A recent viral trend on the increasingly popular social media platform TikTok has seen some users showing their ground down teeth in preparation for a cosmetic smile makeover.
Unbeknown to viewers of such social media videos, the trimming down of teeth to this extent is not necessary for most porcelain veneer cases. Shaving down teeth to this extent is often reserved for preparing dental crowns or bridges.
It is essential to mention that dentists may suggest a crown rather than veneers for some patients for several reasons. Recommendations for a dental crown rather than veneers include; improving functionality, fixing the size of the tooth, and previous damage that requires more shape. Dental crowns can restore and enhance the back of the tooth due to the ability to be thicker, while porcelain veneers treat just the front of a tooth.
Trimming down teeth to what is now socially termed ‘shark teeth’ is dedicated to Dental Crown preparation rather than Porcelain Veneers. It is essential to understand the difference between the two and their operational purposes.
Dentists may recommend a crown rather than a veneer for particular teeth due to decay or practical issues. It’s also vital for patients to have their understanding and perform due diligence for their long term oral health. Below we go into depth to explain the differences and when the dentist recommends either option for cosmetic or functional reasons.
In instances where a patient requests porcelain veneers, a dentist may instead recommend dental crowns for teeth requiring:
- Protect a structurally weakened tooth from breaking due to decay, accidental damage, or holding a tooth together that has cracked.
- To restore a chipped or fractured tooth.
- To help cover and protect a tooth with a large filling where there is little natural tooth left.
- To enhance the shape of a tooth, particularly those that require significant improvement.
- To make a cosmetic modification where a porcelain veneer may not be as effective or suitable.
A dentist may also suggest a combination of crowns and porcelain veneers depending upon the patient’s needs.
Over the past several years, social media has generated dramatic interest throughout various cosmetic industries. As a result, causing growth in teeth whitening and veneer services. Veneers have become a staple with ‘influencers’ due to their instant perfect appearance.
Also unknown to most social media users, online teeth whitening companies may use ‘influencers’ who have aesthetic dental restorations to endorse their teeth whitening products.
Clinical scientific studies have found that teeth whitening products, even those recommended by dentists, do not work on veneers, crowns or fillings due to their differing properties compared to natural teeth.
With recent controversial trends showing the smile makeover preparation phase known as ‘shark teeth, it’s crucial to identify the purpose behind filing teeth down into these post type structures.
Unfortunately, what is misinterpreted by viewers of these videos or photos, is that this is not how veneers are usually applied. In these circumstances, the dentist has to use dental crowns.
In response to seeing such videos, professional dentists have taken to social media to increase the awareness between the two and the potential long term effects. A famous social media dentist in the UK, Dr Emi Mawson, has recently released a detailed response regarding the trend.
@dentist_emiLet’s talk about Katie Prices ‘veneers’. #veneers #dentist♬ original sound – Dentist Emi
Dr Shaadi Manouchehri, another viral social media dentist, has also generated over 1.4MN views with her response.
Individuals need to understand the differences between the two cosmetic treatments as both are irreversible.
What is the difference between a Veneer and a Crown?
The main difference between a porcelain veneer is that veneers predominantly cover the front of the tooth. A simple analogy would be that they act like a shield or a fake nail for the front of the tooth.
Veneers are thinner in comparison to dental crowns. They usually average 0.3mm-1mm in thickness and are bonded to the front of the tooth. Most of the original, natural teeth will remain underneath the porcelain veneers. As a result, before applying a veneer, a dentist may minimally grind the front of the natural tooth depending upon the surface. Carefully trimming surface enamel allows the shell to attach to the tooth more effectively.
Dental veneers are used for cosmetic improvements, such as:
- Covering imperfections
- Alignment issues
- Repair broken teeth
- Improving the colour (whiter shade) of teeth
- Reshape teeth
- Close gaps
Although veneers are significantly thinner than crowns, with minimal surface etching, veneers are irreversible. Porcelain veneers can be removed and replaced after 10-15 years. There are some rare instances when porcelain veneers can become detached, exposing the natural tooth’s surface enamel. Exposed dental enamel can potentially expose the inner structure of your tooth to decay at an increased rate. When porcelain veneers break, it’s vital to contact your nearest dentist for repair or replacement options.
What is the cost of a porcelain veneer?
The investment in porcelain veneers averages between $1,100-$1,300 per tooth. Prices may vary depending upon individual needs since every patient is unique. Extra fees may apply if additional treatment is required.
In contrast, dental crowns differ by covering the entire tooth. They are usually significantly thicker than veneers. Therefore crowns are used to improve both look and function.
Crowns are constructed from different materials such as porcelain, porcelain fused metal alloy (PFM), an all-metal alloy, or zirconia.
Dental crowns are a restorative treatment in conjunction with other dental treatments, including;
- To cover a dental implant.
- To cover and further protect a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy.
- Crowns can be joined together in a treatment method known as a dental bridge to replace a missing tooth. When only one tooth is trimmed and used as a post, with a crown used to complete the adjoining gap, this is called a Cantilever Bridge.
- Restore a severely damaged or decayed tooth.
- A dental crown is recommended when a tooth has died. A dark or blackened tooth often identifies a dead tooth.
The preparation for dental crowns also differs. Dentists are usually required to grind down more of the natural tooth. The natural tooth is filed down and emulates the structure of a post to support the covering crown.
Dental crowns are advised for patients who have experienced severe tooth decay. Particularly when a tooth needs structurally sound to support the crown.
What is the cost of a dental crown?
The cost of a dental crown average between $1,200-$1,400 per tooth (per unit). The estimate excludes any additional treatment required. Prices can vary since each individual’s needs differ.
If you would like more information regarding dental crowns or veneers, please get in touch with our team today. We’re more than willing to help and assist you with any queries that you may have.