A teenage girl in Scotland recently made international headlines when she got more than she’d bargained for when purchasing a pair of snap-on veneers from an oral care website. The veneers were designed to fit over or “snap on” to the wearer’s natural teeth, creating the look of a healthy, whiter smile without having to pay the cost of more permanent traditional porcelain veneers.
But this young woman quickly found out that her brand-new veneers didn’t look natural on her at all. In fact, she likened them to the teeth of someone very famous: Mr. Potato Head. Thankfully the young woman had a sense of humor about the bad veneers and took to Twitter to share photos. The photos and post quickly went viral and were picked up by news outlets across the globe.
Here in the United States, Wexford, Pennsylvania-based Dr. Alexandra George says that while the photos of the false teeth are funny, clip-on veneers are no laughing matter.
“The problem with this type of product is that they are not healthy for the wearer’s natural teeth,” George says.
That’s because, for starters, wearing the clip-on veneers over natural teeth can increase the risk of trapping plaque and bacteria against the teeth.
“This can cause an increased risk of cavities and even bad breath,” says George.
Another risk? It could cause problems with your bite and the alignment of your natural teeth.
“Putting anything over or on the teeth could push them into a different position,” George says. “Even ever so slightly moving the teeth could change the way your smile looks and could change your bite.”
But what does that mean? According to George, changing the bite can lead to a long list of secondary problems, including uneven wear on the teeth; jaw pain; painful chewing; chips, breaks and cracks in the teeth; and more.
“Your teeth may not be in proper alignment to begin with, but moving them on your own could make them a lot worse,” says George.
So, what’s the solution? Cosmetic dentistry, says George.
“The concept of veneers is on the right track, but if you’re going to get veneers, you’re safer doing it the right way and getting authentic, professional porcelain veneers,” she says.
Porcelain veneers are bonded to the teeth and can change the shape, size and color of the teeth in a natural-looking way. They can hide chips, cracks, uneven wear and more – and they last 10 or more years. The best part? They don’t stain, so that bright white smile looks the same on day one as it does on day 1,001 and beyond.
“Porcelain veneers really are the gold standard. Anything else is just not worth the risk,” says George.