Nowadays, improving the function and appearance of your smile is easier than ever. In fact, there are a multitude of cosmetic dental procedures available to address just about any cosmetic concern. With so many treatments available, however, it can make it hard to know what treatment is best for you. To make things easier, we have narrowed it down to the two most popular cosmetic procedures: teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. Both of these treatments are extremely popular because of the amazing result they yield. In learning more about each treatment, it is our hope that this will help you to determine which treatment would work best for you.
The most popular cosmetic dental procedure is professional teeth whitening. Although there are a variety of over the counter whitening treatments, professional teeth whitening can whiten teeth by 5-10 shades in a single dental appointment, whereas it can take weeks or even months to notice the effects of over the counter whiteners. This is because professional teeth whitening procedures are performed by a dental professional who can safely use higher concentrations of whiteners to achieve more dramatic results. In-office whitening treatments are performed by applying a whitener to the surface of the teeth and leaving it in place for about 30-60 minutes. The whitener will be absorbed into the tooth, where it will dissolve stains from the enamel and dentin layers.
Teeth whitening procedures are ideal for individuals who simply want to improve the appearance of their smile by removing years of stains. However, while whitening procedures are effective against extrinsic stains caused by food, beverages, or poor hygiene, they are not also effective against intrinsic stains caused by aging, medications, or tooth trauma. Teeth whitening is also ideal for individuals who are looking for a fast, easy, and effective way to improve their smiles, however it is important to note that the results of teeth whitening only last about a year.
Not far behind teeth whitening in popularity are porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin, porcelain shells that are adhered to the front of visible teeth in order to improve their appearance. To place veneers, a minimum of two dental appointments are needed. This is because the teeth must first be prepared for the placement of veneers by having a thin layer of enamel removed. After the teeth have been prepared, an oral scan or dental impression will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory so that the veneers can be custom fabricated. In the meantime, a set of temporary veneers will be placed to protect the teeth. At the second appointment, the temporary veneers are removed and replaced with the permanent veneers.
One of the main benefits of veneers that makes them so popular is their versatility. Unlike teeth whitening, veneers can correct multiple cosmetic concerns all at once. Having veneers placed can improve the color, size, shape, alignment, and spacing of the teeth, as well as restore damaged teeth. Veneers also last about 10-15 years and are made using porcelain, which is stain-resistant. However, one of the main downsides of veneers is the fact that they require enamel modification that cannot be reversed. This means that once you get veneers, you will need to continue to replace them. Veneers also have a higher upfront cost, however they may save you money over time due to their longevity.