Dental Care

Snap-On Teeth - An Economic Solution

What are snap-on teeth? If you have cracked, chipped, worn-down or discolored teeth and you'd love to find an affordable way to improve your smile, consider looking into this possibility. 

These relatively new dental appliances are reasonably priced in comparison to traditional dentures, veneers or caps, so for some they provide a good alternative. 

They're also much quicker and easier to fit.

What They Are

Essentially, snap-on teeth are "fake" teeth made of dental resin.  They fit over your natural teeth and snap securely into place, somewhat similar to a retainer. 

You don't need to use any adhesives, so snap on teeth are just as easy to remove as they are to put in. 

They are less cumbersome and more convenient than traditional dentures, and when made properly, they'll give you a natural-looking smile, not that unappealing, oversized "denture look."

Who They Can Help

A variety of people can benefit from snap on teeth.  Suitable candidates include people with worn-down teeth due to age or grinding, permanently discolored teeth that cannot be whitened because certain antibiotics were ingested during early childhood, and people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) who wish to prevent future damage to their teeth. 

Additional candidates include people who still have their natural teeth in the back of their mouths but have missing teeth in the front.  These people can use snap-on teeth to improve their smiles because the devices conceal the gaps that are obvious when they smile. 

They can avoid traditional dentures by simply attaching the snap on teeth to their existing back teeth. 

How They're Made

Your dental practitioner will begin by giving you a thorough dental checkup, including X-rays of your teeth.

Then, after discussing any concerns or particular desires for appearance you might have, a resin-filled metal or plastic device will be inserted into your mouth.  The resin hardens into a perfect impression of your natural teeth within a few minutes.

During the next step, your dentist will apply resin to your natural teeth.  After the resin is shaped into an attractive smile, it will be hardened into place with a special ultraviolet light.  This step allows you to "preview" what your new smile will look like.  After you give your approval, your dentist will take another set of impressions of your teeth. 

Then, the "before and after" impressions of your teeth will be sent to a dental lab.  A technician there will fabricate your set of snap on teeth in a manner which allows them to be snapped over your natural teeth.

Once your snap on teeth arrive back at your dentist's office, he or she will make any minor adjustments that might be necessary during a second appointment.  Your dentist will also teach you how to care for your snap on teeth and how to pop them in and out of your mouth.

The Advantages of Snap-On Teeth

Snap on teeth can give you a perfect smile at a fraction of the cost of traditional dentures, bridges, veneers or caps. 

Your natural teeth remain intact and unaltered, so no painful drilling is required.  The device fits into your mouth right up to your gums and hides any gaps and imperfections in your natural teeth. 

You can eat and drink with your snap on teeth in place, and you can wear your device all day (although you do need to remove it for cleaning and while you sleep).  They also snap into place like a retainer so you don't need any denture adhesive.

Potential Disadvantages

You'll need at least a few days to get used to your snap on teeth to the point where you're able to speak and eat normally while they're in place.  If you get them to wear at a special event, wear them for at least a week before the special day.

Unlike permanent dentures, bridges and caps, snap-on teeth are intended to be only a temporary solution for dental issues.  As such, they are typically more fragile than permanent dental appliances. 

Although you can eat with your snap-on teeth in place, dentists recommend that you stay away from chewy, tough and crunchy foods because they might damage your appliance. 

In addition, you must remove and clean your snap-on teeth thoroughly to remove any food particles and prevent discoloration.  

Finally, although they are less expensive than permanent dental appliances, they range in price from about $1,300 to $1,800 - a fairly high price tag for a temporary solution.

Discuss all your options with your dentist before you decide which direction to take.  After all, you'll want the best possible result.  Snap-on teeth are, however, an exciting new alternative to traditional dentures, crowns, veneers, bridges and caps.


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