Dentists say young influencers who are filing down their teeth for the ‘perfect smile’ will need dentures by the time they’re 40
- There is a trend of TikTok users sharing their experience of getting their teeth ground down to pegs for the "perfect smile."
- Some are getting veneers, and some are getting a full set of crowns, which need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.
- The preparation for full coverage crowns is more aggressive than veneers and compromises more of the tooth, so dentists do not recommend this for young people.
- "She's going to have dentures by the age of 40," Dr. Shaadi Manouchehri, a London-based dentist, said while commenting on a video of a young influencer's "veneer vlog" on TikTok.
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Getting the perfect teeth is seemingly a right of passage in the world of influencers. Internet stars like Jeffree Star, Tana Mongeau, and Gigi Gorgeous all had dramatic smile makeovers once their careers took off.
Now, there's a trend of smaller-scale influencers sharing their experiences of flying abroad to get smile transformations of their own, showing off their shaved-down "shark teeth" before revealing what they call "veneers" to their followers.
Dentists are urging young people to do their research before considering such invasive dentistry. As one dentist explained, this is not standard preparation for veneers but for crowns, which are not recommended for young people.
"These are not veneer preparations," Dr. Emi Mawson, a Cornwall-based dentist, told her 27,700 followers on TikTok as she critiqued one of many "veneer" vlogs. "These are crown preparations and there's a big difference."
Not knowing this difference could be costing these influencers their smiles early in life, causing irreparable damage that could mean needing dentures by their 40s.
There is an important difference between veneers and crowns, and many influencers are getting it wrong
While the two terms are used interchangeably by some influencers, there are a number of key differences between veneers and crowns.
"When you get veneers, most of your tooth is still there, only a little bit is shaved off," Dr. Zainab Mackie, a Detroit-based dentist, said on TikTok. "When you get crowns your teeth are shaved down to little pegs."
Most veneers will require the front of the tooth shaved down half a millimeter to prepare the tooth for a custom covering made of porcelain or composite resin. Some veneers actually require no prep at all.
Crowns require two millimeters or more of enamel to be shaved off into the pegs seen in many teeth transformation TikToks. They are typically performed on decaying, broken teeth.
Dr. Shaadi Manouchehri, a London-based dentist, told her 94,600 TikTok followers heavy crown preparation can compromise the tooth's nerve, which is why dentists do normally recommend them for healthy teeth.
"This is only done if there were cavities to take out or the teeth were already broken," Mackie said.
Getting aggressive crown preparation at a young age could cause permanent damage to your teeth, having to get them replaced multiple times down the line, root canals, and eventually losing those teeth altogether.
"She's going to have dentures by the age of 40," Manouchehri said while commenting on a video of a young influencer "veneer vlog" on TikTok.
'That's gonna be like $20,000 every 10 years'
Both crowns and veneers are semi-permanent measures, meaning they will need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years depending on the type and specifics of your teeth.
According to Consumer Guide to Dentistry, veneers on average cost $250 to $1,500 per tooth on average. Crowns average out at $1,000 to $3,500 per tooth.
"That's gonna be like $20,000 every 10 years, not to mention when you get a cavity," Dr. Ben Winters, an Arkansas-based Orthdonist, said in a TikTok.
In addition to being more expensive on average, crowns come at the cost of valuable layers of enamel protecting your teeth. This step is unavoidable with crowns, even if you fly abroad to save money on them.
"Once your teeth are down to stumps, there's no going back," Mawson told her followers on TikTok.
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