Two Options for Getting Whiter Teeth: Veneers & Teeth Whitening

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Two Options for Getting Whiter Teeth: Veneers & Teeth Whitening

Are you looking to refresh, renew or renovate your smile? You’ve got lots of options for creating the smile you want, including cosmetic veneers and teeth whitening in SW Calgary. Veneers and teeth whitening can both help you achieve your goals of whiter and brighter teeth, but they’re very different options with very different benefits. Here’s what you need to know about both choices if you want a dentist in SW Calgary to help you get whiter teeth.

Veneers and whitening work differently

Teeth whitening involves the application of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide bleaching compounds to remove stains from and whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening is available in over-the-counter kits purchased at drugstores and grocery stores to use yourself, or from a dentist whitening your teeth in their office or providing specialized kits for you to use at home. The most effective results are obtained from dentists who will use the strongest bleaching compounds. Whitening takes effect nearly immediately (albeit at different rates depending on what type of product you use), but is only a temporary solution to stains and discolouration.

Veneers don’t remove stains and discolouration, but cover stains and discolouration. Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite materials shaped like your teeth or fingernails. Those veneers are placed on and bonded to your otherwise healthy teeth. Veneers can do more than cover stains and discolouration. They can also close gaps between teeth, change the apparent size of teeth, and cover small and minor flaws and damage.

Who is a good candidate for veneers and teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening does not eliminate all types of stains and discolourations. If your stains were caused by prior trauma, infection or the side effects of medications, those stains can’t be bleached away. In that situation, veneers may be a better option for you. Patients who are suffering extreme tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease should have those conditions addressed before undergoing teeth whitening.

Receiving dental veneers is a more invasive procedure than teeth whitening. Typical veneers require that a thin layer of enamel be removed from the surface of your teeth before the veneer is placed. Removing that material allows the dentist to bond the veneers to the tooth securely without adding any noticeable bulk to your tooth. Because the removal of that enamel is a permanent step, veneers may not be appropriate for whitening your teeth if that whitening can be achieved in a less invasive way.

The need to remove some enamel means that your teeth need to be in good health before you receive veneers. Just how long your veneers will last also depends on the health of your underlying tooth. If your tooth develops significant tooth decay after your veneers are placed, your veneers may lose some of the support required to maintain their bond and position.

How do they compare in terms of costs?

Comparing the costs of veneers and teeth whitening is a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison considering how different the treatments are. Veneers whiten teeth, but also achieve so much more. Teeth whitening with over-the-counter products is the least expensive of the options discussed here, and teeth whitening by a dentist is much more expensive but still much cheaper than veneers. Composite veneers are less expensive than porcelain veneers, but achieve solutions far beyond eliminating stains and discolouration. Veneers will last for a decade or more compared to the temporary results achieved by teeth whitening by a dentist near you.

Whether whitening or veneers are a better option for achieving your cosmetic dentistry goals depends largely on the causes of your stained or discoloured teeth and the health of your teeth aside from their colour. To find out which of these options is best for your goals, needs and budget, make an appointment with a dentist near you.