Porcelain Veneers or Tooth Whitening? How To Tell Which Is Right for You


Making an Informed Decision Between Porcelain Veneers and Tooth Whitening

Our smiles convey much about who we are and how we feel. Our smiles welcome others; in the same way, our frowns can make us seem less approachable. Not only that, but smiling is good for our health. So when we have a dental concern that keeps us from smiling, it’s a bigger deal than we might realize. Thankfully, your Lakeway area family dentistry experts can help. So whether you are considering porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, or an alternate cosmetic solution, here is what you need to know to make an informed decision.

Many patients undergo cosmetic dental treatment to improve their smiles, especially if they have accumulated stains or discoloration over the years. But that doesn’t mean they made their decision lightly because there are still multiple options to weigh, even for strictly cosmetic treatments. So the team at Tomasik Family Dental has tried to make it easy for you to decide between porcelain veneers and tooth whitening.

Type of Stain

But before we get into the pros and cons of one solution vs. the other, let’s talk about staining, what it is, and what causes it in the first place. Stains and discoloration can fall into one of two categories: intrinsic or extrinsic.

Intrinsic discoloration comes from inside the tooth or enamel, whereas extrinsic stains come from sources outside the tooth. Intrinsic stain is generally due to a physical or chemical change in the tooth. As your enamel wears thin over time, the dentin inside the tooth becomes more visible. And in most cases, dentin causes the teeth to have a yellow, gray, or brown hue. Trauma to the tooth, such as from a sports injury, fall, or blow to the face, can cause the pulp inside the tooth to die, turning the tooth a darker color. Even certain medications can cause intrinsic discoloration.

However, external stains are likely due to behavior. For example, extrinsic staining can be caused by the following:

  • Smoking or the use of other tobacco products
  • Consuming foods such as chocolate, red berries, or tomato sauces
  • Drinking beverages such as black tea, coffee, red wine, dark beer, or soda

The type of discoloration you have determines whether porcelain veneers or tooth whitening is better for you.

What You Should Know About Porcelain Veneers

Dental veneers are comprised of thin layers of dental porcelain that cover the fronts of your natural teeth. During treatment, your dentist will shave off a thin layer from your front teeth before taking impressions for your new veneers. Your dentist will then cement them in place once they’re ready. Veneers are a permanent and increasingly popular cosmetic solution.

Veneers are an excellent solution for patients suffering from intrinsic tooth discoloration. Here are the benefits you should know about:

  • Veneers address crowding, spaces, unevenness, chips, stains, and discolored fillings.
  • They are durable, natural-looking, and stain resistant.
  • Veneers can last up to 20 years.

However, there are some downsides when it comes to veneers:

  • Not all patients are candidates for veneers, especially those with damaged, decayed, or weakened teeth.
  • The veneer treatment process is not instant and can take a few weeks.
  • Veneers are more expensive than tooth whitening.

What You Should Know About Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a great way to eliminate dental imperfections and hide discolorations that have made your smile less white and bright. Further, tooth whitening is often the best option for patients who want to remove their extrinsic tooth discoloration. Tooth whitening can be done your way—either in the office or at home with professional-strength whitening agents.

Here are the benefits of professional whitening:

  • Teeth whitening is noninvasive.
  • This treatment is more economical than other cosmetic dental solutions.

The downsides to whitening are:

  • The bleaching process can cause tooth sensitivity in some patients.
  • Tooth whitening may not fully remove gray discolorations.
  • Whitening cannot lighten restorations, such as crowns and fillings.
  • Whitening does not address structural issues like chips or cracks.
  • Tooth whitening only lasts for six months to three years.

Which cosmetic solution is best for you? Let Tomasik Family Dental help you decide.

Are veneers the cosmetic solution you wish for, or is tooth whitening the best option? If you’ve been thinking of porcelain veneers or tooth whitening, request an evaluation at Tomasik Family Dental in Bee Cave, Texas. So what are you waiting for? Make that appointment today and start your journey to a whiter and brighter smile.