Your Cosmetic Dental Options

If you want to have a better smile, then there are quite a few different procedures out there that might suit your needs. However, each does have its own benefits and drawbacks. To help you figure out which one is best for you, here is a comparison of two of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures: whitening and veneers.


First of all, you have your basic tooth whitening. The unique thing about cosmetic whitening is that you can actually buy products at your local drug store that allow you to handle the procedure in the comfort of your own home. However, there are some benefits to having a professional do it instead.

The big draw of a professional tooth whitening is that your dentist can use much stronger whitening agents than you have access to at a drug store. For instance, a popular type of tooth whitening kit uses bleach. Kits of this variety that are sold over the counter have a limit on how strong the solution can be. At the dentist, bleach-based whitening methods can be much stronger.

On top of that, your dentist is going to be much better at applying these treatments than you are. While you might miss a spot here and there, your dentist will be able to look into your mouth the whole time and expertly apply the whitening agent in an even pattern.

As far as drawbacks go, whitening your teeth pretty much only serves a singular purpose. It doesn't really have any other benefits besides the pure aesthetic appeal. It doesn't reinforce your teeth or protect them, so there is a good chance that you will need to get another whitening done in a few weeks, months, or years, depending on your diet. Certain foods are more likely to stain your teeth, which can rapidly undo the benefits of a whitening. You should avoid coffee, red wine, dark sodas, and other similar drinks for this reason.


If you want something that is a bit more permanent, then veneers are probably a more attractive option. Veneers are protective shells that are placed on the front of your teeth, improving their appearance and protecting them. However, they are more expensive than a whitening and you do need to sculpt the tooth to fit the veneer, so you will need to have a certain amount of extra enamel in order to undergo the procedure.

You also have a couple of materials to choose from, such as porcelain or resin. Porcelain is thicker, more expensive, and more durable, but this also means that it requires more excess enamel to be placed. If you don't have enough enamel or want to save some cash, then resin might be much more appealing.

One of the big benefits of veneers is that they actually protect your teeth and prevent damage in addition to improving your smile. Veneers will improve the appearance of your teeth for a longer period of time than a whitening, so you won't need to return to your cosmetic dentist nearly as often.