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The dangers of “veneer techs” and how social media makes them possible

June 6, 2024
Self-proclaimed "veneer techs" are putting people's health in danger. Make sure your patients see licensed professionals for this procedure.

Why veneers are so appealing

Veneers have been steadily rising in popularity over the last decade or so. Recently, this dental trend has garnered significant traction due to the onslaught of TikTok content from self-proclaimed “veneer techs” looking to promote their cosmetic businesses. In addition to veneers, social media and its obsession with aesthetics has led to the normalization of a myriad of potentially dangerous “tweakments” like Botox and lip filler.
 
For image-conscious patients with healthy yet imperfect or misaligned teeth, this treatment is undeniably appealing. Although there is nothing wrong with wanting a new set of pearly whites, it’s imperative to talk to patients about protecting their health and safety.
 
It’s become increasingly common for people to seek cosmetic treatments abroad, and there’s even a social media term for this—“Turkey teeth.”
 

See a dentist — “veneer techs” are not a thing

 
Some self-proclaimed “veneer techs” are obtaining unofficial (and sometimes online) certificates to quickly grow their consumer base. These courses are around $2,000 to $3,000 and only supplies the user with a certification of completion, which does not technically allow them to do dental work.1 Those enrolling in licit veneer masterclasses are meant to be taken by those who already have dental certifications, which may trick patients into believing false credentials. 
 

Thus, dental influencers and everyday people with no formal dental or medical training are using veneer "licenses" to promote and run their businesses, which puts patients’ health at stake. For example, accounts like 4eign Smile on TikTok and Instagram are regularly applying veneers to patients and posting videos of the process to their ~13,000 followers.

Although initial results from “before and after” videos may seem innocuous enough to potential clients, this user notes that they are completely self-taught. This is a problem because when viewers see content of veneers being layered over, say, rotten teeth, they may not realize the detrimental effects. 

If a tech places veneers over infected teeth, the infection may enter the bloodstream and travel up to the brain. If the patient isn’t treated in time, their infected teeth may kill them.1 

Cheap results, but dangerous side effects

The ability to self-promote and share content online has allowed countless unlicensed individuals to perform cosmetic procedures —like the application of veneers —to the general public. Obviously, this can and will lead to medical complications.  

Licensed dentists have National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) to purchase safe and legitimate products and instruments for various procedures (including veneers).  However, since “veneer techs” do not have access to these supplies, they improvise by using nail acrylics or convenient kits from sites like Temu or Amazon, which don’t check NPIs.1

Because of this, dental professionals must educate their patients about the dangers of going to “veneer techs” or anyone that isn’t a licensed professional. Dentists and dentists alone should be the sole distributors of veneers —or any other cosmetic dental treatment. 

 

References 

  1. Goldstein JM. Have you noticed that everyone’s teeth are a little too perfect? The Washington Post. September 14, 2023. https://www.washingtonpost.com/style/interactive/2023/teeth-celebrities-veneers-tiktok/ 


Sarah Butkovic, MA, is an Associate Editor at Endeavor Business Media, where she works on creating and editing engaging and informative content for today's leading online dentistry publications. She holds a Master's English Language and Literature from Loyola University Chicago and is passionate about producing high-quality content that educates, inspires, and connects with readers.

About the Author

Sarah Butkovic

Sarah Butkovic, MA, is an Associate Editor at Endeavor Business Media, where she works on creating and editing engaging and informative content for today's leading online dentistry publications. She holds a Master's English Language and Literature from Loyola University Chicago and is passionate about producing high-quality content that educates, inspires, and connects with readers.