The Downside Of Trendy Veneers For Your Teeth

Trends are obviously popular; that's what they're here for. When you stick trendy aesthetics like blokette core or cottage core on the internet, some might find it funny while others are immensely attracted to it. There are trends that have to do more with facial aesthetics like plucked eyebrows or lined lips, which leads to cosmetic surgery trends that include buccal fat removal and veneers. Dental work might not be the first thing someone thinks of when they think of cosmetic surgery, but teeth are really important and sensitive. If you mess them up, you're in for a world of hurt, and that's only the start of the downside of dental veneers.

These more "invasive" trends include fillers for plumper lips or BBLs for bigger hips. While these are major surgeries, dental veneers aren't considered quite as serious as stated before. This leads to many more people trying to get them or cutting corners to get them at a cheaper rate. And with the lack of regulation in dentistry, you can get a greedy dentist to give you veneers, but you might end up regretting it in the long run, especially if you already have healthy teeth.

What are dental veneers and why do people need them?

As Healthline reported, "Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are attached to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance." Veneers are often used to make teeth look white and even, and give a perfect appearance for "imperfect" teeth. There are a few options when choosing dental veneers: porcelain, composite resin, and no-prep veneers — but more on that later. 

While veneers are uber popular and trendy, with influencers and Hollywood elite popping up with pearly whites that are no doubt veneers, this dental procedure isn't for everyone. Not everyone needs veneers: after all, they're mostly for people with cosmetic issues such as chipped teeth, massive discoloration that whitening can't fix, gaps, and more. If you have weirdly shaped teeth or abnormally small teeth, veneers could be a good option as well.

But, again, the difference between want and need is a very thin line in the age of trends, influencers, and social media. The draw of veneers is the aesthetic they bring. They give people bright, white smiles with perfectly even and straight teeth. However, when something is all about aesthetics and not really about the dental treatment itself, unnecessary procedures can happen.

What types of veneers are there?

As we mentioned, there are a few different types of veneers. There's the porcelain kind, which requires your dentist to grind your teeth down in the front so that there's room to put the mold of the veneer on. These veneers are made in a lab, and often temporary veneers are put on top while you wait for the porcelain veneers to be made. Porcelain veneers are cemented on the fronts of the teeth.

The other type of veneer is composite resin veneer. They're made of a resin material and require your dentist to "etch the surface of your tooth before applying a thin layer of the composite" onto the tooth. Much like hardening braces brackets onto your teeth, the resin is hardened with a UV light. Healthline also reports on no-prep veneers which include brands like Lumineers and Vivaneers. These veneers don't require removing enamel with drills or grinding, meaning you usually don't need to have your mouth numbed.

A lot of people get veneers confused with crowns, which require a lot of grinding and shaving down of your tooth to put a full cast covering the tooth, according to Healthline. If you've seen viral TikToks of people with their teeth shaved down to nubs for veneers to be put on top, those are actually crowns. Crowns are what you get on top of your tooth after a root canal or other intense tooth decay removal.

Lack of regulation means that more could go wrong in the veneer process

While shaving and grinding your teeth down for veneers should sound like an intense procedure, a lot of people don't think of it that way. This leads people to find flashy dentists or cosmetic dentists who want to perform as many veneer installations as possible for their bank. They're emboldened by the fact that there is a lack of regulation in dentistry. There's been an increase in veneer procedures, thanks to trends or viral aesthetics. With that increase, cosmetic dentistry has had to grow and is often employing people in it for the money and not taking care to turn people away if they're not viable candidates or if they don't do them well.

That shows in how court cases are rising against dentists who perform procedures like veneers unnecessarily or incorrectly. Chris Dean, a trained dentist and partner in the law firm, The Dental Law Partnership, told the Daily Mail that in the U.K., "We are seeing a 20[%] rise in dental negligence cases year on year." Poor installation can lead to the caps falling off or giving the patient nerve damage because too much was shaved off. And some patients, like those that grind their teeth, might experience even worse pain because they shouldn't have gotten veneers to begin with.

There are 'longterm implications'

Some of these dentists don't have the proper training or rush through putting veneers on patients, leaving unnatural-looking teeth that are far too large for the person's mouth. And even if you get veneers done by a reputable dentist who knows how to do it properly, you might be shaving off perfectly good teeth that aren't in need of veneers because of discoloration or shape. Some people just want this pearly white aesthetic and are ruining their naturally good teeth to do so, with veneers that might last them a decade if they're lucky. 

As Evie reported, an influencer, Zanna van Dijk, posted about regretting her veneers because she was "young and foolish" and acted too fast to jump on a trend. "I spontaneously got veneers without thinking about the long term implications," she wrote in a 2020 Instagram post. "They weren't done well and they have caused me 8 years of troubles. Falling off frequently and costing a bomb to replace each time." She also shared that because she didn't get her teeth checked out beforehand, and the dentist who did her veneers didn't do an exam, they "didn't actually give me the results I wanted."

Not to mention the funky smell that comes from their veneers, according to several TikTok users (per Refinery29). TikTok user @specsandblazers described it as "a very metallic, almost sulphuric smell, like a burning tire." This smell alone is enough to make many people regret getting veneers.

Veneers mess with your teeth's nerves

Aside from possible foul smells and the potential for your veneers to look unnatural, there is a major concern regarding nerve damage. As Refinery29 reported, dental surgeon Dr. Vikas Prinja explained via TikTok that every single tooth has a nerve in its center. These nerves prevent you from biting ice cream or having a hot drink touch your teeth directly. If you chip away at the enamel that protects those nerves, you're taking away its protection and exposing the nerves directly to the elements. In a healthy tooth, nerves will make you feel the cold or heat which can be really uncomfortable, but you usually won't be in pain. But by grinding the enamel away and exposing more of the nerve, you can experience immense pain. 

However, when getting veneers, your tooth might become too sensitive thanks to the lack of enamel, leading to pain. As stated before, people who grind their teeth aren't good candidates for veneers because they can grind their veneers right off, exposing sensitive nerves. "The more tooth we drill away, the closer we get to the nerve. This means a higher risk of infections and needing root canal treatments," Dr. Prinja said. Crowns last only 12 to 15 years according to the dental surgeon, so once that time is up, you'll most likely have to get a root canal to completely remove your tooth's nerves due to the damage done.