A Temporary Smile Design
The Snap-On Smile is a temporary smile design, made out of acrylic, that snaps over your natural teeth.
It can be used for special events, such as weddings or graduations, or it can be used to “try on” a smile design to see if it works. Or it can be used as a low-cost smile makeover to cover an ugly smile while you save up money to get something better. Don’t expect a beautiful smile from this, or you’ll be disappointed. Expect an acceptable smile.
How a Snap-On Smile Is Made
This product is made by DenMat, a dental materials company and laboratory in California. It is made out of a crystallized acetyl resin that is fairly flexible and durable.
DenMat is saying that it is tough enough to eat with it, and that it will last about four years. Dr. Marc Liechtung, the dentist who invented this product, has his own Snap-On Smile he has used for five years.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Keeping this appliance clean is a simple matter of taking it out to brush and floss, and then putting it back in.
The material is tough enough that patients can eat with this in the mouth. Be careful if you do this, though. The appliance will trap plaque and food particles and this can promote serious decay problems. This will hurt your teeth, of course, and also it will be annoying. Every time you eat anything, even if it is only a single potato chip, I recommend that as soon as you are done you excuse yourself to a rest room, take the appliance out, swish thoroughly, and put it back in.
If you have a question about the Snap-On Smile, click here to ask Dr. Hall.
Snap-On Smile Pictures
As you can see from these pictures, the result looks reasonably natural. We need to say that these are photographs provided by the manufacturer, and your results may not look this natural. In the before photograph below, you can see that this patient’s teeth are uneven, a little small, and a little dark looking. The added bulk of the Snap-On Smile doesn’t seem to be a problem for her.
Below is another case of what we would call “peg laterals”, where the permanent teeth are malformed, leaving the impression that there are missing teeth:
Cost of Snap-On Smile
We estimate the cost of this to be between $800 and $2000 per arch of teeth.
For a smaller case, involving just 6 teeth, the cost could be about half of that.
How Will Your Snap-On Smile Look?
How it looks is going to vary greatly according to the dentist that is doing it. The dentist needs to translate what the patient wants into a smile design prescription that is sent to the laboratory. The teeth are going to be a little bigger and bulkier. With some people and some mouths, that will be fine. With others, it’s going to look like too much teeth are in their mouth. And then the results are going to depend on the expectations the dentist creates. In no way is this going to be close to to a set of beautifully crafted porcelain veneers. But if someone has a truly ugly smile otherwise, this can give you an acceptable smile. If you expect too much from Snap-On Smile, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
This is an acceptable option for a temporary smile, for a temporary tooth replacement for dental implants cases, or for someone who needs cosmetic dentistry but simply can’t afford a permanent solution. But select your dentist based on your expectations. If you’re looking for a nice smile, you’re going to need to go to an excellent cosmetic dentist such as we recommend on this website. See our list of recommended cosmetic dentists. And I need to add that the problem with that is that many excellent cosmetic dentists will not offer this appliance because it will not create a beautiful smile that meets the quality of work they like to put out. If you want to spend as little money as possible and you just need something really basic, your family dentist could probably help you. We’re not going to give dire warnings here about selecting the right dentist, the way we do for permanent smile makeovers, because you shouldn’t be expecting perfection with this product in the first place. Plus, it isn’t attached permanently.
Please see our blog postings. We have a category with several postings about Snap-On Smile dating back as far as 2007, where we recommend this as a temporary, inexpensive fix for someone with spacing between their teeth, and we answer people’s questions, such as, how much does this cost? You may be particularly interested in a Snap-On Smile testimonial from a user that we received in 2010. We also have a Snap-On Smile complaint from another patient who was totally disappointed.
This content was written by Dr. David Hall.