Teeth Whitening vs. Porcelain Veneers

What is the best option for addressing teeth stains and obtaining a brighter smile? When deciding teeth whitening versus porcelain veneers, which procedure comes out on top? At Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, our team understands the importance of a beautiful smile and strives to offer treatment that improves the appearance of your teeth. By taking a number of factors into account, we decide which option will work best for you.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening works great to remove extrinsic stains, or discoloration that forms on the surface of the teeth. Smoking, certain foods, and drinks that contain dark pigments (such as coffee, soda, tea, and red wine) can all lead to surface teeth stains. With this procedure, the patient comes to the office for an initial treatment. We will then create a set of custom-made trays, which the patient will fill with a bleaching gel and wear at home for a set amount of time each day. After one to two weeks, they return to the office for a follow-up treatment to complete the process. The teeth can be brightened by multiple shades.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are very thin wafers of porcelain that are placed onto the front of the teeth. We use porcelain because this material mimics the appearance of natural enamel. Veneers can mask extrinsic stains and intrinsic stains. Intrinsic discoloration actually forms below the surface of the teeth, often a result of trauma or medication, such as tetracycline. Also known as permanent discoloration, veneers can cover up these stains immediately.

Which Do I Need?

If you have surface discoloration, we may suggest teeth whitening, a cost-effective alternative to veneers. However, whitening trays often can’t remove intrinsic discoloration, so you may benefit from veneer placement.


Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offer expert services including dental implants, Six Month Smiles, pediatric dentistry, root canals, and teeth whitening in Rochester MN. To schedule a consultation, please call (507) 218-8936. Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer welcome and serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and the surrounding communities.