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  • Got a Bag and Fixed My Teeth: Dr. Kevin Sands and Others Weigh In On the Trend of Porcelain Veneers

    Published on May 10, 2023

    Forget the fancy cars and designer clothes, the real status symbol among influencers is more personal. According to reports from cosmetic dentists, social media stars are all-in on porcelain veneers. The trend has elevated even well-known clinicians, like Kim Kardashian’s dentist Dr. Kevin Sands, to even higher levels of renown.

    In the past, veneers were reserved for movie stars, root canal patients, and those with broken or chipped teeth. But these days, almost everyone with a sizable TikTok feels the need for a brighter, straighter, and whiter smile.

    Dr. Kevin Sands estimates the bulk of the work he performs in his Beverly Hills office is fitting, cleaning, and consulting on porcelain veneers.

    So, how did we get here?

    What are Porcelain Veneers?

    Porcelain veneers are thin covers that fit over teeth and provide a more aesthetically pleasing outer surface. They can transform dull, crooked, or misshapen teeth into a movie star-worthy mouth.

    Most high-end veneers are made from porcelain, but some are created out of resin composite. Porcelain is preferred by many cosmetic dentists because it reflects light in the same way natural tooth enamel does and it better resists stains.

    The process of getting veneers starts with a consultation on the first visit. Dr. Kevin Sands likes to go in depth with his patients so that he understands what their goals are. He discusses their options, explains the process, and does an initial tooth examination to assess what can realistically be achieved.

    The second visit is when patients undergo the veneering process. During this visit, teeth are slightly sanded down to prepare the area where veneers will attach. The dentist then makes a mold of the mouth so that custom-fitted veneers can be made. The patient goes home with temporary veneers until their personalized ones are ready (usually a week or two later).

    On the third visit, the dentist will fit the custom veneers onto the patient, making any minor adjustments to fit and color. A special dental cement is used to bond the veneers into place so that they look and feel just like real teeth.

    The Impact of Social Media on the Porcelain Veneer Trend

    The spike in demand for porcelain veneers has come from apps like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. In an age where every aspect of life has become fodder for content, it didn’t take for veneers, which were once a private secret, to become a public rite of passage.

    Today, it’s not uncommon for celebrities and influencers to document their entire procedure, calling attention to the practice and driving up demand for services. Searching TikTok will reveal a host of posters taking the “veneer challenge” and artists like Cardi B are not shy about chronicling their journey to porcelain in their songs. “Got a bag and fixed my teeth,” she rapped in her 2017 hit “Bodak Yellow.”

    The dentist who worked with Cardi B, Dr. Catrise Austin, called that line a “game changer.” The entire secretive aspect of veneers seemed to vanish and get replaced by not just admitting to having veneers but bragging about it.

    The Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers

    Porcelain veneers are popular for a reason. They’re quick, virtually painless, and last a long time. They can drastically improve the look of a smile by covering up problems like misalignments, discoloration, gaps, and chipped teeth.

    They also don’t prevent patients from enjoying their lives, Dr. Kevin Sands said. People with veneers can do everything they did before. In fact, they’re easy to forget about completely.

    But there are downsides as well. Porcelain veneers are expensive. It’s no coincidence that Cardi B sang that she got money before fixing her teeth. They can range anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 per tooth.

    That price tag has caused some people to make bad decisions when it comes to oral health. These days, it’s not uncommon for people to fly to other countries to get porcelain veneers. This “dental tourism” is usually a good deal cheaper, but it runs the risk of poor results.

    Sometimes, people who fly to countries like Columbia, Thailand, or Turkey for porcelain veneers end up with misshapen teeth or permanent tooth damage. Other times, they return home to find that they’ve received crowns instead of veneers or simply had their teeth ground down and bleached. 

    Even the best veneers are not a permanent solution, said Dr. Kevin Sands. While high-quality veneers can last up to 15 years, they will eventually have to be redone. And veneers, like real teeth, need to be maintained. Veneers can become darkened by coffee and red wine and need to be whitened.

    Teeth with veneers can also get cavities or become chipped. In those cases, the entire porcelain veneer needs to be replaced, which can make the procedures more expensive than otherwise.

    Dr. Kevin Sands’ Insights on Porcelain Veneers

    Good porcelain veneers have tremendous benefits, said Dr. Kevin Sands. They can correct major dental issues and provide patients with a sense of confidence.

    He urges anyone thinking about veneers to do their homework first. Look up online reviews and search for before-and-after pictures, he said.

    But his biggest tip is to choose a dentist you trust. Dentists like Dr. Kevin Sands spend a large part of their initial consultation listening to their patients and explaining their options.

    As a leader in porcelain veneers, he uses the latest technology to show his patients what they will look like after they’ve had their veneers put in. That way, no one gets surprised by the final product. If there’s anything a patient wants to change, it can be done before the veneers are made. It’s part of his personal approach to dentistry. He likes to say that every smile is unique and deserves a unique treatment plan.

     Are Porcelain Veneers Right for You?

    Even if you’re not an aspiring influencer, you may be interested in getting porcelain veneers. They’re a great way to improve the color and shape of your teeth without major surgery.

    If you’re willing to research cosmetic dentists near you, commit to caring for your teeth, and ok with paying good money for good work, porcelain veneers can make a big difference in your smile.

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