A recent viral trend on the increasingly popular social media platform TikTok has seen some of it’s users showing their ground down teeth in preparation of a cosmetic smile makeover.
Unbeknown to viewers of such videos, the filing down of teeth to such an extent is not required for porcelain veneers. Particularly with the amount of teeth being reshaped prior. The process of grinding teeth to what is now being termed ‘shark teeth’ is often reserved for the preparation of Dental Crowns rather than Porcelain Veneers. It is important to understand the difference between the two and their purposes.
Below we go into depths to explain what the differences are and when either option is recommended by the dentist for cosmetic or functional reasons. It’s also vital for patients to have their own understanding and perform their own due diligence for their long term oral health.
In instances where a patient requests porcelain veneers, a dentist may instead recommend a dental crown for teeth requiring:
- Protection of a structurally weakened tooth from breaking due to decay, accidental damage, or to hold a tooth together that has cracked.
- To restore a broken 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 as effective or suitable.
Varying upon the patients individual needs a combination of crowns and porcelain veneers may also be recommended or used by a dentist.
Over the past several years, social media has generated dramatic interest throughout various cosmetic industries. This has caused exponential growth in teeth whitening and veneer services. Veneers have become a staple with ‘influencers’ due to their instant perfect appearance. Also unknown to a majority of social media users, sometimes online teeth whitening companies may use ‘influencers’ whom have veneers 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 the recent controversial trend showing the smile makeover preparation phase known as ‘shark teeth’, it’s important 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 used 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 popular 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 popular social media dentist has also generated over 1.4MN views with her response.
It’s important for individuals 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 1-2mm in thickness and are bonded to the front of the tooth. As a result prior to applying a veneer, a dentist may minimally grind the front of the natural tooth depending upon the surface. This process allows the veneer to bond/attach to the tooth more effectively. Most of the original, natural tooth will remain underneath the porcelain veneers.
Dental veneers are often 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, but are often required to be replaced. There are some rare instances when a porcelain veneer can be removed, but usually this exposes the surface enamel of the natural tooth that is usually smoothed prior to the original application of the ‘veneer shield’. Exposed dental enamel can potentially expose the inner structure of your tooth to decay at an increased rate.
What is the cost of a porcelain veneer?
The investment of a porcelain veneer averages between $1,100-$1,300 per tooth. Please note, as teeth are unique to you, prices may vary between patients. Extra fees may apply if additional treatment is required.
In contrast, a 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 can be fabricated from a variety of different materials such as all porcelain, porcelain fused metal alloy (PFM), an all-metal alloy, or zirconia.
Dental crowns are a restorative form of treatment and are used in conjunction with other forms of dental treatments. They include;
- Veing used as a cap for dental implants.
- To cover and further protect a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy.
- Complete gaps for missing teeth, a fake tooth replacement option known as a dental bridge. If a single tooth is used as a post, with crown used to complete a neighbouring gap, this is know as a cantilever bridge.
- Restore a severely damaged or decayed tooth.
- If a tooth has died, which can be identified as a dark or blackened tooth, a crown is often recommended.
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.
For patients that have experienced severe tooth decay, crowns are usually recommended, particularly since the original tooth may require to be built up to support the crown.
What is the cost of a dental crown?
The cost of a dental crown averages anywhere between $1,200-$1,400 per tooth (per unit). Costs can vary since each individuals needs differ. Estimate excludes any additional treatment required.
If you would like more information regarding dental crowns or veneers, please feel free to contact our team today. We’re more than willing to help and assist you with any queries that you may have.