Perfect smile is important for most people, boosting confidence and self-esteem. However not too many are lucky to have that flawless white grin like celebrities on TV. If you’ve come to a conclusion that you want those perfectly white teeth but not sure where to start, read on about the two most popular solutions: porcelain veneers vs whitening. These tips will help you make an informed decision and find the best option for your specific case.

Bleaching is one of the most popular ways to make your teeth whiter. Many people go to their dentist asking for a Hollywood smile and request bleaching. Unfortunately, many of them end up disappointed. Bleaching and whitening toothpaste can make your teeth a few shades whiter but they don’t always give you a Hollywood smile. Porcelain veneers are more likely to give you the right shade of smile and the level of perfect that you are looking for.

The sure way to achieve a smile you see in fashion magazines, movies, and billboards is to get porcelain veneers. However, veneers come with their own set of difficulties. Dr. Bajars from Bajars & Bajars dental clinic in San Diego explained the differences between traditional bleaching and porcelain veneers.

1. Tooth Color

Short term effects of bleaching are comparable to installing veneers. However, with time, the bleaching effect fades while the porcelain veneers look and feel the same. Bleaching your teeth more often than once a year can lead to certain damage.

The whitening effect disappears faster. The color of porcelain veneers stays intact for about 15 years. Pressed porcelain veneers maintain bright color longer than feldspathic porcelain.

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2. Time And Terms

Bleaching your teeth during a regular dentist visit doesn’t take long. At home, bleaching requires wearing bleaching trays for several weeks. This is uncomfortable and inconvenient for many people.

Installing veneers is a much longer ordeal, which requires tooth reduction, impression taking, wearing temporaries. Installing veneers is much more time consuming than regular bleaching. However, it’s also much more long-lasting. If you add up the time you spend on bleaching during the next 15 years, you’ll realize that installing porcelain veneers is much faster.

3. The Cost

The situation with the price tag is similar to the timing. Bleaching teeth at home or in the dental office is substantially cheaper than installing porcelain veneers. However, when you add up the bleaching expenses for 15 years, you see how much cheaper the veneers are. Obviously, spending a large amount of money at once is psychologically harder than making yearly payments. But in the long run, it’s optimal.

4. The Need

In some cases, bleaching won’t help give you a Hollywood smile. For example, if the teeth are yellow due to discoloration deep inside rather than on the surface. Or if the discoloration is a part of another tooth problem.  In the first case, whitening will not help at all. In the second case, your teeth will be white but physical imperfections will stay. The obvious solution to these two problems is veneers.

Whitening can remove stains caused by tobacco, coffee, and age. However, it can’t do anything for stains caused by trauma and root decay. Whitening also can’t fix gapped and crooked teeth, while porcelain veneers can.

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5. The Procedure: Whitening vs Veneers

What usually keeps people from installing the veneers is the procedure. While a simple teeth whitening procedure requires one visit to the dentist or a few hours of wearing bleaching trays at home, veneer installation is much more complicated. In order to install veneers, your natural teeth are shaved down. The process is irreversible. Meaning, you’ll never get a chance to walk around without veneers again. Porcelain veneers require several dentist visits to be installed. Bleaching is a faster and less invasive procedure.

So Should You Choose Bleaching or Porcelain Veneers?

If your teeth are healthy, don’t have too many fillings or imperfections, and all you want is to make them whiter, traditional whitening methods, such as bleaching, are a great way to achieve your goals.

However, if you have stained fillings, grey teeth from root canal therapy, receded gums and teeth imperfections, porcelain veneers are a wonderful way to get a true Hollywood smile.