These days it’s possible to buy just about anything on line: vacations… cars… diamond rings. Even a new smile. A quick online search turns up several different kinds of “cosmetic” teeth that you can purchase online, and have delivered to right your door. There are also ads for “snap-on” teeth that do require a dental visit, but promise “instant” results. If you want to change the appearance of your smile, should you consider buying these products?
The answer is no… unless you’re looking for a set of temporary teeth to go with your Halloween costume, which is how at least one of these outfits got started. Cheap cosmetic teeth look and feel nothing like natural teeth (or properly fitted dental appliances), and they don’t function like them either.
Look closely at the ads for those cosmetic teeth and you’ll see them described as “novelties,” “not therapeutic,” “theatrical,” and “temporary.” That’s another way of saying “fake.” They are made of plastic, and designed to fit (more or less) on top of your own teeth. But if each individual’s teeth are different, how can one product fit everyone?
Exactly. Some kinds of cosmetic teeth are meant to be heated up and pushed against your natural teeth to make them fit better – but most people say they need to use an adhesive to hold them in place. Because they fit over top of your existing teeth, cosmetic teeth look big and bulky, and make you feel like you’re holding something in your mouth. You can’t eat anything you want or sleep with them in, and it takes practice to speak without sounding strange. And if you’re thinking they might improve your romantic options… let’s just say that one website advises you to declare “no tongues” before kissing.
If worn for a long time, cosmetic teeth could lead to dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease (due to bacteria that can’t be properly cleaned off) or even bone loss (due to their poor fit). But you can’t say they didn’t warn you – after all, they’re called “temporary” and “cosmetic” for a reason. And even though they are cheap, most people who buy them feel they are a waste of money.
So what about those custom-fitted “snap-on” teeth? They promise instant, painless gratification – but cost thousands of dollars, and require one or more trips to the dentist. Look closer and you’ll see that the “cons” of this treatment far outweigh the “pros.” Like cosmetic teeth, they fit over top of your natural teeth, so they will feel big and bulky, and make speech and eating difficult. They are fragile, difficult to keep clean, and in the best case may last a couple of years. There is just one “pro” to this treatment: It’s completely reversible, meaning that when you’re tired of them, you can just take them out and throw them away.
The bottom line: No matter how inexpensive something is, it’s no bargain if it doesn’t work for you. Temporary cosmetic teeth are cheap, but will never look or feel right. And before you spend thousands on those “snap-on” teeth, you would be well advised to ask your dentist about much better options – such as properly fitted dentures, crown, veneers or dental implants. These time-tested methods are likely to cost a little more initially… but there’s no comparison in terms of their function, appearance and safety. Because they can last for years, these also offer true long-term value. Best of all, they can give you your smile back in a way that one-size-fits-none teeth simply can’t.
To learn more about dental plans, call one of our :DP AtYourService Customer Care Representatives at 1-800-238-5163.