Dentists share concern over recent TikTok trend

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INDIANAPOLIS —A recent trend on TIkTok is causing some concern among dental professionals.

Influencers on the social media site have been sharing before and after posts of major dental procedures such as veneers, crowns or what’s known as a “total mouth rehab.” Procedures that leave them with perfect looking teeth and “Hollywood” smiles.

 There’s been so much interest in these videos, particularly by young people wanting to pursue such procedures, that some dentists have been making their own versions emphasizing how serious these procedures are, while outlining the risks and rewards.

Those who have spoken up say they don’t want people to pursue permanent and potentially unnecessary procedures due to social media trends or pressures.

CBS4 spoke to a local dentist, Dr. Michael Tillery of Tillery Family Dental to get his take on things.

Off the bat, he expressed caution.

“First I would say if there is a more conservative way to do it, it would be better to do it that way,” he said.

Tillery emphasized that there are both pros and cons to having such procedures done.

“Either procedure, veneers or crowns are irreversible. You’re taking tooth away. If they ever come off, if they ever break, or if they get any decay underneath them, they’ll have to be replaced. Once you do that there’s no take backs…. The average lifespan of a crown is 20-25 years. So if these kids are going out there and doing this when they’re 20-25, they can plan on having to re-do it, according to national averages, maybe once or twice in their lifetimes,” he said.

Despite any concerns about unnecessarily pursuing these procedures, Dr. Tillery tells us there are many legitimate reasons for moving forward.

“If I’m self-conscious about the way my teeth look, that can affect the way I interact with people, it can affect the job that I get or don’t get. It has a lot of bearing, so you look at the risk to reward as to what you’re going to get,” Tillery said.

Tilery says discussing options with your dentist is extremely important before moving forward with any procedure. He adds that dentists today have many methods more conservative than major surgery at their disposal that can deliver the results people want, including whitening, bonding or realignment.  

 “There are instances where a full mouth rehab, or doing something like this would be warranted, and it has to literally be worked out between the patient, the dentist and sometimes the responsible party that’s going to be paying for it. Because they aren’t cheap!”

Tillery says a total mouth rehab can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000. He also points to many of the TIkTok posts not sharing any pictures that highlight what a persons dental situation was prior to be prepped/ having surgery. which would be helpful in adding context as to whether the situation was needed.

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