If your front teeth are discolored because of a tooth injury or as a side effect of medications, the usual tooth whitening treatments will not work. If you want whiter teeth, so you have a more attractive smile, the best treatment is probably covering your teeth with permanent veneers. Here's what you need to know about this dental procedure.

Resin Or Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are thin shells that fit over your teeth. They are made from porcelain or resin. The advantage to resin is it is lighter, so less enamel has to be removed to place them on your teeth. However, the best thing about porcelain veneers is they look just like normal teeth. They reflect light just like healthy tooth enamel, so it isn't obvious you've had dental work.

Veneers Are Bonded To Your Teeth

A layer of enamel has to be removed from your teeth that is the same thickness of the veneer. This ensures the veneer fits your mouth exactly, without crowding your other teeth or rubbing against your gums. After the enamel is removed, the veneer is bonded into place, so it becomes a permanent fixture in your mouth. You can have a veneer placed over one tooth or several. You can have a veneer placed over your upper teeth, and another placed over your lower teeth. You won't be able to remove your veneers like you can dentures.

Additional Benefits Of Veneers

Since a veneer is a shell that fits over your existing teeth, it can change the shape of your teeth as well as the color. If you have a chipped tooth, a gap in your teeth, or teeth that are uneven, a veneer will cover the imperfections and improve your appearance. So in addition to gaining a whiter smile, your front teeth will appear more uniform without having to go through the ordeal of wearing braces.

Caring For Veneers

You don't have to do anything special to take care of your porcelain veneer. All you have to do is brush and floss as usual. You can't get lax with your oral hygiene, because you can still get gum disease even if you have a veneer. Your dentist may recommend avoiding excess coffee, so the porcelain doesn't develop stains. Be sure to follow your dentist's recommendations for care, so your veneer lasts a long time.

It may seem like a lot to go through to get white teeth, but the end result makes it all worthwhile. If lasers and gels can't make your teeth whiter, then porcelain veneers are the logical alternative. Having an attractive smile benefits your social life and business life, as well as your self-esteem.