The medical information in this review was provided by our in-house dentist Dr. Gemma Wheeler.
The Instasmile clip-on veneers were tested by our co-founder Jon Love.
A Dentist’s Insight
Jon has reviewed instasmile snap-on veneers to give you an idea of what the process involves. Please have a read through before deciding whether or not you want to buy them.
I can see why people want snap on veneers. In theory, they are an affordable cosmetic option which should not damage the teeth.
I like that they are minimally invasive – they do not require drilling of the tooth tissue.
But instasmile clip on veneers are a direct to customer product. As a dentist, I can’t recommend these types of products, which are DIY dentistry.
This type of snap on veneer is not made by dentists or qualified dental technicians. You take the impressions required at home.
Here at Electric Teeth we have concerns about snap on veneers, which we discuss in more depth here. We want you to think about the possible disadvantages and problems that occur with these products, such as:
- Risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Unnatural looking veneers – the appearances aren’t always as good as suggested.
- Need for cleaning after eating with them in.
Jon has reviewed instasmile snap-on veneers to give you an idea of what the process involves. Please have a read through before deciding whether or not you want to buy them.
instasmile is one of the leading brands in removable snap on veneers.
With the reputation comes a price. The snap on veneers from instasmile will cost up to $1799 for upper and lower arches. This price is for a product that is designed to be temporary, but which can potentially improve the appearance of your teeth for a short period of time.
At Electric Teeth, we do not recommend that you purchase instasmile veneers. We advise against all direct to customer snap on veneers because of the potential for harm to your teeth and gums. These problems are discussed in detail in this article about why the internet is not the place to go for snap on veneers.
The best thing you can do is see your dentist for a consultation to discuss all the different options available to you.
Regardless of whether we think these are good or not, we have reviewed them so that you know what the process involves.
- Not a permanent solution – removable
- Natural teeth are not altered
- More affordable than permanent options
- Ideal for infrequent wear
- No dental visits required
- Documented and guided order process
- Temporary – Allow you to get an idea of what your teeth will look like if you invest in dental veneers without committing to the procedure or costs.
- Won’t know what they will look like until you get them
- Often look unnatural and artificial
- Relatively expensive for what they are
- Doing your own impressions can be tricky
- Platinum snap-on veneers are quite thick
- Does not cure issues long term
- Not a replacement for professional cosmetic dental treatment
- Increases risk of decay and gum disease if not cleaned well enough
Before & After
Here is a before and after an image of my teeth wearing instasmile Platinum with A1 colour shade and with the natural, rather than straight, tooth shape.
This snap-on smile costs $1,799.
Come to your own conclusion on whether you think they look good or not.
What is Instasmile?
instasmile is a brand of snap-on veneers or what some may call a snap-on smile.
They are made of a thin layer of tooth coloured resin that fits over and around your existing teeth.
They change the appearance of your teeth. Their aim is to give the appearance of being straighter and whiter.
instasmile is custom made, they are tailored to you.
Unlike real dental veneers, these snap on alternatives can be fitted and removed as and when you like.
The whole process is completed online or over the phone. There is no need to visit the dentist.
They make 2 products: classic and platinum.
Classic is for occasional wear whilst platinum is designed for everyday use.
How much does instasmile cost?
The costs will depend on which style of veneers you opt for and whether you opt for both top and bottom teeth or just a single arch.
|Top teeth only||CDN $699||CDN $1,199|
|Bottom teeth only||CDN $699||CDN $1,199|
|Top & bottom teeth||CDN $999||CDN $1,799|
You can pay for them in full. instasmile also offers the option of splitting the payment with 0% interest payment plans.
There are discount codes available, and the company runs it’s own offers occasionally too.
Types Of instasmile Veneers
Both classic and platinum products from instasmile cover the front 6 teeth. They can be designed to give your teeth a natural or straighter look.
Both can be used to cover missing teeth. Both options can give your teeth a straighter and whiter look.
The main difference is that the platinum veneers are designed to be the more durable option. instasmile say you can wear them more frequently and for longer periods of time without negative effects.
- Designed for less frequent use – a few hours at a time or for special occasions such as weddings, a party, an event etc
- Approximately 0.5mm thick (about the thickness of a fingernail)
- Can be worn whilst drinking
- Can be worn when eating soft foods (Not too often though)
- A 12 month warranty is available as an optional extra
- Designed for more frequent or daily use
- Approximately 0.7mm – 1.5mm thick.
- Can be worn whilst drinking
- Can be worn when eating almost all types of foods – Some caution required with particularly hard or sticky foods.
- Come with a 12 month warranty
Straighter looking smile
When designing a straighter looking smile, the technicians work to the longest tooth in the arch to achieve a straighter, consistent look.
This is because instasmile cannot take away from your teeth, they can only build the instasmile around your existing teeth. A small amount of length or depth may need to be added to some of your teeth so they are aligned for a straighter look.
Natural looking smile
For the natural profile look, the technicians will follow your natural dental profile.
A Detailed Personal Review
The following was written by Jon, one of the founders of Electric Teeth. He ordered the instasmile product to be able to review it in detail for you.
I am lucky to have all my own natural teeth.
As a teenager, I underwent orthodontic treatment to resolve some alignment issues that I had with my teeth. I had 4 teeth removed as part of this treatment.
I have no crowns, bridges or veneers and I have not had any cosmetic dental treatment completed.
Whilst they are not perfect, on the whole, they look pretty good. They are healthy and filling free. This would be an ideal candidate for snap on veneers.
I have had some relapse in the position of my teeth since wearing braces about 18 years ago and I would like them to be a little whiter.
I do feel the shape of my teeth in places could be adjusted to look a little more uniform and cosmetically appealing.
People missing teeth or with alignment issues would gain significantly different before and after results than I did. They would have more to change.
Edit from our in house dentists: it is completely normal and healthy that teeth move small amounts over time. As we get older, our jaws change shape and so teeth can become more crowded together. This happens whether you have had braces in the past or not. It is also normal for teeth to become slightly darker with age.
But not everyone likes the appearance of teeth that aren’t straight. Others don’t like teeth which are darker than a bright white. They could turn to snap on veneers as a way to change the appearance of their teeth.
I have to hand it to instasmile in that the process from start to finish was pretty slick.
It is of course in their interest to make it this way, but nonetheless, it was relatively straightforward. It included emails and even telephone calls to ensure everything went to plan.
Whilst I like things to be done online, the telephone calls are more useful than you might think. They are ultimately there to help you get the best results.
Within a few days of completing your order, the impressions kit is delivered.
The instructions are clear and well laid out. These are printed guides and you are linked off to a video that also demonstrates the process.
The kit and the documentation give the impression that these veneers are worth every pound you are spending on them.
I cannot fault the documentation, it made everything simple.
As good as the documentation is, it does not mean you will get a perfect impression the first time. I didn’t.
Take sure you take your time with the impression. Do not try to rush it.
Taking the impression is an odd sensation. You will likely dribble. Keeping your mouth open for that long whilst pressing on the tray to ensure a good impression is just a bit of a strange experience.
Once you have taken the impression(s) you have to take some photos and send them to an email address. They are then analysed.
Whilst my first impression wasn’t bad, it was rejected.
Rejected impression. Note the marbling/streaks in the middle.
My failing was that I did not mix the putty well enough. I left mine in the fridge for too long, so when it came to mixing within the recommended time frame I struggled. The putty had streaks in it rather than a uniform colour.
Again this process was relatively straight forward. Once rejected I was given feedback and was made to schedule a call with an adviser.
I was also asked to send in some photos of my teeth. The rejection email specified what images they needed and provided examples. I presume this was to help the adviser give additional feedback on the call.
Once we had discussed the failed impression I was advised to use the 2nd, spare set of putty to make a new impression.
Once complete, I sent it off again and this time it was approved.
Although they say approved, there is a disclaimer that they are never truly approved until they are physically checked back at the lab.
It can feel like a bit of an effort at this stage. It is not a seamless process, because you take the impression, take the images and then send them off. You then have to wait to see if they are approved or not.
Like me, you may have to do them again. Depending on how busy they are this could add another week to the process. Frustrating it might be, but it is all necessary.
What would make the process better, in my opinion, would be if you could upload the images directly to the instasmile website. Instead, you are sending them via email. It feels more logical to link everything back to your order/account within the instasmile system.
This is perhaps highlighted further by the fact that once your impressions are accepted, you then have to send another email to a different email address to arrange collection.
It just feels like an extra hassle. I don’t see why this part cannot be streamlined online.
That said, the emails were all responded to in a fairly timely manner and everything got completed as it should.
I had a courier come and collect the impressions and even though I had not paid for the express service, my impressions were approved, veneers made and delivered within 10 working days. That is pretty impressive.
From order through to final delivery was 5 weeks. It would have been quicker if I did the first impression sooner (I waited about 5 days) and if I didn’t fail that 1st impression.
The veneers came in a basic carrying case complete with mirror. This was placed inside a nice presentation box.
It would have been nice at this point to have been provided with some more instructions about how to fit, remove and clean them but I did not receive any of this, which is a bit surprising.
My initial reaction to the finished veneers before putting them in the mouth was wow, that is a lot of money for the small physical product I have actually received.
The colour also looked a little duller than I had anticipated, but actually, it is almost identical to what you see on your computer screen. They just looked yellower than I expected against the crisp white of the travel case.
Although I went for the natural shape, and it did say it would follow my natural tooth profile, I had thought it might be adjusted to cover up or adjust for some of the crooked teeth. But, it did not.
I didn’t want the teeth to be perfectly straight and square, but perhaps I should have opted for this option to get the more noticeable difference in my tooth profile. My fear was that they would look too square and too big for my mouth.
On first glance, these premium veneers look quite thin, but actually, they are much thicker than the classic option. Most noticeable at the bottom of the teeth.
On first putting them in, they felt tight which is a good and a bad thing. They don’t feel like they will slip out. But, it may also be a little uncomfortable for some, at least initially.
Now then, the big reveal.
Wow, I look silly was my initial thought in front of the mirror.
I also noticed at this point the lisp that I had gained from having these in.
My other half had a complete look of shock on her face when I turned around to show her.
With things like this, I know first impressions can be both good and bad and that you need time to adjust.
I have had these in quite a few times over a couple of weeks since having them delivered and I can’t say I am sold on them.
I have naturally large teeth that sit close together. In my opinion wearing these makes them look even larger and more buck-toothed than ever.
Have I gotten more used to them? Yes I have.
Has my lisp gone away? Yes, it has.
Would I wear these every day as intended? Most certainly not.
According to instasmile, these platinum versions are supposed to be fine to eat and drink with. I have no issues drinking with them, but I do not want to eat with them fitted.
You might ask why did I buy these premium ones then, seeing as that is a key selling point.
The answer is, for your benefit. To test.
I hoped I would feel more confident to try eating with them, and properly test them. But honestly, I don’t. That is just my personal opinion. I don’t want to risk my own natural teeth.
Eating something soft I am sure would be fine. But, I do not want to try eating something tougher or requiring too much chewing force.
I am not suggesting these would damage my natural teeth underneath, but I would rather not be the one to find out. I am sorry about that.
I have found that even after quite a few hours wearing them, I kind of find myself playing with them a bit. Chomping gently. Why? I am not sure.
Despite repeated attempts to get used to them, I just think they look silly on me and too unnatural. They look fake.
My other half still looks horrified to see me wearing them.
They look too big. These platinum ones feel too thick.
Because each tooth is essentially joined to another they look odd with a lack of gaps between them.
The colour tone is too consistent. Natural teeth, and even those that have been cosmetically bleached, look slightly different under different lights. There is more of a texture and subtle variations in the enamel tooth surface, which you don’t get with the material instasmile is made from.
I am certainly not saying it is all bad.
For some, this could be a radical smile transformation, but I can’t help but think many will feel a bit underwhelmed.
I think the classic will be a more cost-effective and enjoyable veneer to wear. Although this may limit the times you can wear them because you can’t eat very often with them in.
At $1799 at the time of review, for veneers for both upper and lower teeth, this is a fair amount of money to pay, considering the results.
$1799 can get quite a bit of professional dental work done.
Cosmetic dentists are like artists. They will work to create something you are happy with, gaining your input at various stages.
I understand it might be much more expensive. But here is also the chance to have a discussion with a professional about what it is that you really dislike about the appearance of your teeth. For example, to cover up teeth that are behind the ones next to it, you may only need 2 composite veneers, which will even turn out cheaper than snap on smiles!
Given that the platinum instasmile has only a 12 month warranty, I do believe the cost of the professional dental work will pay for itself many times over not only in durability but look and feel.
That work will last longer too.
Getting Instasmile – the process
There are a number of necessary steps to getting your new smile. Read on to find out more about how you get instasmile veneers, from start to finish.
The first stage of your journey to getting your instasmile veneers is to complete their online assessment tool.
This tool is designed to check if you are eligible for instasmiles products.
The vast majority of people are, but there are exceptions.
Whilst many will opt for the snap on veneers for both upper and lower teeth, you can select to have them for just the upper or just the lower.
You need to answer the questions honestly, based on the arch of teeth you are looking to fit them to.
If you suffer from any of the following you are not eligible:
- Severe Gum Disease
- Oral Cancer
- Loose Teeth
- Severe Gum Recession
- None or very few of your own natural teeth
- Even if you are missing a couple of teeth, or a tooth is broken, you may still be eligible, it just depends which teeth are affected.
The online assessment tool allows you to identify which teeth are missing.
Upon inputting this information the tool will advise whether or not you are able to proceed.
Although you do not need to visit a dentist to actually be eligible for and receive instasmile, it is advisable that you have a checkup to make sure you are not suffering from gum disease and recession and to ensure your mouth is healthy.
A dentist’s biggest concern is about the health of your existing teeth and gums. Our in-house dentist’s really do urge you to see your own dentist for a full checkup before starting the instasmile process.
“Whilst I understand you may want to avoid visiting your dentist, you should at least have a checkup before starting the instasmile process. A good cosmetic dentist will be able to help you explain what your exact concerns are about your smile, and talk you through any alternative options. We genuinely want to ensure that you get the treatment you want without any harm to your health. A dentist will also check that you don’t need any fillings or treatment on your gums. Personally, I can’t recommend you use instasmile. But, imagine if you choose them and are going through the instasmile process, only to have a filling and then they don’t fit anymore!”In House dentist Dr Gemma Wheeler
Choose your instasmile
If you are deemed eligible for instasmile you can then choose how you want your new set of snap on veneers to look.
This is the fun and most exciting part for most as you are now on the journey to transforming your smile.
You can select that they give you a natural looking smile. These veneers will follow the shape of your teeth and current dental profile.
Alternatively you can select to have a straighter smile, covering crooked teeth. In this instance the veneers are designed to be straighter and appear less crowded.
Once selected, you can choose between instasmile classic and instasmile platinum.
The key thing to know is that the classics are cheaper and designed for occasional wear.
Platinum on the other hand is more expensive and is designed for everyday wear. They say that you can even wear them when you eat and drink.
The last decision to make is the shade of the teeth. This is how white the veneers will be.
Your choices are:
- BL1 – Hollywood Bleached – The brightest and whitest you can go
- A1 – Pure White – The most natural white a tooth can be
- A2 – Ivory – Gives a more natural look to the teeth as if they had not undergone any whitening
- A3 – Dark Ivory – Slightly darker than the A2 ivory.
With your decisions now made, you do have to pay for them.
Just before you enter your payment details, you have the option of express manufacturing or extending the warranty, if opting for the classics.
The express service does incur an additional fee, but it gives you priority in the manufacturing process and means that the veneers will be made (not delivered) within 15 days of a suitable impression having been received by instasmile.
The extended warranty is also an additional payment if ordering the classic veneers. It comes included by default with the platinum versions.
The precise cost will depend on the options you have selected.
You can pay in full or you can split the payment, there is the offer of interest-free finance options.
It is at this stage that you can input a discount code if you have one for further savings.
DIY Impression kit
Within a few days of ordering, you will receive your impressions kit.
The kit contains putties and impression trays.
You get 2 different coloured putties that have to be cooled in the fridge. You may get multiple of each if doing both upper and lower jaws.
I had ordered both upper and lower, so received the most comprehensive kit.
It came in quite a large presentation box with some very clear instructions on the inside lid of the box.
Really important to make a good first impression….
Before you begin it is critical you have completed the following:
- Received an activation call from Instamile
- Read the instructions provided carefully
- Watched our online impression video
There were 6 impression trays provided; 3 for each arch.
Small, medium and large are the options. You select the one most appropriate for your size of mouth. It was medium for me, both for upper and lower.
There are then 2 tubs of putty for each arch of teeth. So, for me I had 4 in total.
For each arch you have 1 purple and 1 white putty.
There were in fact a further 4 spare portions of putty included. But these are not to be used unless you are advised to do so.
Once you have read over the instructions, watched the video and familiarized yourself with the process, you can begin.
The putty does need to go into the fridge for an hour prior to taking your impression.
I am not going to include all the steps and instructions in written form here, but the following video from instasmile explains the process.
This impression guide page also gives you lots of useful information.
The process is not natural and can feel awkward. Leaving the putty in your mouth for 4 minutes can feel like quite a long time.
Don’t be surprised if you dribble as you take the impression.
The best tips I can give here is to take your time. Don’t rush it.
Allocate some time to do this properly where you are not interrupted.
Be prepared and make sure you have read the documentation thoroughly. If you are not sure about something, check before proceeding.
Once you have taken the impressions you are not quite done.
You then need to take some photos of the impressions and send them, by email, to instasmile for approval.
The documentation tells you what angles/positions to take the photos at and what email address to send them to. You will need to include things like your order number.
Essentially this is a pre-approval process. They analyse the images and either approve or reject the impressions.
The last thing they want is for inaccurate impressions to be sent in.
Whilst it can feel like a delay in the process, it is a much smaller delay than if you posted them back, only for them to be rejected.
Essentially this is a very necessary step.
You should normally receive a reply within 24 hours (Monday to Friday) either approving or rejecting the impressions.
If approved, you will be advised on how to return them/send them back.
If you are rejected, you will be given an explanation as to why. Your email will be personalised with feedback and you will be asked to schedule a follow up call with an adviser before being advised to take a second impression.
All being well, the second time around you will be approved and advised to return them.
As I understand it, if you fail for a 2nd time, you will have to pay for further impression kits to be sent out. It is a relatively low fee, but they won’t send endless impression kits out.
My first impressions were rejected. Check out my detailed opinion piece below as to why and how I think this process could be improved.
Send your impression in to be made
If your impressions have been approved, you will be asked to send them in.
Do be aware that although the impressions are approved, final approval only takes place once a member of the instasmile team has physically inspected them in the lab.
I suspect the number rejected at this point is low, but it is possible.
I was asked to email a specific email address, with my personal information and stipulate a collection date, at least 2 business days ahead of the date I was emailing.
I had a collection booked on my behalf and an email was received detailing what to do next.
The biggest difference will likely be that you are asked to drop these off at a local post office/collection point, rather than have someone come to your door to collect.
You will be advised on the process.
Irrespective, you should have a mailing bag/pack included with the impression kit you received.
This is in addition to a small clear bag that has a barcode on it.
The completed impressions go into the barcoded clear bag and should be sealed.
This is then placed inside the mailing bag provided, sealed and sent off.
The impressions were collected from my doorstep on the specified date in my particular case. More often than not the impressions will be received by instasmile within 24-72 hours.
Receive instasmile clip on veneers
Once your impressions are received by instasmile they will be checked over and scanned into their system.
You will be notified by email whether they have been approved or not.
If approved, they go into production automatically.
If rejected, you will be contacted with further instructions on the next steps.
Unless you have paid for the express manufacturing process, the typical time it takes is 2-3 weeks for your custom made snap on veneers to be made.
Mine were made and shipped to me in less than 2 weeks, which is impressive.
The final veneers come in a carrying case, complete with mirror.
Once received, you can then begin wearing your veneers and hopefully admiring your new smile.
Fitting & removing instasmile veneers
The veneers have been custom made to clip around the teeth you have. They snap onto the teeth and are held securely in place by their bespoke fit and the clips that fit to the back teeth.
To fit them, line the veneers up with your teeth. Starting from the back, press them into place. Do not use lots of force. They should fit snugly.
To remove them you need to ideally use both hands, pulling down from the top of the veneers at the canine teeth (fangs). Gently tease the veneers from side to side until they come loose.
Avoid twisting or flexing them as this can damage them.
Using And Looking After Your instasmile Veneers
There are some important things to be aware of when it comes to wearing your veneers.
The classics are designed for occasional use whilst platinum are designed for daily. Make sure you act accordingly to avoid any issues.
You should make sure you remove the veneers daily.
Whilst instasmile say they can be worn for many hours at a time, it is important you remove them for cleaning.
These veneers are not designed as a permanent fixture, so please avoid wearing them for 24 hours a day.
A dentist would recommend that you remove any appliances like dentures overnight, and that should apply here too.
For the first few hours or even days of wearing these veneers you will likely have a lisp. This is because you have a foreign object in your mouth.
The lisp will go with time and practice.
Eating & drinking
instasmile say that you can eat and drink most things with your veneers fitted. It is however the Platinum veneers that have been specifically designed for extra durability for this very reason.
instasmile still recommend removing them to eat hard or chewy food to prevent any damage.
You can eat in a set of Classic veneers, but it is advisable to stick to softer foods and do so infrequently.
The problem is, whether you opt for classic or the more durable platinum, there are various factors that affect how easy it is to eat and how well the veneers will survive.
Your individual dental profile and the shape of the veneers both have an impact. Some will find it difficult to eat with them.
Food can potentially get caught under and around the veneers, so do be aware of this.
So, as with any appliances that you wear in your mouth (such as dentures), it is advisable to remove these after eating and have a quick clean to remove any food debris. Failure to do this will increase your risk of tooth decay.
Care & maintenance
Just because these veneers are artificial, does not mean that you do not need to care for them.
They need to be cleaned and stored properly for long term durability.
You need to clean after every use.
Remove them and rinse them out with warm water. Use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean all of the surfaces to remove any residue.
You do not need to use toothpaste or any soap on them. In fact, this should be avoided as toothpaste can be abrasive and slightly scratch the surface of the veneers.
If you wish you can use a cleansing solution/disinfectant such as those designed for dentures to remove hidden bacteria. Do this no more than twice a week.
Remember to brush and floss your own natural teeth and gums too.
You are provided with a storage case that will hold the veneers.
This will keep them protected from direct light, dust etc when not in use. It will avoid any potential damage from impact etc.
Do keep them out of direct sunlight and do not expose them to very hot or boiling water as this can cause the veneers to warp.
Do make sure you clean your storage case regularly too.
The instasmile Warranty
Both the classic and platinum come with a 30 day warranty which covers any manufacturing defects.
There is the option to upgrade to an extended 12 month warranty with classic if you choose.
The extended warranty is offered as standard with the platinum veneers.
This warranty covers everything that is not covered under the standard 30-day warranty.
This includes breakage, loss and accidental damage.
You get a maximum of two free arch remakes (eg. 2 x top or 1 x top & 1 x bottom) for breakage, loss or accidental damage of your product(s) during the 12 month warranty period, dated from when you receive your instasmile.
Really, this is more similar to an insurance policy than an actual warranty.
You may want to compare this to what is automatically available under existing warranty legislation in Canada.
Don’t be tricked into paying for an unnecessary warranty. If the product is as good as the company promises, it should last without needing replacement in the first 12 months.
What do other reviews say?
So far this review has been just personal experience and opinion.
Given that everyone’s teeth are different it is only fair to get the opinion of others.
instasmile has mixed reviews online. When you go to reviewing sites such as Trustpilot, Pissed Consumer, or Better Business Bureau you can see reviews from people who have tried the product. In these cases, the score by the company isn’t just from customer reviews, it is calculated using other information too, such as how quickly the company responds to complaints.
There are many positive reviews out there. I think this is because for many, they are quite desperate to achieve a better smile for a cheap price and without seeing a dentist. They don’t want to or simply cannot afford to go through the expensive cosmetic dental treatment that would otherwise be required.
instasmile offers a cost effective alternative which will change the look of your teeth.
Some of the results I have seen look more impressive than Jon’s experience. There are so many variables that this is perhaps not surprising.
However, not all the reviews are positive. Many people, like Jon, have found that instasmile don’t look good enough.
Many unhappy customers struggle with the impression too, needing to wait for additional putty to be sent through. As a dentist, I can totally see why this might be a stumbling process. Impressions aren’t always easy to do!
One of the biggest complaints after the poor appearance, is that the company are just difficult to communicate with. Unhappy consumers have difficulty getting any sort of refund. Bear this in mind when you are spending a lot of money with them!
When this post was last updated (November 2022) their average customer ratings were:
Pissed Consumer 1.2/5
Better Business Bureau 2.36/5
Should I Get instasmile Veneers?
No. At Electric Teeth we believe you should avoid instasmile. In fact, avoid all direct to customer snap on veneers.
But the question of whether instasmile — or any other snap on veneers — are right for you will ultimately be personal choice.
It depends on your expectations, and what your desires and long term goals are.
instasmile is something you might think about if you have a small gap or tooth missing. It might well be that for occasional events, such as parties, business meetings and family get-togethers, you want to cover up those gaps so that people won’t notice the missing teeth.
The look of clip-on veneers like instasmile might be acceptable to you.
But, there is risk associated with snap on veneers. You are guessing a little as to what the final outcome will really be and how good they will look when fitted. You also don’t get the longevity from these like you would real veneers. And once you pay out, you are unlikely to get a refund if you are unhappy.
These are not a long term alternative to traditional veneers or cosmetic dentistry if you are serious about altering your smile.
A Dentist’s Opinion on instasmile Veneers
From a dentists point of view, I do have some thoughts about instasmile.
When looking for snap on veneers, you should look for a product that:
- Takes a good quality mould of your teeth showing where the gum meets the tooth, and the shape of your teeth.
- A record of how your teeth bite together, so that the veneers aren’t in the way when you are biting.
- Pictures of your teeth and smile so that they can see the colour and shape clearly.
instasmile certainly meets some of these criteria. Ultimately I think these are one of the better companies out of a bad bunch.
But I still wouldn’t recommend that you get snap on veneers.
That said, I know some people will still want to try them.
I would always recommend you see a dentist before starting any sort of treatment, to make sure you don’t have any existing problems that could be made worse by snap on veneers.
Snap on veneers aren’t completely risk free, and you should talk through the alternatives with a cosmetic dentist so you are fully aware of all of the options.
Also be aware that these products fall into a grey area.
In Canada anything that is considered dentistry can only be undertaken by someone who is a registered dentist. The exact requirements vary between provinces. But each one will have its own Dentists Act, which you can find out about on the Canadian Dental Association website. Generally speaking dentistry would include things like taking impressions. There is no clear guidance at the moment about where snap on veneers lie, but I would urge caution given that there are potential risks.
If impression taking is considered to be dentistry, and only registered individuals can provide advice regarding this – so I would question who is providing this advice over the phone? Should you be trusting anyone other than a qualified dental professional when it comes to dentistry?
Secondly, dental technician is also a title protected in law, and is someone who should be registered with the GDC. Part of this is that their details should also be readily available for you. If this is not the case, then it leaves another unanswered question about who is making these products that are being put in your mouth? instasmile do not make this information available to you on their website. The makers of these products could be anybody.
Ideally the details of the dental technician should also be readily available for you. If this is not the case, then it leaves another unanswered question about who is making these products that are being put in your mouth? instasmile do not make this information available to you on their website.
The makers of these products could be anybody.
This lack of accountability can be a problem. There is no way of you knowing that the products being used are actually safe. You also cannot be sure about the hygiene of the products you will be putting in your mouth.
Finally, instasmile in particular are being dishonest on their website. When this post was first published (March 2021), they had this page:
The logo used suggests that instasmile is using US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “Approved Materials”. This may in itself be true. But, that’s irrelevant if the device itself is not registered and approved. On doing some research, I have actually found that instasmile are on a “Red list” with the FDA – the Import Alert 89-08. This means the product can be detained on import and may not even reach you. This is because it is considered to be a Class II medical device and has not achieved proper approval from the FDA. And let’s not forget the the FDA aren’t regulators in Canada!
Instasmile also advertise a BBB “A Rating”. The BBB is the Better Business Bureau, and you can find the instasmile profile here. You need to know that this is actually an A- rating, and that the rating has nothing to do with customer reviews. In fact the current rating is just 2.38/5. Don’t be misled by company logos.
At the time of writing this, instasmile also list the MHRA as a partner. The MHRA is the Medicine & Healthcare Products Registration Agency in the UK. The MHRA are responsible for regulation of medical devices. I searched their online database for instasmile and found nothing. I got in touch with the MHRA who confirmed that they have no connection with instasmile. Again, MHRA has little relevance to those in Canada.
In their T&Cs, instasmile list themselves as a British company and so should be following British regulation regarding dentistry. They state that they are not performing dentistry, but as I have mentioned this is open to interpretation. Briefly, I do not believe they are operating within The Dentists Act 1984 nor upholding the expectations of the General Dental Council (the british regulators of dental professionals).
I do not have all the answers here, but I wanted to highlight some concerns about who is providing these devices. These so-called cosmetic products do have potential to cause harm, and which, at the present time, are unregulated.
Snap on veneers are available to help you if you want a temporary change to your smile, but I would urge you to see a dentist who is able to provide a professionally made product and discuss all the advantages and disadvantages in detail with you.
How long does it take?
On average you are looking at 4-5 weeks from order to completion. This time may vary due to international shipping.
It is possible that it will be quicker than this if you pay for the express manufacturing.
Typical manufacturing takes 2-3 weeks and you need to allow time for the dispatch and delivery of the kit, your impressions etc.
You can speed the process up by being ready to make your impressions as soon as the kit arrives.
Do bear in mind that you need to allow time for shipping, which can add a few days.
Can you eat with Instasmile?
The instasmile website says that you can eat the snap on veneers in place.
Their full Terms and Conditions state:
“We advise that you can eat and drink whilst using certain selected products only. You must follow the product usage recommendations for the particular product model you’ve purchased. Eating and drinking while wearing the product is at your own risk. To avoid damage to the product, we do not recommend eating any hard foods, such as sweets, raw carrots or apples, or chewy food like steak. Some products are not suitable for drinking hot drinks as this will cause the product to distort. This is advised on the website. ”
In other words, with the classic veneers, you should only eat soft foods and do so occasionally. They are not designed for everyday wear and frequent eating.
The Platinum versions are designed for everyday wear and you can eat with these in. You can eat a wider range of foods, including harder foods.
But particularly hard or sticky foods can potentially cause damage to even the more durable platinum variants, so proceed with caution.
Also be sure to remove your snap on veneers and clean both them and your teeth after eating to ensure there is no food debris left behind.
How long will it last?
There is no fixed time frame for how long these will last. There is no definitive answer to this question.
The veneers could last many years if cared for correctly. It also depends on how long they are worn for, and what you eat with them in.
As you might expect those who wear them for a couple of hours a few times a week will likely last longer than those who wear them for many hours every day of the week.
They are designed to be durable and withstand regular wear and even eating with (platinum version). Things like eating will cause wear though.
Given the type of material, most users should get a couple of usable years from them.
In a professional setting, the type of materials I believe are used by instasmile would only be used in a temporary context – a month or so of full time wear.
Your bite, eating habits and cleaning routine all have a part to play in the life of the veneers.
Is everyone suitable for Instasmile?
No. Not everyone is a suitable candidate for this product.
Only people with healthy teeth and gums are suitable.
Those with gum disease, mouth cancer, loose teeth, no teeth at all and gum recession are not suitable.
Although instasmile will cover missing teeth, subject to how many teeth and which ones are missing it might not be a product for you.
Their online assessment tool will advise you of this.
Do I need to visit the dentist?
No, there is no need to visit a dentist to get instasmile veneers.
That said, we would advise you to see a dentist before starting the instasmile process.
It is also advisable to have regular dental checkups to ensure your teeth are healthy.
Are they safe?
Ideally veneers should not cause any damage or pose any safety concern. They are designed to fit around your natural teeth.
Because there is no regulation over these, we do not know whether they are definitely being made from safe materials.
We also do not know what qualifications the people making these products have. There is no way to know that they are being made in a safe and hygienic way.
It is possible that they can come loose or break. This would be a choking hazard.
They also pose a risk to your gum health. If not cleaned well enough, they will likely contribute to tooth decay in a similar way to wearing dentures.
Do clip on veneers look natural?
They are designed to look as natural as possible, but they will look better for some people than others.
You have the option to choose between straight and natural looking teeth as well as choosing the colour.
Your mouth size, shape and face will all have an impact. For some the brilliant white colour will look great, but for others it will be too much and look unnatural.
As best as they try they will never look as natural as cosmetics treatments by a dentist.
Will they stain?
The veneers are designed to be resistant to stains.
However, much like your teeth and real veneers, it is possible that they can pick up staining from food, drink and smoking.