In the videos, millennials share their experience of achieving the ‘perfect smile’ by showing a shot of their ‘shark teeth’ before revealing the end result. In some cases, people are even flying abroad to achieve their smile transformation and documenting the journey along the way.
Dentists are turning to TikTok to urge people to carry out in-depth research before considering any type of invasive dentistry work.
What may seem like a rite of passage for most influencers, having invasive dentistry at such a young age can prompt issues years down the line, such as root canals, permanent damage to your teeth, and complete tooth loss.
Most TikTok users aboard the transformation trend are referring to their ‘smile journey’ as having ‘veneers’. This isn’t entirely true. Veneers and crowns are completely different and many people are getting it wrong.
One dentist explained that filing down the teeth to pegs is not a standard preparation for veneers – instead, it’s for crowns. Crowns are not recommended for young people.
In response to one of the ‘veneer transformations’, Dr. Emi Mawson, a dentist from Cornwall, stated: “These are not veneer preparations,”
“These are crown preparations and there’s a big difference”, she added.
Detroit dentist, Zainab Mackie, explained, “When you get veneers, most of your tooth is still there, only a little bit is shaved off.” Most veneers only require the front of the tooth to be shaved down half a millimeter to prepare the tooth for a custom covering. Some veneers actually require no prep at all.
Crowns, on the other hand, require more of the enamel to be shaved as they are typically performed on decaying or broken teeth. Zainab added, “When you get crowns your teeth are shaved down to little pegs” – similar to those in the TikToks.