If you're looking for an affordable and fast way to fix your smile, you may be considering clip-in veneers. Veneers usually bring to mind expensive dental procedures and potentially getting enamel shaved from your teeth. But these fake veneers can be ordered online and simply clip on right over your natural teeth, hiding any stains, chips, or shape irregularities.
But, are clip-on veneers any good, or are they dangerous? And what are the alternatives?
If you are wondering whether you should get this type of veneers, this article covers all these questions and more, including:
- What are clip-on veneers?
- Are they safe?
- Clip-in veneers cost
- Real dentists' opinions and advice
We do not recommend getting clip-in veneers online; keep reading to learn why. We hope this article helps you on your journey to getting a healthier and more beautiful smile.
Table of contents
What are clip-in veneers?
Clip-in veneers, also known as ‘clip-on veneers‘ and ‘snap-on veneers', actually date back to 1928. They were originally an invention by Hollywood aesthetic dentist Charles Pincus.
These veneers are fake teeth that snap on over your actual teeth with the goal of improving the aesthetics of your smile. People who use snap-on false teeth do so to hide imperfections like stains, cracks and chips, and sometimes even to hide a missing tooth.
How do clip-on veneers work?
Most clip-in veneers are like a mouthguard that fit over the top of your natural teeth. They should be taken out whenever you don't need them, like at night when you're sleeping. Depending on the quality, they may need to be taken out when you eat or drink as well.
Cheap clip-on veneers can generally be divided into three categories: customised temporary tooth veneers, DIY veneers, and universal clip-ons. Some dentists may offer snap-on veneer services as well.
The gold standard of clip-in veneers is Snap-On Smile because they are dentist prescribed. They are better than other clip-in veneers on the market because a dentist will assess your teeth to see if you're eligible, and take impressions of your teeth. The impressions will then be sent off to a dental lab and your veneers will be carefully made by dental technicians.
You will then have a second appointment with your dentist to make any final adjustments and to make sure they fit perfectly so your teeth and gums aren't damaged by wearing them.
Some mail-order clip-on veneer companies attempt to provide customised services. In these cases, there are generally three steps to getting your clip-in veneers:
- Order: Order your clip-on veneers online, and you should recieve an impression kit in the post
- Impressions: You'll take moulds of your teeth at home, and then send the kit back to the company
- Making your veneers: The company will use the moulds to make custom veneers for your teeth and send them back to you
Some of the better-known brands in the UK of this type of clip-on veneer are instasmile clip-on veneers, and Snow White clip-in veneers. While we don't necessarily recommend these brands, we do have a full instasmile review that you can read to learn more.
Other clip-in teeth veneers in the UK include the following:
- Secret Veneers
- Brighter Image Lab
- Fab Smile Veneers
DIY veneers kit
These DIY dental veneers are still slightly customisable, but faster, cheaper and less effective even than the first option. For these do-it-yourself, clip-in teeth veneers the steps are as follows:
- Order: Order your snap-on teeth online
- Fitting: Create your own custom fitting veneers by heating them in hot water to soften the plastic. Next, apply them over your natural teeth while they are still soft.
- Harden: Let your Snap-in veneers harden over your teeth.
Premade veneers are the most affordable option available. Simply order a standard set of cheap clip-on veneers online and hope that they fit your teeth.
How much do clip-on veneers cost in the UK?
The cost of your clip-on veneers will depend on the type you get. Customisable veneers will typically be more expensive than ready-made ones. These veneers cost roughly between £199 to £1000. DIY veneers can cost on average £20, and pre-made ones less than £10 in some cases.
Are clip-on veneers safe?
No, clip-in veneers are not particularly safe, or a replacement for actual professional dental work. They are simply a temporary cover-up for aesthetic imperfections in your smile. And, while that may sound harmless, it's not if you use these veneers to cover up problems like chips, cracks, decay, or missing teeth instead of seeking professional care.
Additionally, these veneers may even cause more harm to your teeth by exerting too much pressure on your natural teeth. Or they might rub against your gums and accelerate the deterioration of a receding gumline. It's also important to note that when worn too long, food and bacteria can get trapped between the veneers and your teeth, leading to decay.
Best clip-on veneers reviews
Let's have a look at some of the best clip-on veneers reviews out there, to see what real patients have to say.
Instasmile clip-on veneers review
Ellie Dawe reviews her instasmile clip-on veneers on her YouTube channel. She starts the video out by saying that she really doesn't like her teeth and shows us a before picture. Then she shows us the whole process, from making her impressions, to sending them off and getting her clip-on veneers back.
Halfway through the vlog, Ellie receives her fake veneers and tries them on. She tells us her initial impressions, that they feel really big and look extremely white! She also films her boyfriends first reaction, which was that her teeth looked neater but he was surprised when she said she would wear them outside.
The issues that she encountered included teeth pain and sensitivity on the first couple of days. She also couldn't eat with them on, even though she bought the set that was supposed to be OK to eat with. It is also very noticeable in the video that Ellie's voice is affected by the clip-in veneers. Her overall opinion seems to be that they are quite painful to wear.
Secret veneers clip-on veneers review
Lucy Ledgeway, a popular YouTuber reviews her Secret Veneers clip-ons, and takes us through the whole process. In her video, Lucy shows exactly how to make the impressions to send back to the company. Once she receives her veneers back she gives an honest review of them.
Her first impression is that they give you a lisp because the teeth on the veneers are so big. Lucy states in her video that she doesn't think they look good at all. The bottom ones are not so bad, but the top ones are far too big in her opinion. She says she regrets spending £300 on teeth that she will never wear and is going to get porcelain veneers instead.
What are dentists saying about clip-on veneers?
As you can see, we don't recommend clip-on teeth veneers, especially if you need professional medical attention. But you don't need to take our word for it—see what actual dental professionals have to say about clip-in veneers.
Dr Chrystle Cu, D.D.S. explains that snap-on veneers rarely fit well and can irritate your gums and your oral mucosa (the soft tissue inside your mouth).
“As a dentist, I'm not a fan of snap-on veneers at all!”Dr Chrystle Cu, D.D.S.
Clip-on veneers can make your bite feel off and cause jaw pain with prolonged use. And, as we mentioned before, they can increase the risk of developing decay.
Dr Greg Grillo understands the desire to want a perfect smile that gives you confidence, but he cautions that,
“If a patient purchases a set online, the product may not reflect the right size, color, texture, and proportions that blend with the unique facial characteristics of each person.”Dr. Greg Grillo
So, in other words, when you order veneers online, they probably won't look like your real teeth. He does acknowledge that they may provide some short-term benefits for patients who aren't ready to commit to permanent veneers.
Just like Dr Cu, he mentions that unlike permanent veneers, which leave no space between the tooth and the veneers, these snap-in teeth veneers can trap bacteria and plaque along the edges that can cause gum inflammation and tooth decay.
If you are intent on getting clip-on veneers, he recommends visiting a dentist who can make you a custom set at a lower cost than regular veneers. At least that way you will get some professional supervision.
Dr April Patterson has a slightly different opinion when it comes to fake snap-on teeth veneers. She says,
“I personally think that they are a great—very temporary—option for someone who is missing front teeth, or has damaged or broken front teeth.”Dr. April Patterson
She recognizes that it's hard to operate in our society with a sub-par smile. Dr Patterson does caution, however, that it's essential to maintain good oral hygiene and remove and thoroughly clean your temporary veneers every night, and she stresses that this is only a temporary fix.
She recommends that patients try to get real permanent veneers and that if they can't afford them, they consider third-party financing like dental loans or care credit, or save up the money over time.
Alternatives to snap-on veneers
The best alternative to clip-on teeth veneers is an appointment with your dentist to deal with any oral health problems you may have, and then to follow your dentist's care recommendations. This could mean getting actual permanent veneers, or in more severe cases, tooth extractions and implants.
Dr Cu says that in many cases you can get a brighter, broader smile with orthodontic treatment and teeth whitening—she specifically recommends Invisalign. Dr Greg Grillo also recommends permanent options for improving your smile, like orthodontic treatment, reshaping, or whitening.
You may also want to consider actual veneers. While the highest quality veneers are made from porcelain, you can also get composite bonded veneers that will still look great for a much lower price.
The cost of dental veneers will vary depending on the material. For example, the cost of porcelain veneers is higher than composite because of the labour involved and their longevity.
Have a look at the table below for a quick comparison of some of the best alternatives:
Replace missing teeth
£1,000-£6,000 (per implant)
Improve the shape, size and colour of a patient's teeth
£400-£1000 (per tooth)
Improve the shape, size and colour of a patient's teeth
£100-£400 (per tooth)
Straighten natural teeth
Teeth whitening treatment
Whiten natural teeth
Other options you may want to consider are dentures. Or even going abroad for your veneers to a trustworthy clinic, which you can read more about in our dental tourism guide.
Cheap clip-on veneers are marketed as a fast and affordable way to fix your smile. There are a variety of brands that offer them, with prices ranging from less than £10, all the way up to £1000. Some come pre-formed, and others are custom-made to fit your teeth.
While this may sound like a convenient way to get a perfect smile, the reality is that clip-on dental veneers seldom fit correctly. And they may even cause further damage to your teeth, gums and mouth.
Dentists, on the whole, recommend orthodontic treatment, whitening, or real permanent veneers instead of these temporary teeth veneers. And, if you have missing teeth, the best solution is to get an implant to replace the entire root and tooth.
If you are concerned about the cost of dental treatments, consider dental tourism. Getting procedures in places like Turkey, Spain or even Thailand can be much more affordable, and you get to have a holiday at the same time!
Or, if you need help financing dental treatment, have a look at our dental financing article so you can get the actual treatment you need from dental professionals.
Can you eat with clip-on veneers?
It depends on the kind of clip-on veneers you get. If you want ones to eat with, you'll need to get them from a dentist. They use higher quality materials and customise them to fit your teeth. This means you may be able to eat while wearing them (although you should always follow your dentist's directions).
If you buy your cosmetic snap-on veneers premade, or you mould them to your teeth at home, then chances are you'll need to take them out to eat or drink.
What do temporary veneers look like?
The look of your clip-in veneers will depend on the quality you get. Premade temporary dental veneers that you buy online probably won't look much like your natural teeth.
If you get a customised set from your dentist, they will be less noticeable than do-it-yourself veneers. However, only real permanent veneers or implants can truly be made to look flawlessly real—aside from your actual natural teeth of course.
We recommend straightening and whitening treatments to improve the teeth you have before you buy clip-on veneers online.
What are the best clip-on veneers UK?
The best snap-on veneers in the UK will be those you get from your dentist. That being said, an even better option than the best clip-on veneers are real, permanent veneers. Some dentists may offer to make snap-on veneers customised to your teeth. Another option is to get a combination of orthodontic treatment and teeth whitening to get the smile you want.
Theatlantic.com: Why does everyone suddenly have fancy fake teeth? Consulted 17th January 2021.