- Mary Schreiber Swenson Phd.
The Price Tag of the Perfect Pearly Whites
As social media has become more and more popular over the past decade, so has the need to look picture perfect at all times. While trends like Brazilian butt lifts, breast implants, and the regular injection of hyaluronic fillers have become all but commonplace (at least, on the standard Instagram feed), one slightly more under-the-radar procedure has become a major staple of influencers and elites alike: veneers.
Essentially a shiny white cap for your teeth, veneers have become all the rage recently as an easy fix to irregular teeth. Gone are the days of hitting the dentist for regular whitening treatments -- veneers’ pristine porcelain material remain blindingly bright as long as they are properly cared for, almost like being reborn with a brand new pair of pearly whites over the course of one pain-free afternoon.
Of course, veneers aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, as a good dentist will meticulously plan out a custom treatment for each individual, varying in coloration based on skin tone, size in proportion to facial features, and, all-importantly, how much of the original tooth is left below the surface. While folks with gaps and inherently smaller-sized teeth are likely to be instant candidates, those suffering from a crowded bite or overlapping canines are likely required to shave down their God-given teeth before being fitted with their veneers, turning a cosmetic choice into a long-term commitment.
With teeth regularly being cited as one of the most important aspects of a first impression, likewise possessing a subtle yet game-changing effect on social media content, more and more people are choosing to go with veneers to give their smiles a major makeover. There’s a reason TikTok was possessed at a time by the viral ‘veneers check challenge’ -- the all-white caps have evolved into something of a cult status symbol, a clear sign to others that they can afford expensive dental work and are left wanting for nothing.
Starting at around $800 on average per individual porcelain tooth in the United States, veneers’ widespread luxury reputation comes with reason, as a full-set of sparkling caps will run a person into tens of thousands of dollars in cost. But unbeknownst to many, traveling outside the United States and into foreign countries like Mexico and Costa Rica can cut this price into quarters, with the top Mexican dentists offering veneers at the cost of $150 per tooth.
When it comes to keeping up with the Joneses, a new set of veneers likely sits at the top of every beauty-lover's personal wishlist as an expensive and far-off goal, but with a little help harnessed by quality and cost-efficient medical tourism, that white wide-grinned dream can become a reality even sooner than you think.
Mary Schreiber Swenson, PhD
My Med Choices | Vegan Skin Clinic
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