Wait, why does everyone suddenly have veneers?

In case you missed it, everyone seems to have perfect teeth now. And if you don't think yours looks good enough, join the club. Super straight. Super white. Positively gleaming.

In fact, in 2023, perfect teeth have virtually become the prerequisite to being an influencer or a reality star. And it's all thanks to the explosion of veneers.

With the impressive rise of cosmetic dentistry, the popularity of the treatment has absolutely exploded in recent years.

Just search #veneers or #veneercheck and hundreds of thousands of videos will appear of men and women documenting the procedure and sharing their before and after results. 

Watch: When you've got something in your teeth. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

As The Cut pointed out, in 2023 veneers are the new boobs. Everyone's looking at them. 

They're the latest must-have accessory. The new designer bag. The new car.

Heck, maybe they're the new injectable?

And it makes sense, really. Research shows that a brighter smile can substantially improve your life, boosting confidence and self-esteem. It should probably come as no surprise then that veneers are one of the largest non-surgical beauty treatments - and the global dental market is booming.


So, where did this all come from? And when did we become so obsessed with perfect teeth?

Why are veneers so popular right now?

"The popularity of veneers really rose some 15 to 20 years ago initially but it was more exclusive to the wealthy and the rich and celebrities," cosmetic dentist Dr Aodhan Docherty from About Smiles told Mamamia.

"Everyday people, however, didn't really have access to that - and generally their dentists couldn't offer it anyway." 

Fast forward to now and you no longer have to be famous to get good teeth. And there are a few reasons the gap has closed. 

"Firstly, payment plans are being offered to allow people to pay their veneers and cosmetic treatments off over time," Dr Docherty said. "Hence, someone who doesn't have $20,000 is able to access this treatment and pay, say, $95 a week or whatever it may be."

Cosmetic dentistry has also changed how we perceive dental care - it's no longer the chore of going to your family dentist and having a check-up every six months. Over the past several years, advances in dentistry have meant that dental work is almost on par with cosmetic intervention.

"It's also accessible in the way that dentists are offering these kinds of procedures," shared Dr Docherty. "It's not just 'exclusive' dentists."

"These days most dentists have the ability to offer veneers - probably 60 to 80 per cent of dentists offer it. That doesn't mean that they're going to be the best if it's not something they do every day, but offering it certainly opens access to them."


As Dr Docherty points out, our fascination for straight, white teeth and the 'perfect' smile has been something that's been bubbling under the surface for years - and we can thank social media for jumpstarting the recent surge in interest.

"With our interest in reality shows and the new world's obsession with personal image, people are now focusing so much on themselves - and teeth are also on that list," said Dr Docherty. "After all, it's the first thing we look at when you meet someone for the first time."

"People want to have an improvement in their self-confidence and to feel better and more confident about their smile. They might have a wedding or an event or a new job, or maybe it's something they've been thinking about their whole life."

What role has social media played in the popularity of veneers?

In terms of what dentists are seeing in their clinics, Dr Docherty told us there's a significant uptick in younger people undergoing procedures for veneers - which is again, he said, due to accessibility, personal image and their ability to make that change.

"Body image is something people are paying a lot of attention to - and social media has opened the door to people becoming more critical of themselves," he added.

"At the same time, social media has also unveiled these types of procedures to a wider audience. This means people are seeing cosmetic treatments like veneers up close and personal, following people's journeys step-by-step - they're getting an insight behind the scenes when it comes to what's actually involved in the process."


For example, the popular #veneerscheck challenge on TikTok involves people showing off before-and-after footage of their dental work - showcasing changes in everything from the colour to the shape and position of their teeth. 

Much like cosmetic surgery accounts like @celebface (an account that compares old photos to recent photos of celebrities and decides whether they've had cosmetic surgery), there are also TikTok accounts that are purely dedicated to examining A-lister's teeth, and unpacking speculation over what kind of dental procedures they've had. 

Why do some veneers look too perfect?

If you're someone who watches reality TV or scrolls through social media, chances are you've noticed teeth are getting bigger. Brighter. Straighter. Almost a little... off?

The whites are too white. The lines, too straight. It's almost become the new 'standard'.

"I would say the colour of veneers - over the past 10 to 20 years - has become whiter," shared Dr Docherty. "The normal and accessible level of colour is getting whiter - it's now a bleach shade - so there's definitely an increase in whitening." 

Another thing Dr Docherty said he has noticed is the change in shape and proportions of veneers.

"Sometimes I see veneers for certain people are getting more square - that 'Hollywood' look. It used to be more of a rounded-edge look.

The key to a balanced, authentic-looking smile? First and foremost, see someone who specialises in veneers. Which means? Do your research.


When it comes to how natural-looking veneers should look, Dr Docherty said generally speaking, "the edges of the veneers should not touch the lower lip. The edges of the veneers should also not be flat - when they line up, they shouldn't be flat from your front to your side teeth. The curve needs to match the lower lip. This is called the 'smile arc', and it's very important!"

"There should also be little spaces between the very edges of the teeth - there shouldn't be square edges all lined up with no gaps."

While it's a completely personal preference, if you want natural-looking teeth (again, each to their own!), the smile shouldn't be too white.

"You can go for a low level of bleach, that looks like you've had teeth whitening. But if you go any more, then they look fake. There's also the technique of adding some surface to the teeth, so it's not glassy smooth."

If you're wondering what the cost of veneers is like in Australia, Dr Docherty said you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 per tooth. 

So, again, make sure you do your research. Bigger, straight and whiter doesn't always mean better...

What do you think about the explosion of veneers? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature Image: Getty

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