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teeth whitening vs veneers

Teeth Whitening or Veneers: what to choose?

Let’s face it, who doesn’t want a brighter smile? You can get it quicker with teeth whitening or you can definitely make it more permanent with veneers. The choice is yours.

Our Los Angeles cosmetic dentistry patients have several options to choose from. Let’s discuss the major differences between the whitening and veneers processes, so that you can feel confident and give your smile a quick pick-me-up!

Should I Whiten My Teeth?

Teeth whitening is one of the best ways to begin (or complete) any smile makeover. By erasing years of stains or internal discoloration from your teeth, they naturally look healthier and more youthful. Many people find that whitening their teeth is the only step they need to look and feel their best. Professional teeth whitening offers the most significant results when compared to commercial products sold in stores. 

Candidacy for Teeth Whitening

The most important qualifications for teeth whitening are healthy teeth and gums. You can’t whiten teeth if there are active cavities, abscesses, or periodontal disease. Also, it’s best that stronger teeth whitening treatments be reserved for adults; however, teens may be able to use gentler whitening agents such as strips or pens. If you’re pregnant or nursing, it’s best that you wait before whitening your teeth.

Since teeth whitening will only work on natural tooth structures, you won’t be able to whiten your teeth if there’s currently dental work that’s visible in your smile. Such as ceramic crowns, bonding, or white fillings. That being said, if you plan to update those restorations after you whiten, our Los Angeles dentists can match them to the newer, brighter shade of your whitened smile. 

Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments

There are several different types of teeth whitening products on the market, ranging from strips and foams to custom trays and in-office laser whitening. For the best results, it’s important to choose a professional system that is carefully applied to your teeth using the most effective ingredients. 

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Professional whitening products use concentrated peroxide gels that oxidize stain particles. When applied, the gel lightens and lifts away the stains that have settled inside of the tiny pores (tubules) of your tooth enamel. It also safely brightens the color of the natural tooth as part of the process. 

Most professional gels whiten your teeth in several shades throughout one to two weeks by wearing a pair of trays for an hour or so each day. You can also re-apply the gel in your trays to touch up as needed. Same-day whitening is accelerated with a special light to jump-start the oxidation process, giving you immediate results at the same appointment. 

What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are cosmetic restorations that our Los Angeles dentists bond over the front surfaces of your most noticeable teeth. For the majority of our patients, that includes the upper 6-10 front teeth. Each porcelain veneer is handcrafted for optimal aesthetic appeal based on the patient’s facial characteristics and preferences. 

Are Porcelain Veneers Better Than Whitening?

Dental veneers provide a more dramatic aesthetic enhancement when you look at whitening vs. veneers before and after photos. Whitening will brighten teeth and allow them to look younger, but veneers address everything from the size and shape of a tooth to how it’s aligned. Both are completed in a relatively short timeframe, giving you faster results than something like braces or clear aligners. 

To answer the question of whether veneers or whitening is best, the main thing to consider is your personal goals. Do you want to change numerous aspects of your smile? If so, dental veneers are the best answer. Are your teeth relatively straight and symmetrical? Then whitening may be all needed to help them look their best. 

Issues Addressed During the Veneers Process

Cosmetic veneers are helpful in erasing the visible signs of:

  • Crowding and gaps between teeth
  • Discoloration and severe staining
  • Chipped, uneven, or misshaped teeth

Additionally, veneers are ideal if you have severe internal tooth stains—such as tetracycline staining—that won’t respond to whitening gels. 

Getting Porcelain Veneers

The treatment process for dental veneers involves two steps: the preparation visit and the final placement about two weeks later. 

Is it painful to get veneers? Not at all. The entire process involves minimal tooth alteration and is completed under local anesthetic to ensure your comfort. 

Cost of Porcelain Veneers vs. Whitening

With dental veneers, teeth are permanently enhanced for the years to come. Are veneers permanent? Yes, in the fact that they last several years and will need to be updated if one wears out or becomes chipped. In just two visits, you can achieve an attractive yet natural-looking smile with veneers, making them priceless for someone self-conscious about their smiles. But they also tend to be on the higher end of cosmetic dentistry treatments. 

On the other hand, teeth whitening is budget-friendly. If you aren’t ready to invest in a more dramatic smile makeover or want to consider non-invasive enhancements, whitening your smile will give you a good idea of what’s possible. Plus, you can easily touch up your smile after regular checkups to keep your teeth bright. 

Teeth Whitening and Veneers in Los Angeles

Our Los Angeles cosmetic dentists at the LA Dental Clinic will help you select the best smile enhancement. There’s something for every smile, timeline, and budget! Call LA Dental Clinic to reserve a no-obligation exam and consultation. You can reach us at (213) 342-6276, or schedule a virtual consultation through our online booking system.

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