeth.

During your first appointment, your dentist will prep your teeth by removing a small amount of tooth enamel from each tooth that’s being treated. Impressions will be taken of the prepped teeth to create your permanent veneers. Temporary veneers will then be placed while your permanent set is being made.

You’ll return to the office for a second appointment to have your permanent veneers placed with a special dental adhesive.

Overall Cost and Value

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is typically one of the low-cost cosmetic dentistry procedures. This makes it ideal as an introduction to cosmetic dental care as well as an affordable way to freshen up your smile and boost your self-confidence.

Professional teeth whitening has a very reasonable cost versus its value. The results aren’t permanent, however, and that means you’ll need to repeat the treatment every year or so.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are more expensive, particularly if you’re treating a number of teeth or your full visible smile. This higher cost is a combination of the invasiveness of the treatment, the materials being used, and the expertise of your dentist.

However, porcelain veneers usually have an excellent cost versus their value. Despite the higher cost of this procedure, with excellent oral health habits, your veneers will last for many years. This means you’ll pay more up front, but you’ll save in the long run.

Long-term Expectations

Teeth Whitening

Once you’ve achieved your desired shade of whiteness, you can expect the results to last one to two years. Your oral hygiene habits have a big impact on the longevity of your initial whitening sessions. If you take great care of your teeth and see your dentist for cleanings every six months, your results will last longer.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can last 15 to 20 years or longer before needing to be replaced. Veneers are very durable and tough, but it’s still possible for them to experience accidental damage or simple wear and tear over the years.

Veneers are a permanent decision. This means you’ll always need to wear them, and you won’t have the option to simply have them removed if you want something different.

How should you whiten your smile?

Professional teeth whitening is a great choice if you:

  • Are happy with the structure of your smile and the shape of your teeth.
  • Have moderate staining or yellowing.
  • Value affordability as well as efficacy.
  • Don’t mind refreshing your results every year or so.

Porcelain veneers would be a better choice if you:

  • Want to change the shape of your teeth or repair minimal damage.
  • Have stubborn discoloration or deep staining and yellowing.
  • Value longevity and want to invest financially in your smile.
  • Want permanent results with minimal aftercare needs.

An experienced cosmetic dentist like Dr. Staley can help you decide between teeth whitening and porcelain veneers and which one is best for your smile and goals.

Book a smile consultation at Staley Dental today.

If you’re in Boise, ID, and you’re dreaming of a whiter smile, Staley Dental can be your ultimate dental care destination. Dr. Staley and his team can help you with all of your restorative and cosmetic dentistry needs such as teeth whitening or porcelain veneers as well as orthodontics, prosthodontics, and oral surgery.

The first step is a consultation to get an expert opinion on whether teeth whitening or porcelain veneers are the best choice for your smile. You can book your consultation today by calling our office or using this online form.