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A grisly new trend is emerging on TikTok, with self-proclaimed "veneer technicians" performing illegal dental surgery on unsuspecting clients.

The practice was met with horror and outrage by the dentistry community, with experts warning of significant danger.

Worse yet, scammers are giving out fake certificates who've completed just two days of "training" — a woefully inadequate amount compared to the eight years of education dental surgeons go through in the US.

"These people are literally going out there and destroying mouths," said restorative and cosmetic dentist Kishen Godhia in a recent video. "There's no way on Earth that you can learn everything there is to know about veneers in two days."

"This is 100 percent illegal, and we need to talk about it," TikTok user dani_bananni noted in a response video that has since gone viral and been viewed over 7.1 million times, bringing significant visibility to the phenomenon. "There is not a single person other than a doctor of dentistry who can perform veneers legally."

The trend, first spotted by Daily Dot, highlights some glaring inequalities when it comes to access to dental healthcare in the US. Poor oral health is a huge problem, with low-income, uninsured, and members of a racial or ethnic minority being far more likely to have poor oral health in the country.

Instead of referring them to affordable care via official channels, such as residency clinics at universities, which offer high-quality services for a fraction of the price of private care, scammers are preying on the less fortunate by advertising cheap and risky backroom treatments.

The procedure of implanting dental veneers involves placing coverings over the front surfaces of teeth using high-quality dental materials, such as porcelain. It's a cosmetic treatment that's designed to conceal imperfections, including chips and stains, that isn't without its critics even among qualified experts.

But when done incorrectly, filing away the enamel in a non-professional setting is extremely dangerous, especially when root causes for pre-existing conditions like tooth decay and cavities aren't properly addressed and are simply hidden — or worse yet, trapped in place — with veneers, which could easily lead to an infection.

"When you start chipping away the enamel and filing down the tooth structure, you are seriously risking tooth damage and nerve damage in your mouth," dani_bananni warned in her video.

"And this isn’t like a fingernail or a lash or an eyebrow, something that grows back," she added. "These are your teeth, and you can expose nerves and other things when you’re filing incorrectly. This is so dangerous."

The trend is wrapped up in an ill-advised, get-rich-quick scheme, taking advantage of those who need to make some extra money on the side. Videos circulating on the video-sharing platform are claiming that "veneer techs" are making up to $5,000 a week by offering such a treatment.

One video by an account called "Atlanta Veneer Specialists" runs through a purported $6,000 veneer course taught by Mauricio Soto, a Colombian entrepreneur who runs a YouTube channel called "Dental Veneers Academy."

One digital creator who goes by the name theluckysevenn bragged on Instagram that he had received a "veneer tech" certificate from a company called "Seven Figure Smiles," which advertises teeth whitening treatments and "composite resin veneers."

"There's no such thing as a veneer tech," dentistry student Kay Chung, who has a considerable following on TikTok, explained in a recent video. "Not only are they harming patients, they're making $5,000 a week, that's crazy."

"Are you a dentist?" reads a top-rated comment on a promotional video that has yet to get a response. Seven Figure Smiles also doesn't have a functional website and isn't officially listed under the American Dental Association's Find-a-Dentist tool.

Practicing dentistry without a license is a misdemeanor in some US states, with penalties ranging from fines to prison time.

In short, these clinics appear to be entirely illegal businesses that offer potentially dangerous dental surgery. Worse yet, they're charging thousands of dollars for the privilege.

According to Godhia, fixing any issues that may result from improperly implanted veneers could cost far more.

"Though it's fun to have a nice looking smile — it definitely can contribute to your overall confidence as a person — the most important thing is a healthy smile," Godhia said, stressing that it's a "luxury," not a necessity.

"You do not need veneers to have a healthy mouth," he concluded.

And it's not just veneers. Last year, a trend called "basement braces" or "DIY braces" made its rounds on social media, a dangerous practice that could easily lead to enamel damage and tooth loss.

More on dentistry: Woman Gets Dental Implants, Realizes They Do Something Wild in the Nightclub

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