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Teeth Whitening vs Porcelain Veneers

Teeth Whitening vs Porcelain Veneers

Teeth become dull and discoloured for many reasons.  Stains can be caused by food or beverages like black tea, coffee, red wine and curries and sauces.  Smoking also stains your teeth.  You will also find that your teeth become yellow as you get older.

There are two ways of getting a brighter whiter smile that is teeth whitening and veneers.  Lots of patients ask which method is best. Knowing the difference between teeth whitening and veneers can help you determine which is best for you.


What is Teeth Whitening?

There are different types of teeth whitening.  Teeth whitening can be done at home with over the counter options like toothpaste, whitening strips or trays.  These treatments are usually inexpensive but have varied results.  They don’t work for everyone.  If you are after a more noticeable change then it is best to go to the dentist and get the in chair Zoom teeth whitening.  The dentist uses a lamp to activate the stronger hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent and this accelerates the bleaching process.  The treatment is completed in about 90 minutes and is safe and causes little discomfort.


What are Veneers?

Veneers are made of a hard coating that completely covers the front of an individual tooth.

Veneers can be made from composite filling or porcelain.  Composite veneers are applied and shaped by the dentist while the patient is in the chair.  Composite veneers are placed in one appointment.  On the other hand the dentist will make impressions of your teeth or scan your teeth and send this to a lab where the Veneers are custom made.  Porcelain Veneers treatment requires two appointments.


Teeth Whitening vs Veneers

  • As already mentioned the results after teeth whitening can vary depending on the patient. They tend to work best for yellowing and stains caused by smoking, food or drink.  If your discoloration is more severe perhaps owing to genetics or medication then your dentist may recommend veneers. When you have treatment with veneers you are also able to choose the exact shade of white you would like.
  • Teeth whitening can whiten and brighten your teeth however, if you wish to fix issues like chipped teeth, uneven spaces, gaps and crooked teeth you are best to choose Veneers.
  • In chair Teeth whitening takes approximately 90 minutes to compete. Composite Veneers take 3 or 4 hours to complete depending on how many composite veneers you require.  Porcelain Veneers require two appointments and the whole process can take approximately 4 weeks.
  • In the past getting porcelain veneers was a more invasive procedure than having whitening treatments. To prepare the teeth for the veneers, the dentist had to remove some of the enamel from their surface. The patient would then get temporary veneers until their next appointment when the dentist will bond the veneers to the teeth. However, with GlamSmile Porcelain Veneers there is no removal of healthy tooth structure the GlamSmile Veneers are bonded over the existing teeth.
  • Many patients ask how long do the treatments last. Patients see immediate results with teeth whitening however, it does not last forever.  The dentist will prescribe the use of whitening trays at home every six months to maintain the whitening.  After a few years the patient may need to return to have the process repeated.  Composite Veneers last 3 to 5 years and Porcelain Veneers can last 10 to 15 years.
  • Both composite and porcelain veneers can chip or come loose if a patient grinds their teeth or chews on hard items. Composite Veneers are not as strong as porcelain veneers and can stain over time.  However, the dentist can repair the damage to a veneer if it is made of composite.  If the veneer is made of porcelain and it is damaged then the dentist will have to remove the veneer and take another impression or scan to send to the lab to make a new veneer.
  • When it comes to costs teeth whitening is the least expensive, then it is composite veneers and then porcelain veneers are the most expensive. Veneers can solve many more issues than just whitening.  Porcelain veneers are a long-term solution, custom made for each patient.


Zoom whitening, composite veneers and porcelain veneers are all viable options for whiter teeth.  However, most patients are interested in a beautiful smile not just whiter teeth.  Zoom whitening generally works best on younger people with straight virgin teeth. But if your teeth are crooked, chipped, gappy or unattractive whitening alone will not be enough to achieve that beautiful smile.


A common misconception is that all porcelain veneer treatment is painful and much of the original tooth structure is removed.  GlamSmile Porcelain Veneer treatment requires no needles and no removal of healthy tooth structure.  The end result is beautiful, long-lasting white straight teeth.

Dr Tony Cassimatis is your GlamSmile Dentist and has placed over 10 000 GlamSmile Porcelain Veneers.