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Using Temporaries to Preview Smile Makeovers, "Snap-On" Smiles and Trial Smiles


In addition to serving a functional purpose, temporary restorations also offer you a preview of your final treatment outcome. If necessary, you can ask your dentist for adjustments to provide the best possible lip support, teeth length, shape, color and esthetics. Your dentist will evaluate the temporaries for optimal comfort and functionality, as well as test phonetics and your ability to speak naturally.

Once you and your dentist are satisfied, a new impression will be made of the approved temporary restoration(s). The recovered cast model of your approved temporaries is sent to the dental laboratory, where your final restoration(s) or smile makeover will be fabricated according to this "blueprint".

In certain clinical situations, temporary restorations can be used to preview the final results without preparing the teeth. If you decide the proposed treatment is not right for you, neither you nor your dentist is committed to additional work. In other situations (such as removing tooth decay), your teeth must be prepared before fabricating the temporaries, committing you to restorative treatment.

Snap-On Smile

Snap-On Smile, also known as snap-on teeth and clip-on smile, is a patented resin-based appliance that snaps over the teeth to change their appearance. Snap-on teeth are easy to remove, flexible and strong, though the affects are temporary.

Possible uses of the Snap-On Smile include:

  • Natural-looking temporaries for crown and veneer restorations.
  • Increase the facial height (vertical dimension) of teeth.
  • Cosmetic removable partial dentures.
  • Long-term, removable smile enhancement.

Snap-on teeth also can help you and your dentist evaluate whether you can tolerate permanent cosmetic dentistry. Snap-on smiles may not be the best option for people with protrusive or mobile teeth. Similarly, they should not be worn to cover cavities, loose teeth or teeth requiring orthodontic treatment. Also, snap-ons are not recommended for people with a high smile line because the appliance won't provide the adaptation that is possible with crowns or porcelain veneers.

After a consultation with your dentist, he/she will take photos and impressions of your teeth. You then pick from different smile shapes and shades to create your own Snap-On Smile. In about two weeks, the company's laboratory will make and send your appliance to your dentist for final inspection, insertion and review of home care instructions.

Although not covered by most dental insurance, snap-on products are less expensive than some traditional dental enhancements. For instance, snap-ons cost approximately $1,000 to $3,000; this is equivalent to the approximate cost of two veneers.

Trial Smiles

A Trial Smile is a removable acrylic device used during the pre-treatment stage to give you and your dental team a clearer understanding of the expectations for the final outcome. To allow you to see the potential outcome of the proposed restoration in three-dimensional form, a diagnostic wax-up is created, and a removable trial smile that you can wear in your mouth is then made from this wax-up.

A Trial Smile is fabricated using cold curing acrylic. Once the Trial Smile is shaped, texturized and glazed, it is placed in your mouth. This allows you to instantly visualize, feel and test the outcome of your new smile before undergoing tooth preparation. If you like the anticipated result, you can choose to proceed with the treatment plan. Once you accept treatment, the next step is to receive temporaries for the teeth involved.

A Trial Smile, typically used with veneer restoration cases, can be worn up to a few days. The cost starts at around $500, but the extent of your treatment will determine the final cost. Discuss the specifics of your case with your dentist.


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