Beauty

Beware: Unlicensed ‘Veneer Tech’ Scam Is Illegal Dentistry

It feels like every day there’s worse advice floating around online. Misinformation is everywhere, so often masquerading as legitimate health advice, the perfect answer to weight loss, or the simple hack that will change your life. But when it comes to the insidious scam run by “Veneer Techs,” things are a lot worse. We’re talking illegal, unlicensed dentistry performed by unqualified individuals cashing in on a Canva-made certificate and a short online course.

Ahead, experts explain exactly why this scam is so dangerous.

Featured Experts

  • Joseph Field, DDS is a cosmetic dentist practicing in Los Altos, CA
  • Victoria Veytsman, DDS is a cosmetic dentist practicing in New York and Los Angeles

There Is No Such Job as “Veneer Tech”

“This is not a job, there is no license or certification for a veneer technician,” says Los Altos cosmetic dentist Joseph Field, DDS. “I’m just so floored by this,” says New York and L.A. cosmetic dentist Victoria Veytsman, DDS. “There is never a time when any one other than a licensed dentist should be performing dental work. It’s 100-percent illegal.”

According to reporting by Forbes, there has already been at least one arrest in relation to this scam. “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,” they explain.

Why Veneers Take Years to Master

You cannot learn to place veneers in a few hours of online courses. “It takes years to really learn this process,” Dr. Veytsman says. “Veneers are very technique sensitive, and the adhesive we use is a cement that is permanent, it can cause serious damage if it’s placed incorrectly. It takes years of practice and years of ongoing education to do smile makeovers. It is an irreversible, permanent process that must be done by a licensed and trained dentist.”

A “veneer tech” does not have access to the handcrafted, personalized veneers that dentists and dental professionals create. A “veneer tech” has access to kits from Amazon and Temu instead, according to reporting from Forbes. “A real veneer is handcrafted for your mouth,” Dr. Field says. “And placing them is something that takes years to learn—if you’ve heard of the 10,000 hour rule, it absolutely applies here.”

“There are so many steps to this process,” Dr. Veytsman explains. “I use magnifying glasses to see 3-4 times closer to be able to work through those micro-details that can make or break a smile makeover. You have to consider how this can impact not just dental health, but also the gum health.”

Why Veneers Are So Expensive

It’s important to acknowledge how “veneer techs” attract victims. A primary part of the pitch is that it comes in as seriously cheaper than real veneers from a real dentist. So, let’s talk about the expense of veneers.

The cost of a single veneer for a single tooth varies around the country, ranging from $900-$2,500. “That price includes the handcrafted materials, the temporaries, the placement, the X-rays before we start fitting anything, the years of experience we have, and the years we expect that veneer to last,” Dr. Field says. “We expect these to last 15-20 years; that’s all part of the investment.”

The other part of the “veneer tech” scam is claiming to be some kind of expert with oversight or credentialed authority—these aren’t people trying to get basement dentistry. “One of the worst parts of this is that these ‘veneer techs’ are positioning themselves as experts that you can place your trust in,” Dr. Field says. “And what they’re marketing to people as a genuine solution is analogous to getting Halloween teeth glued into your mouth.”

“Veneer Techs” are Dangerous

Unlicensed dentistry has serious consequences. “You’re risking the health of your teeth,” Dr. Field says. “The potential goes beyond just damaged teeth. There’s the risk of gum damage as well as these ‘veneer techs’ gluing over infected teeth, which can seriously exacerbate those issues.”

“We don’t even really know what materials these people are using,” Dr. Veytsman says. “Are they porcelain? Or are they an unstable plastic? Are the materials they’re working with really non-toxic? We have no way of knowing.”

Based on the recent arrest in Las Vegas, the potential for lost teeth has already become a reality for some victims of this scam.

Keep Yourself Safe

There is no Board that oversees the fake and illegal veneer techs. But there is one for dentists.

Dental professionals have years of experience, a real license to practice, and the expertise to restore your smile safely. While the price tag associated with dental work can sometimes be difficult to swallow, there are serious consequences to trying to take a shortcut.

“Even dentists will refer out to other experts if an issue is outside of our field,” Dr. Veytsman says. “It’s vital for the health and safety of patients for licensed professionals to be performing what they’re trained to do.”

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