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Dear Dr. Hall,
I’m thinking about purchasing a Snap-on Smile for esthetic reasons and to prevent, as much as possible, the loss of tooth tissue. But I had my doubts about it looking natural. So I googled “snap on smile looks fake” in order to find possible comments about this on the internet. I found this post and your helpful answer. It’s great that such a knowledgeable doctor gives (free) advice!
First of all I would order the Snap-on Smile in the same yellowish color of my own teeth, and demand that the irregularities of my existing teeth are duplicated in the Snap-on Smile. I believe it’s mostly the whiteness and the uniformity of fake teeth which make them look so unnatural (like horse teeth).
Now, in the video ‘snap on smile part 2’ it shows the set of 6 small instruments with which “Snap-on Smile-dentists” can make subtle adjustments to the appliance. To make my snap-on look even more natural, I would be interested in getting the snap-on teeth flattened, including near the gums, and the “embrasures” and the vertical grooves between its teeth deepened. But, as you wrote, dentists “have an engineering mentality, and they simply aren’t artistic.” Therefore I would prefer to take my snap-on to a cosmetic dentist to get these adjustments made. Would a cosmetic dentist have the necessary instruments for a Snap-on-Smile? Or is the specific set of instruments needed which only Snap-on-Smile-dentists get? (Actually, I expect a cosmetic dentist to have even better instrumentaria! But I would like to be sure before I go ahead purchasing a Snap-on Smile, which, BTW, I hope my own “normal” dentist won’t mind me doing – I’ll ask him.)
Thank you in advance.
Your expectations with this Snap-On Smile are way too high, and you are headed for disaster with this plan of yours. I fear that you’re a budding cosmetic dentistry horror story. I’m glad you asked the question, though, because it gives me an opportunity to clarify this issue. Your question started as a comment on my earlier blog post where I answered Heather who said she was disappointed in her Snap-On Smile. I can see that while I told her she could get some improvement by getting a more artistic dentist to help her, I should have been more emphatic in my comments about the Snap-On Smile ending up looking bulky and not natural and her never getting to a beautiful smile.
We have had several dentists who are clients of our website design business who have tried marketing Snap-On Smiles. Some of them have quit doing it because patients are so disappointed in how they look. The ones who are successful in marketing them are better at tamping down patient expectations. We advise them to be sure to tell people they will NOT get an attractive smile, only an acceptable smile. The teeth will look bulky. They will not glisten like natural teeth. And while they may look natural from a distance, from up close it will be easy for someone to tell they’re not real.
And while you seem to be brimming with confidence that you can help your dentist get these looking just right, I would kindly remind you that you are not a professional, and some of your ideas are not correct. For just one item, whiteness is not the primary reason false teeth look fake. Monochromatic whiteness, with no variation in the color, yes, but I have made many sets of porcelain veneers that are nice and white and that even a skilled cosmetic dentist, from the front from twelve inches away, could not tell were not real. Also, your comments about how you are going to insist they be colored and shaped spell trouble for your relationship with this dentist who you think is going to make these under your supervision. And the dilemma you are in with your approach is that the more artistic the dentist you engage to do this for you, the more resistant they are going to be to your meddling in the process.
Snap-On Smile is for patients who have an ugly smile and want to upgrade to a smile somewhere between poor and mediocre—say from an “F” smile to a “C-.” DenMat’s marketing materials may lead you to higher expectations, but that’s their marketing. If that’s not where you are, you need to look into a different smile makeover technique.
– Dr. Hall
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