Achieving white teeth can be a difficult process, and not all options are available to everyone. Depending on the condition of your teeth and the severity of the discolouration, you have the option to either undergo whitening treatments or have veneers fitted.
There are a range of different whitening treatments available to those who wish to lighten their teeth by a few shades. These usually involve the application of a bleaching agent on the surface of your teeth by a dentist, who will use a laser or light to activate the whitening.
This procedure usually takes an hour to complete, although you may need to return for several treatments to achieve the shade that you want. This will usually last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years depending on how well you take care of your teeth and they types of foods you eat that might be staining.
You also have the option of using DIY whitening kits at home. There are a range of different whitening kits and products available, including strips, trays and pens. While these can be a good option for fast whitening, the results of these kits usually don’t last for much longer than a month or two and some kits require several weeks of use to show results. There are also certain whitening products that are capable of damaging your teeth when used regularly, so if this is an option you are interested in you should examine our recommendations for best teeth whitening kits to find the safest and most effective options.
When teeth are severely stained or discoloured, whitening treatments might not be enough to bring them to the shade of white you want. If your teeth have darkened from thinned enamel, prescribed medication or as a result of your genes, veneers might be a better option. Veneers are thin shells that are placed over your teeth to protect them and cover the discolouration. You can choose between porcelain and composite resin veneers which are bonded to the teeth with resin cement.
Unlike whitening, the colour of your veneers won’t fade with time. If you take care of your veneers and the teeth they are boned to properly, they could last up to twenty years. The procedure may take longer than whitening, however, and you may have to visit your dentist several times before the procedure to assess your oral health, select the ride shade of veneer and take an impression of your teeth. Veneers are also more expensive than whitening treatments, but this might not be the case if you regularly return to your dentist to top up on your whitening when it starts to fade.
Overall, whitening treatments are the better option if you’re only looking for temporary results. If you want to whiten your teeth for a special occasion – like your wedding, for example – whitening is the more cost effective option and if you look after it you will be able to keep your teeth white for a couple of years.
Veneers, on the other hand, are the better option if you are looking for a permanent whitening solution. Veneers can fix a range of cosmetic issues, including a chipped tooth and wide gaps between your teeth, which makes them a long term commitment. If you can afford veneers, they may be a better option if you’re looking for long-term results.