Not everyone is an ideal candidate for teeth whitening. Teeth whitening isn’t recommended if you have tooth-colored fillings, crowns or bonding on your front teeth. The whitening gel cannot change the color of these types of dental materials, which will make them stand out in your freshly whitened smile. In such cases, patients may want to look into alternative options, such as veneers or dental bonding. But, what’s the difference?
Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic that are bonded to the front of your teeth to improve their appearance or function. Veneers can aid in improving teeth that are severely discolored, chipped or misshaped. There are two veneer options:
- Porcelain veneers. These veneers must first be fabricated in a dental lab to fit your teeth and typically requires two office visits. They will last from 15-20 years, depending on your maintenance.
- Composite veneers. This type of veneer is bonded to your tooth enamel in a single visit. Composite veneers cost much less, but only last around 5-7 years.
Dental bonding uses a tooth-colored composite resin to restore teeth that are chipped or broken, slightly gapped, discolored or misshapen. Bonding can also be used as a cosmetic alternative to silver fillings. After applying a mild etching solution that slightly roughens the surface of your tooth and allows the bonding material to adhere, your dentist will apply the composite resin and shape the bonding material, then use a high-intensity light to harden the material and then finely polish the restoration.
Several patients choose bonding over silver fillings due to it looking more natural. The material can be match to your natural tooth color. But, because the bonding material is more porous, smokers will see that it yellows.
If you’re interested in learning more about dental options to improve your smile, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.
Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.