For super-white teeth, are porcelain veneers the way to go?

I want white teeth — as white and white can be — like so many of those celebrities you see on TV. I think their teeth look amazing. I’ve consulted with several dentists and many of them are recommending porcelain veneers. Are they just trying to get me to spend a lot of money or are veneers really the best way to achieve super-white teeth? — Kathryn

These days, there are many ways to achieve a whiter, brighter smile, but it mostly depends on how white you want to go and also the type of budget you have to work with. Lower cost options include bleaching, but depending on the current shade of your teeth or if you already have staining, the whitening gel can only get you so far. There are, however, several advantages to porcelain veneers:

  1. Compared to porcelain crowns, there’s very little tooth structure removed in prep
  2. You can have a brand new smile in only 2-3 office visits
  3. You are in complete control of the color – you pick the shade and level or whiteness
  4. There are bleaching shades that actually much whiter than any natural shades

Having outlined these advantages, the answer to your question is yes, porcelain veneers would be your best way to achieve the white teeth you desire. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be aware of some things. Since porcelain veneers are very thin wafers, dark or stained teeth could show through the veneer. Also, once you have veneers placed, you can’t change your mind or decide you don’t want them anymore if one needs replaced or fixed. Remember, your dentist had to remove original tooth structure. Finally, make sure you don’t end up with teeth that glow in the dark. People often think an ultra white smile is what they want, but keep in mind that it’s more desirable if your teeth look beautiful and natural.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Alana Macalik. For more information on the services she provides, visit her Arlington cosmetic dentist website.