Teeth Whitening, Veneers, or Both? - Corbet Locke D.D.S. Corbet Locke D.D.S. in Woodway
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Corbet Locke D.D.S. in Woodway

Teeth Whitening, Veneers, or Both?

According to a study completed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a beautiful smile can make a person appear more attractive, intelligent, happy, and successful. Would you like for those things to be said about you? We all would!

Even more important than what others will think is what you think and feel about yourself. If you have stained, gapped, or crooked teeth, you may feel self-conscious about your smile. This can lead to feelings of inferiority and doubt.

Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry offers several solutions to these dental issues, including teeth whitening and porcelain veneers.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Most dentists offer either in-office or at-home teeth whitening options. These are far superior to store-bought whitening toothpastes, trays, and rinses. Professional whitening treatments offer same-day outcomes and are much safer than over-the-counter options that can damage your dental enamel and take weeks to provide results. Continue reading to learn if professional whitening is the best option for your smile.

Candidacy: Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Dental Stains

Dark-colored fruits and vegetables, coffee, red wine, sodas, and smoking all leave extrinsic stains on our teeth. A proper oral hygiene routine can help reduce these stains, but even brushing and flossing multiple times a day won’t keep your teeth pearly white if you are consuming these types of substances.

If you have dental stains, in-office teeth whitening is your best option for achieving a brighter smile. However, professional whitening won’t help if you have intrinsic dental stains caused by certain medications, illnesses, and genetics. A dentist can let you know if you have extrinsic or intrinsic stains.


In-office whitening treatments are low-risk, especially when compared to at-home whitening treatments and other cosmetic dentistry procedures. Having a dentist whiten your teeth significantly reduces the risk of damage to your teeth and gums. Dentists use professional-grade whitening products and safe techniques.

To avoid dental sensitivity after the procedure, ask your dentist about the best types of toothpaste to use and over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce your symptoms.

Addressing Other Cosmetic Dental Issues

If you are looking for a cosmetic dentistry treatment to correct multiple issues, professional teeth whitening might not be the best option for your smile. However, even if you do have crooked or gapped teeth, a professional whitening treatment is an affordable and quick way to help you feel more confident about your smile.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are thin, tooth-shaped shells that are placed on the front surface of one or several teeth. These are a long-lasting, natural-looking solution to several cosmetic dental flaws.

Candidacy Requirements for Porcelain Veneers

People who are interested in porcelain veneers must be suitable candidates before moving forward with the procedure. Two non-negotiable requirements include having good overall oral health and plenty of tooth enamel.

If you currently have cavities or gum disease, your dentist will provide the proper restorative treatment so you can still have veneers placed. Teeth grinding and clenching may also disqualify you from having porcelain veneers. Additionally, if your dental enamel is already thin, your teeth might not provide a strong enough surface for the veneers to properly bond to.

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for porcelain veneers is to schedule an appointment with your local cosmetic dentist.

Porcelain Veneers Risks

Making the best decision for your smile requires that you know all of the risks involved in a procedure. While porcelain veneers are safe and reliable, patients should consider these risks:

  • The procedure cannot be undone. Once a veneer is placed over a natural tooth, that tooth will always require a veneer or crown because some of the enamel will be removed.
  • Veneers are more expensive than teeth whitening and some other cosmetic dentistry treatments.
  • Patients may experience dental sensitivity.
  • Though rare, veneers can fall off.
  • Veneers may need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years due to normal wear and tear.

Porcelain Veneers Benefits

Veneers address a wide range of cosmetic dental issues, such as discoloration, misshapen teeth, short teeth, chipped teeth, and gaps between teeth– much more than teeth whitening! The additional benefits of porcelain veneers include:

  • They look and feel natural.
  • The porcelain will not irritate your gums.
  • Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant.
  • They are stronger and more aesthetically appealing than dental crowns.

So, which option is best for you?

It could be both! Talk to our experienced dental team about your smile goals. We can steer you in the right direction. In many cases, patients opt for both porcelain veneers and teeth whitening as the combination provides incredible results.

To start your journey towards a more beautiful smile and greater self-confidence, call us today to schedule your initial consultation.