Teeth staining is a common phenomenon for many people. Though stained teeth are not a dental issue unless you have an underlying oral condition, it poses an aesthetic problem for some people.
Getting some color back to your teeth is mainly a cosmetic dental procedure. Teeth whitening and porcelain veneers are some common methods of whitening teeth. However, both procedures have their benefits and drawbacks. This article will examine these oral procedures and which dental practice is ideal for you.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular dental cosmetic procedures. It is highly recommended for people looking for a less intrusive method to get rid of stained teeth.
Teeth whitening involves the application of a bleaching agent that whitens the teeth. In most cases, the agents used are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The treatment works by targeting stained teeth and removing discoloration. In addition, the procedure can also help reverse the effects of routine teeth wear.
There is a wide range of teeth whitening options. Other than going to the dentist, you can also find over-the-counter treatments.
Though there are a lot of over-the-counter whitening products in the market, getting professional teeth whitening should be your first choice. Your dentist can whiten teeth by 5-10 shades in just one appointment. In addition, a dental procedure is also quicker and causes little or no discomfort.
Over-the-counter medications offer an easier solution for people who want to skip attending a tooth doctor. However, using over-the-counter therapies can take months before seeing any results, and if you are not careful, it can cause more damage to teeth. In addition, the results may also vary and might only work for some.
The Teeth Whitening Procedure
As previously stated, seeking professional help is your best option for your whitening procedure. The procedure is pretty simple, and your doctor will not only address your teeth’ discoloration but also deal with cavities, decays or other oral issues.
The first thing your dentist will do is clean and examine your teeth. Once your teeth are cleaned, a bleaching gel is applied to the teeth and is left for about 15 to 30 minutes. The gel is removed later and reapplied to get the best results. Your dentist may also recommend using high-intensity light to speed up the whitening process.
This over-the-counter whitening treatment uses special toothpaste, whitening strips, rinses and trays. Always consult your dentist on the best products and techniques if you want to use the whitening medication.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
It is important to note that teeth whitening is not a permanent solution. However, whitening can last from a few months to about four years. In addition, smoking, drinking coffee, tea or red wine will stain your teeth faster.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
The other best option other than teeth whitening is using porcelain veneers. A veneer is a hard coating that covers the front of your tooth. Veneers are purely cosmetic and are often used for the teeth at the front of your mouth.
The dentist uses a highly-versatile thin shell customized to fit individual teeth. These shells are created in a dental laboratory from porcelain or composite filling material.
Getting porcelain veneers is a more invasive treatment than teeth whitening. Your dentist needs to prepare the teeth’ surface and create shell molds. Your dentist then sculpts composite veneers for each tooth.
Porcelain Veneer Procedure
Porcelain veneering takes about two appointments to get done.
During the first appointment, the doctor needs to prepare the surface of your teeth. The dentist removes a thin layer of enamel to ensure the veneer properly fits your teeth. An oral scan is also undertaken, and dental impressions are taken to create veneer molds. Lastly, your doctor will apply temporary veneers to protect your teeth.
In the second appointment, the permanent veneers are checked to see if they properly fit your teeth and then bonded in place.
Composite Vener Procedure
Unlike porcelain veneering, the dentist will only remove a little enamel from your teeth during the procedure. Once preparation is done, the doctor will apply the composite material on your teeth and mold and shape them to the desired look.
Composite veneering might require several hours in the dentist’s office or coming in for two appointments.
How Long Do Teeth Veneers Last?
Unlike a whitening treatment, veneers can last about 15-20 years. However, because of the thin shells, the veneers can easily chip or break when chewing or grinding teeth. If veneers get damaged, your dentist should replace them.
Important Notes When Veneering
Veneering will permanently alter your teeth because enamel does not grow back.
In addition, removing tooth enamel damaged by decay or cavities can be a huge problem. Enamel removal puts a lot of stress on your teeth, which can be risky for a tooth that is already weak.
Which Option Is the Best?
The best option for treating teeth discoloration depends on several dental issues. Professional whitening procedures are safe, affordable and effective ways to bring back color to stained teeth. However, the procedure does not help fix chipped teeth or gaps between your teeth. In addition, teeth whitening should be done after a few years.
On the other hand, veneers are an excellent way to fix teeth spacing, chipping, and discoloration. However, veneering is a permanent procedure that can lead to enamel loss if done too often.
Always consult with your doctor before getting any cosmetic dental procedure done. Book an appointment with All About Smile Dental Group for any oral issues or questions.