Tooth Whitening or Veneers?

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Dental bleaching or tooth whitening is a process used in both standard and cosmetic dentistry to correct discoloured teeth. It is therefore an alternative process to having a veneer fitted if you are unhappy with the shade of your teeth.

One reason you may choose dental bleaching over veneers is that it can be done at home using a high concentration of carbomide peroxide, which is available online or from a dentist. The bleach is applied to thin plastic trays which are placed on the teeth for 15-20 minutes. This process is repeated 2 or 3 times. Although bleaching at home is one of the cheapest ways to whiten your teeth a visit to the dentist may mean the trays are fitted in place more accurately creating a more even and brighter effect. Online kits are not recommended by dentists due to the damage they can cause. A dentist can provide a home kit or you can also have your teeth bleached by a dentist at the surgery.

Which is Better for Discoloured Teeth, Dental Veneers or Tooth Whitening?

There are reasons why you may find veneers a better long term solution to discoloured teeth. Firstly, you are able to see your veneers before they are fitted. Even before the mould is taken you can see photographs of your dentist’s previous work, allowing you to better predict the look of your teeth once the procedure is complete. Bleaching at home may mean that you are unable to really predict what shade your teeth will be, as it depends both on application and the bleach itself. Secondly, veneers last much longer than tooth whitening. If your teeth are stained due to consumption of chromogenic foods and you continue this behaviour after the whitening process the teeth will begin to discolour again, because the enamel is porous unlike porcelain. The teeth may also discolour again with time and you may require touch ups. On average bleaching touch ups are required every 6-12 months although if you are using a home bleaching tray kit you may wish to touch your teeth up sooner. However, if you are happy for a short term solution dental bleaching offers white teeth for the lower cost of on average £150 for a home tooth whitening kit. Professional tooth whitening done by a dentist can cost £600 depending on where you have it done. Remember that dental bleaching, as a purely cosmetic procedure, will need to be done privately as opposed to on the NHS or being covered by dental insurance.

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