What To Know About Viral ‘Veneer Techs’—And Why Dentists Warn Against Them

Published 22 days ago
By Forbes | Arianna Johnson
INDIA – Places To Visit
(Photo by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)

TOPLINE

“Veneer techs” have gone viral on social media after a self-proclaimed tech confused users by shared his certificate of completion, and a separate TikTok user shared a horror story of her veneers falling out after two days, but dentists warn these techs are performing dental work illegally, and they put patients at risk for serious health issues down the line.

KEY FACTS

Veneer techs are people who illegally place veneers on patients after completing a two-day training course that typically cost around $2,000 to $3,000, after which these tech receive certificates of completion that do not certify them to perform dental work, Jandra Korb, dental director of healthcare company DentaQuest, told Forbes.

Licensed dentists have National Provider Identifiers they use at licensed dental supply stores, where they’re able to buy products and instruments, but some veneer techs use nail supplies like acrylic for their procedures, while others buy kits off sites like Amazon and Temu—which don’t check NPIs—Ashley Brede Ciapciak, dentist at Brede Ciapciak Dental, told Forbes.

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Dentists are the only people who are legally allowed to perform veneer work, so veneer techs are “playing a risky game with patients’ health” since they may lack the proper knowledge on sterilization and dental health that formally trained dentists have, Whitney White, a dentist at Aspen Dental in Nevada, told Forbes.

Ciapciak warned these illegal techs can be criminally charged with practicing medicine without a license, which is a felony in most states, and patients can also sue them for assault and battery if their dental work goes wrong.

A Las Vegas woman who ran an illegal company called the Veneer Experts was charged with felony counts of illegal practice of dentistry earlier this year after a patient’s teeth fell out, and the patient filed a complaint with the state.

Patients who seek out veneer techs often do so because they’re cheaper than traditional dentists—who may charge between $800 and $1,950 per tooth—but Ciapciak recommends going to a dental school to get this work done, since they’re “one-third to one-fourth of the cost of a private practice,” but still follow proper procedures with sterile instruments.

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WHAT ARE DENTAL VENEERS?

Dental veneers are custom made coverings that fit over the surface of teeth, and are typically used for cosmetic purposes like improving discolored teeth, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Though there are several types of veneers, there are five common types. Porcelain veneers, or traditional veneers, are the most common form, and require the front of each tooth to be grinded down before the shells are placed on top. Composite veneers are made of tooth-colored composite resin—which is also used for dental bonding—and typically last 10 years. No-prep veneers are less invasive and take less time since the dentist only removes a small portion of enamel from the teeth. Though they can last up to 20 years, they’re thin and don’t cover stains on the teeth. Unlike the other types of veneers, same-day veneers don’t require multiple visits, and are best for hiding small visual imperfections. Palatal veneers are typically made of gold or porcelain, and are applied to the inside of the upper teeth and used to treat wear and tear and prevent further damage.

KEY BACKGROUND

An Instagram post of a veneer tech posing with his certificate of completion went viral on social media, causing people to question what exactly a veneer tech does. Some dentists like Ben “The Bentist” Winters took to TikTok to persuade people from getting work done by these techs, and to warn their state’s licensing board. Ciapciak has made several TikTok videos about the dangers of veneer techs after a tech—who has since made her account private, making her videos unviewable—went viral on the platform for performing botched work on a client. TikToker Tybabira88—who Forbes has reached out to for comment—claimed in a video she drove over seven hours and paid $1,500 for an unlicensed veneer tech, who was working in the back of a barber shop, to do her veneers, though they only lasted two days. These techs may be putting people’s lives at risk because they’re typically not trained to check for the health of a patient’s teeth, Korb said. If a tech seals a veneer over a tooth with an infection, “the only place [the infection]has to go is inward,” which can enter the bloodstream and then make its way up to the brain since it’s so close to the mouth. The infection can be treated with antibiotics if it’s caught soon enough, but tooth infections can lead to death.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

“[Veneer techs’] work can lead to severe consequences such as tooth damage, infections and even hospitalization,” White said. “It’s crucial that people seeking veneers prioritize their own safety by ensuring that they receive treatment from qualified and licensed dental professionals.”

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