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Which Teeth Whitening Method Is Right For Me?

Teeth Whitening 1 in Montgomery, AL by Dr. Chet Swartzentruber of Carmichael Dental Care

Do you have stained teeth? The good news is, you’ve got multiple teeth whitening options. The bad news is, it can be confusing to determine which teeth whitening method is best for your smile.

You’ll likely choose a teeth whitening method from these three options we offer at Carmichael Dental Care:

We’ve discussed some of the pros and possible cons of each approach below. Our Montgomery, AL dentists are also happy to examine you, discuss your needs, and help you decide which option makes the most sense for you. Ask us at your next dental visit or call 334-600-1423 to schedule a cosmetic dental consultation.

Among the factors you’ll likely want to consider:

  • Severity of staining
  • Condition of your teeth
  • Your overall oral health
  • Your budget
  • Your schedule
  • The invasiveness of each teeth whitening method

What Kind of Discoloration Do You Have?

Some stains don’t respond well to professional teeth whitening treatments. There are two types of stains: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic stains affect your tooth’s interior. They can be caused by certain medications, overuse of fluoride, a blow to your tooth, or even aging. Because these stains are tough to remove with teeth whitening, you’ll likely want to cover them with bonding or veneers.

Extrinsic stains darken or dull your tooth’s enamel, not the inside of your tooth. They are often caused by smoking or by consuming substances like coffee or cola. Unlike intrinsic stains, they usually respond well to whitening treatments.

You can either get a teeth whitening treatment at our office, or we can provide you with custom-made whitening trays and professional-strength gel you can use at home. Either way, you’ll get a brighter smile. If you’re short on time and want a white smile for a special event, an office treatment is the way to go; it’ll brighten your smile several shades in about an hour. It’ll take a few weeks for you to achieve the same results at home.

Look at Complete Cost of Each Teeth Whitening Method

At face value, teeth whitening is the least expensive of the three teeth whitening options. However, you should look at the overall cost, not just the up-front cost. With teeth whitening, you’ll need repeated treatments to keep your smile bright. Both bonding and veneers will keep your smile looking white longer.

With proper care, veneers will last at least a decade and often much longer. Because veneers resist staining, they’ll remain white.

Bonding will last longer than teeth whitening treatments but not as long as veneers. You can expect it to last a few years. Since the resin we apply to your teeth during a bonding treatment can stain, it’s wise to avoid staining liquids as much as possible and to rinse your mouth out with water after consuming them.

In addition, both bonding and veneers can correct other cosmetic flaws while whitening your smile. They can hide imperfections like:

  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Small gaps
  • Minor misalignment
  • Worn-down teeth

In general, bonding is best for minor flaws. Dental veneers, thin, custom-made pieces of porcelain that cover the entire front surfaces of your teeth, will work for larger issues. They also help strengthen your teeth.  

How Much Time Do You Have for Whitening?

The fastest way to a whiter smile is a teeth whitening treatment in our Montgomery, AL dentist office. Your teeth will brighten several shades in about an hour. If you use a home whitening treatment at home, it’ll take a week or so to see similar results.

It usually takes two appointments, over the course of a few weeks, to get dental veneers. We’ll take impressions of your teeth and other measurements, then prepare your teeth for veneers by removing a tiny amount of enamel. You may get temporary veneers to wear while your veneers are produced at an off-site dental laboratory.

When your veneers arrive, you’ll come in for a second appointment during which we’ll ensure they look and feel great before securely affixing them to the front of your teeth. The final step is a polish. And we’ll recommend best practices for at-home care so your veneers will last.

Bonding can typically be completed in a single appointment. Unlike veneers, our dentists don’t need to remove any enamel for this procedure. In fact, it’s completely reversible.

Maybe None of These Methods Is Right for You

If your teeth are deeply stained but in poor shape, our dentists will likely recommend a dental crown instead of one of these teeth whitening methods. Unlike veneers, a crown covers your entire tooth. It strengthens your teeth and protects them against further damage. So it’s likely the best choice if you have:

  • Large fillings
  • Lots of missing tooth structure
  • Enamel that has worn away

We know it can be tough to select a teeth whitening method. Our Montgomery, AL dentists are happy to help! Call Carmichael Dental Care at 334-600-1423 to make an appointment.

 

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