Veneers or Whitening: Which Option Is Better for My Smile? By Dr. John Goodman on October 26, 2023

couple smiling while brushing their teeth

If you’re unhappy with the shade of your smile, you might be considering teeth whitening vs. porcelain veneers. These are two of the most popular procedures at our Kansas CityMO, dental office and I’m always happy to walk patients through why they might choose one over the other. In order to weigh the benefits of porcelain veneers and teeth whitening, let’s first look at how stains and discoloration can develop on our teeth. 

A Closer Look at Dental Discoloration

Discoloration that affects our teeth can be broken up into two types: extrinsic and intrinsic. 

Extrinsic staining affects the outer portion of your teeth and is most often due to highly pigmented foods and drinks including:

  • Coffee
  • Black tea
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Berries

This type of staining can also develop from smoking or chewing tobacco.

In contrast, intrinsic staining affects the inner portion of a tooth. It can develop due to:

  • A root canal infection
  • Certain medications such as antibiotics
  • Trauma to the tooth
  • Too much fluoride during childhood

Age and genetics can also yellow and darken our teeth. Plus, you might be suffering from a combination of internal and external discoloration.

When Should I Consider Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is only effective on extrinsic stains. Because these pigmented molecules have been deposited on the surface level of the tooth, the bleaching agents can penetrate and break up discoloration in this area. However, if your teeth have internal discoloration, our Kansas City team will likely recommend veneers or another treatment to mask–not correct–the concern.

When Should I Consider Veneers?

If your teeth do not respond to whitening, you only see a limited improvement, or we’re able to determine that it won’t achieve your goals, we’re happy to discuss veneers. Veneers are made of very thin shells of porcelain, so it’s an effective way to conceal all types of internal discoloration. They can be applied to one tooth, or all highly visible front teeth that show when you smile.

Comparing the Benefits of Each Procedure

Even if you qualify for whitening, it’s worth considering the benefits of each procedure. Our patients love whitening because it is:

  • Relatively affordable
  • Temporary results; low commitment
  • Can see dramatic results in one visit

Veneers also offer several advantages:

  • Can also improve the size and shape of teeth
  • Can close gaps between teeth
  • Longer-lasting results so less upkeep
  • Porcelain is fairly stain-resistant

Keep in mind that in order to be considered a candidate for any type of cosmetic treatment, you’ll need to have a healthy smile. If you have decay or gum disease, for example, we can outline a treatment plan for you during your initial evaluation. Once those issues have been addressed, we can begin refining the appearance of your smile.

Reach Out to Our Kansas City Office

Regardless of your unique concerns and needs, we’re confident we have a cosmetic dentistry solution for you. If you’re ready to love your smile, get started with a consultation at our office. Message us today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!

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John P. Goodman, DDS

John P. Goodman, DDS We Give Kansas City a Reason to Smile!

Dr. John Goodman has more than two decades of experience serving the community of Kansas City, MO. He offers a comprehensive range of services to address all types of dental problems, and he accepts CareCredit® financing to make treatment as accessible as possible. 

To request a consultation, please fill out our online form or call us at (816) 842-8585.

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"My experience with Dr. John Goodman DDS was outstanding. The entire staff was courteous and very accommodating. Dr. Goodman made me feel very comfortable but also finally gave me hope for having that "beautiful smile" that we (with not so good teeth) always wish for. I left feeling elated and excited for the first time about a dental appointment."

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