From coffee and wine stains to genetics and discoloration over time, there are many factors that can cause teeth to lose their luster. However, with innovative cosmetic dentistry options, there is ample opportunity to bring back a brilliant smile. Two of the most popular solutions that can provide an effective, natural-looking outcome for a more dazzling dental aesthetic are porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. However, candidacy for each can vary among patients.

Below, our experienced cosmetic dentists in Salisbury share their expertise to help answer the question: Should I get porcelain veneers or teeth whitening?

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin shells made of durable, dental-grade porcelain that are placed over the most visible parts of the tooth: the front and sides. These dental restorations are completely personalized to fit, feel, and look like natural teeth while custom-matching the patient’s desired, brighter, and whiter tooth shade. If you have particularly severe and deep stains, porcelain veneers will most likely be the recommended option for the best results. Additionally, porcelain veneers can serve a dual purpose of concealing stains and discolorations while also covering a range of other common dental concerns in the form of chips, gaps, and minor misalignment.

It is important to note, the veneers procedure typically requires a slight removal of the natural front part of the tooth and biting edge for the layers of porcelain to be placed with the most appropriate fit. However, porcelain veneers are designed to last for 10 to 20 years with the proper care, or even longer, so the surrendered portion of the natural tooth is often well worth it for this long-lasting aesthetic enhancement.

Teeth Whitening

If you have signs of mild to moderate yellowing, discoloration, or surface-level stains, teeth whitening may be the better option for you. Generally, most teeth whitening or bleaching agents work by penetrating surface enamel to oxidize the stain, which in turn helps them to appear lighter in color. Teeth whitening systems come in a variety of options that can be done at home or as an in-office treatment. We offer several types of teeth whitening treatment here at our practice. Among them, the convenient option of “home tray whitening” gives patients the freedom to choose when they want to use a custom-fitted tray filled with whitening gel for a certain amount of time during the day or night. Teeth can lighten several shades with this method, but they will likely require touch-up treatments every 6 to 12 months to maintain the results, and it can take a while for outcomes to become most apparent. Alternatively, in-office professional whitening treatment uses laser or LED light to activate a whitening agent for fast results with an improvement that can be several shades brighter. This option also requires occasional touch-ups; however, the results are often more quickly attainable than at-home remedies, which can be important for individuals who would like fast whitening outcomes in preparation for an upcoming event or social gathering. In many cases, the best teeth whitening outcomes can be achieved by using a combination of both at-home and in-office treatments.

The team at Delmarva Dental Services suggests beginning your smile rejuvenation journey with a comprehensive evaluation and consultation of your dental health and aesthetic concerns. This will help to best formulate a treatment plan to accomplish your cosmetic goals for a healthier- and more youthful-looking smile.

If you would like to learn more about porcelain veneers or teeth whitening, or if you are ready to schedule an appointment, please contact our practice today!