This is a continuation of the previous blog post. John van der Mark, from the UK, had written a question, saying that he had discolored spots on his front teeth. While he realized that custom porcelain veneers from a dentist would be a great solution, they were very expensive. However, for about £700, he said, he could buy a set of veneers online, and was wondering if that was a good option, as opposed to having a dentist do composite bonding.
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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Continuing on from my answer in the previous post (Looking for a new smile, cheap), let’s talk about buying dental veneers online.
I’m not going to be as adamant about this as I was for the dental bonding. One big thing that makes these online veneers a safer bet is that they are removable, so if you don’t like how they look, you can just snap them out and you’re back to your original smile. I would say that if you have low expectations about how these will end up looking, you could be okay. There is no way a set of snap-on veneers could give you a beautiful smile. Think of getting an acceptable smile.
The best snap-on veneers option is called Snap-On Smile, and it is made under a local dentist’s supervision. I am more familiar with these, since I have worked with dentists who have provided this service. There are a lot of patient complaints because they were expecting a beautiful smile. As long as the dentist could tamp down patient expectations, they could have some success in providing this service. Read my blog post, Expectations way too high here for Snap-On Smile. Anything you snap over your teeth is going to make them look more bulky. And up close people are going to be able to detect that they are fake. But if you have a hideous smile, getting a poor smile could be an upgrade.
When you remove the direct supervision of a dentist who actually sees you as a patient, you’re going to have a reduction in quality. I’ve also noticed that with these companies who provide remote dental services there are a lot of patient complaints around customer service. A fundamental problem with these companies is that the dentists running them are operating at the fringes of dental ethics. They know that they can’t provide a quality service, but they bury that feeling because they want to make a lot of money.
I did a little research on one of these companies, Instasmile. They’re based in the UK, so maybe that’s the service you’re talking about. When you read the reviews of this and other similar companies, it helps to understand that in the interests of their own profit they are probably working hard to cultivate positive reviews, so you’re going to see positive reviews way out of proportion to the percentage of happy patients. There were 3 reviews on Amazon, all one-star. Amazon is better than some other reviews platforms at detecting fake reviews, so I’d pay attention to that. Another reviews platform shows 46% of reviewers recommending Instasmile. The Better Business Bureau shows 266 complaints. So are there some happy patients? Yes, clearly. But I would brace myself for a possible negative experience. If you can do that, it may be worth a try.
Another company that does this is TruSmile. They operate out of Panama City, Florida. Their reviews record seems to be a little better than Instasmile.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.