Making your teeth look their best is an important thing for many patients. Teeth whitening is a common solution, but a more aggressive way to tackle the problem is to have dental veneers put in. If you're not sure if this the best option for you, it can help to learn about the available options.

Will a Cleaning Do the Job?

The dental hygienist may be the most underrated person at a dentist's office. In the case of how teeth look, there's a lot to be said for getting a good cleaning done before making too many choices about how to proceed. Many patients end up seeing the results and realizing they don't even require teeth whitening services.

Cleaning Didn't Help. Now What?

Now you're getting into the range where a doctor starts to think about teeth whitening versus veneers. Given that whitening is the less aggressive option, it's often a case where a practitioner says, "Let's try that first."

Bear in mind that dentists and hygienist have access to cleaning products that you don't. Due to the potential misuses of hydrogen peroxide, there are limits on what can actually be sold over the counter at stores. At-home solutions may contain as little as a three-percent solution of peroxide, not much better than you'd get from just grabbing the cheapest bottle of the stuff used to clean wounds. The systems used at dentists' offices are allowed to use concentrations north of 40 percent.

One of the main reasons higher concentrations aren't available over the counter is because of potential tooth damage. In particular, strong solutions can dehydrate a tooth and cause sensitivity. In-home kits are best for maintenance of teeth whitening once a professional procedure has been performed.

The Case for Veneers

Veneers are used in cases where corrections are necessary due to unfixable damage. Chipped and cracked teeth are common cases where dental veneers will be the better option, as are unusually-shaped teeth. Severe discoloration is also a strong argument for veneers.

Veneers are applied by removing some of the enamel of the tooth, typically the outward-facing part. A medical-grade bonding agent is then applied, and a customized prosthetic is put in place. Temporary veneers are available in cases where new faces have to be custom ordered. Veneers will provide a new surface and appearance for your teeth that can't be created with just whitening, so they can help in even extreme cases. Find out more about veneers from your dentist today.