Teeth Whitening Or Dental Veneers?

Teeth Whitening Or Dental Veneers?

Which procedure delivers the best results? It depends on your needs.

Although people have probably always wanted to have teeth that are as white as possible, it is only relatively recently that cosmetic dentistry became more affordable for a wider group of people. These days, the younger generation especially, will probably grow up expecting to be able to have white teeth throughout their lives.

Although crowns can also be used for this purpose, these are only used in certain circumstances, typically for repairs. The two most popular treatments that we provide at our Ipswich dental surgery are teeth whitening and porcelain veneers.

In today’s blog, we will take a look at which treatment is more likely to be used when you come to us in the hope of improving the whiteness of your teeth. Naturally, you will need to have an initial consultation with one of the dentists at the Foxhall Dental Practice, both to examine your overall oral health before any treatment starts, and also to discuss your options and decide which would be the most suitable one for you.

Teeth whitening

This is perhaps the most popular cosmetic dental treatment and for very good reasons. Unlike some others, it requires no invasive intervention, is painless and also offers an affordable option for those who want to improve their smile. For those who still find that having this treatment is a stretch on their budget, we also offer payment plans that allow you to spread the cost of your payments over a period of time.

The procedure itself is quick and fast acting. After your teeth and gums have been given a clean bill of health, the treatment can start. The dentist will protect the gums and soft tissue of the mouth with a protective guard before applying the whitening gel to your teeth. This is then activated using a special UV light to speed up the process and you will then be left for around an hour while the gel takes effect.  After this period of time, the dentist will remove any gel and you will notice a significant improvement in the colour of your teeth.

This one hour teeth whitening treatment can be applied just once, e.g. for a special occasion, or you can have it on an ongoing basis to maintain whiter teeth over a longer period of time. You should discuss your requirements with the dentist at your consultation and before your treatment starts so that they can customise the treatment to your needs.

There should be no long term side effects from this treatment but a few patients may experience additional sensitivity for a short time following the treatment; however this should soon go away.

Porcelain veneers

Dental veneers are usually more appropriate for anyone whose teeth are heavily stained or have suffered from minor damage such as chips and cracks. They may also be suitable for those that are looking for a more permanent solution as porcelain veneers can last for fifteen years or so if they are well looked after.

Unlike a teeth whitening procedure, fitting a tooth veneer usually requires minor invasive treatment. During the procedure, a fine layer of the stained or damaged enamel is removed from your teeth. Impressions and scans are then taken which enables the dental laboratory to produce your veneers in the correct thickness, shape and size. This can take a week or slightly more and you will be provided with protective temporary veneers in the meantime. Once your new veneers are ready, the temporary ones can be removed and your new ones attached with a special clinical adhesive.

Your veneers can be made in any shade you want, from a bright white to a natural white tooth enamel colour. Once placed, they are then trimmed and polished to leave a natural appearance.

Porcelain is not vulnerable to the effects of sugar, such as tooth decay, but it is essential that you clean your teeth well even with them fitted. Damage to any other part of the natural tooth may cause the veneer to become loose and may even become detached. Good quality brushing, using floss and seeing the dentist and hygienist at our Ipswich practice should enable you to maintain a healthy mouth and keep your new smile for many years ahead. Veneers can be replaced even at this stage, often without the need for further invasive intervention.

One thing that we would strongly recommend is that you avoid the sometimes tempting offers to have these treatments overseas. Some of these are less well regulated and there have been ‘horror stories’ of these treatments going wrong, sometimes ruining patient’s teeth for life and also leaving them in pain. Our fully trained and skilled dental team offer a great way to have these treatments done in a safe and regulated environment, leaving you with a great new smile without the risks.

If you would like to discover how you can have whiter teeth, why not arrange to have an initial consultation at the Foxhall Dental Practice so that we can suggest a suitable treatment plan for you? You can do this by giving us a call today on 01473 258396. We look forward to helping you!