A whiter smile is one way of making an excellent first impression. Some may not care what their teeth look like, but many people do. Though proper oral health trumps cosmetics every time, is it too much to ask for healthy teeth and a beautiful smile, too? Poor dental cleaning habits or the consumption of certain foods that aggravate the conditions of tooth staining and discoloration are very common.
Many patients also deal with genetic issues that put them at a natural disadvantage when trying to get a white, healthy-looking smile. What if there was a way your teeth could look “brand new” within a few short days or weeks? The good news is that whitening products have been around for some time now, and have had marked effects on those who use them.
Chances are you have purchased one over the counter, and may have even been pleased with the results. If slight to moderate discoloration is the only dental obstacle you are facing, then a visit to the dentist for a professional teeth whitening treatment is easily your best option. On the other hand, for a large percentage of patients, problems related to teeth shape, size and positioning also exist along with discoloration. For these individuals, porcelain veneers provide a greater benefit than whitening alone. To that end, here is some helpful information for picking the right one.
To whiten or correct?
A professional teeth whitening session will definitely make your teeth whiter. This cosmetic procedure will greatly improve the brightness of your teeth and positively affect your smile, though it does nothing in the way of reshaping crooked or irregularly positioned teeth. There is no need for veneers when the only thing you want corrected is discoloration. Coffee drinkers and smokers rank highest among those who benefit from whitening treatments, but they are available to anyone looking for an affordable alternative to replacement or correction.
Unlike over the counter whitening products, the effects of a professional in-office treatments are essentially permanent; so long as the patient maintains proper oral hygiene (e.g. regular brushing, flossing and use of mouth rinse) and limits the intake of foods known to cause discoloration.
Veneers are available in two types, composite and porcelain. The former are the cheaper option and can provide the appearance most patients long for. A thin plastic material is bonded to the enamel surface like the porcelain kind, but with the disadvantage of staining and being higher maintenance in terms of smoothing and polishing.
The second option, porcelain veneers, are the ultimate cosmetic improvement product. They have a lot of benefits, so a patient can expect to pay a higher premium for them. If you can afford these veneers and long for a picture perfect smile, go for it. Once in place, the porcelain layer will last upwards of 15 years without fail. They will never stain, are highly durable and best resemble the natural color of one’s teeth.
Remember, nothing will ever replace the function, feel and appearance of your existing teeth, so there is something to be said about maintaining a good oral health routine for healthy teeth. That being said, whether all you need is a professional teeth whitening treatment or you crave the improved aesthetic appeal that porcelain veneers provide, visit us for a consultation from our expert staff, who will advise you on your best options to achieve the perfect smile.