Snap-on veneers are enjoying viral popularity, but if you’re thinking about buying them in lieu of real porcelain veneers, you’re going to be disappointed. In a worst-case scenario, you might even be compromising your oral health. But what exactly are snap-on veneers, and why are they such a bad choice for concealing tooth imperfections?
What Are Snap-On Veneers?
Snap-on veneers, alternatively called no-dentist veneers or clip-on veneers, are a type of cosmetic device that snaps onto your natural teeth to hide stains, discolored teeth, chips, and other common problems. Unlike dentures, crowns, and other restorative devices, they require sturdy teeth to fit over. They’re a cosmetic dentistry solution, much like traditional porcelain veneers—but without the quality, longevity, and natural appearance of porcelain.
No-dentist veneers are popping up on Amazon and elsewhere online, and some dentists are even promoting custom veneers that work the same way. While each product is different, these temporary veneers generally involve a combination of pressure and hot water. Use hot water to soften the plastic, then place the veneers over your teeth and allow them to harden. When you’re ready to remove or readjust them, just apply more hot water.
Benefits of Snap-On Veneers
The main benefit of no-dentist veneers is obvious: They are inexpensive. Whereas a professional porcelain veneer can range between $950 to $2,500, a full set of snap-on veneers can be purchased for around $30 - sometimes less. A more professionally constructed set of clip-on veneers may cost $200 to $250, but it’s still a far cry from what you’ll pay for a professional porcelain veneers treatment.
Another major benefit of removable veneers is that they’re temporary, as opposed to porcelain veneers, which are an irreversible procedure. You can insert them and remove them as you please, and you’re not committed to them. You’re still free to pursue other treatments—like braces or Invisalign—down the line.
Finally, clip on veneers require no tooth shaving. In most cases, they require no dental intervention aside from a possible fitting. A traditional porcelain veneer treatment will require the dentist to shave a thin layer of tooth enamel—usually about .5mm—to make room for the cap. While dentists take great care to minimize discomfort and prevent major changes to the tooth structure, this may still be a deterrent to patients who are fearful of the dentist’s chair.
Why Snap-On Veneers Are a Bad Investment
While snap-on veneers may cover up some major surface imperfections, they’re extremely limited in several ways:
They’re completely unregulated. Because there is no dentist oversight in most cases, there are valid concerns regarding safety and effectiveness.
Most are one-size-fits-all, and it’s rare to find an off-the-shelf model that fits well.
Because they fit over your natural teeth without the removal of enamel, they can have a large, pronounced, unnatural appearance. The unnatural fit may also result in altered or slurred speech, especially in the beginning.
Most are made of cheap plastic or resin. They can break easily and are often not suitable for wearing while eating.
Because hot water softens the plastic, you generally won't be able to consume hot beverages like coffee while wearing your snap-on veneers.
Snap-on veneers may promote tooth decay in healthy teeth. This is one of the biggest and most serious concerns, as food particles and plaque can get lodged between the tooth surface and the temporary veneer, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and making it easy for tooth decay to set in. Optimal oral hygiene is essential.
In short, snap-on veneers may be inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. These tooth coverings can negatively affect your smile, your natural teeth, and even your speech. For the best results, traditional veneers are a much better investment.
Alternatives to No-Dentist Veneers
Porcelain veneers are the best cosmetic solution for misaligned teeth, damaged teeth, stained teeth, spaces between teeth, or similar aesthetic issues. Porcelain material is practically stain-proof, it closely resembles natural tooth enamel, and porcelain veneers can provide you with a natural look and feel for up to 20 years. When you consider the lifetime cost of ownership, the cost isn’t as high as it may seem up front.
If you’re still concerned about the cost or the procedure itself, alternatives do exist. And each one is far superior to cheap snap-on veneers.
Composite resin veneers. These dental veneers are made from a tooth-colored resin that’s placed directly over the tooth, often without the need for shaving. They usually cost between $250 and $1,500 per tooth, making them more affordable than porcelain veneers. While composite veneers aren’t as good as porcelain veneers, they are still infinitely superior to temporary snap-on veneers.
No-prep veneers. No-prep dental veneers are made from a razor-thin ceramic material that’s placed over the tooth without the need for tooth preparation (shaving). Like composite, these types of veneers are more cost-effective than porcelain ($800 to $2,000 per tooth based on industry averages) and can be placed in fewer appointments. Because of their ultra-thin design, though, they’re not quite as durable as porcelain.
If you’re seeking no-dentist veneers because your teeth aren’t strong enough to support permanent porcelain veneers, you should also speak to your dentist about crowns and bridges. They can provide the same aesthetic benefits while reinforcing your natural teeth.
Don’t Compromise When It Comes to Veneers
Choosing the right type of veneer is imperative. If you’re considering snap-on veneers, or if you’ve already tried snap-ons and have been disappointed with the results, we encourage you to look into the benefits of permanent porcelain veneers. Financing options are available, and the procedure is quick and minimally invasive when carried out by a qualified cosmetic dentist.
Once your new veneers are placed, you’ll see and feel the difference immediately. When it comes to your teeth, you should never make compromises.