With National Smile Month just behind us, I was shocked (but not surprised) at the most recent statistics. Approximately 74% of adults in the UK have had a tooth extracted. What’s going on? Why do Brits have such bad teeth?
British teeth are often ridiculed; just think of Austin Powers! But it really is no joke that our teeth are rotting.
Oral Health Foundation: Oral Health Statistics 2022
Clip-on veneers — also referred to as clip-on teeth — are a lucrative industry. More and more companies are springing up selling cheap and more expensive custom-made versions. Custom-made clip-on veneers and teeth are made using an at-home impression kit sent to your home.
You then receive your snap-on veneers covering your natural teeth to hide cracks, chips, and missing teeth. Some more expensive options can remain in place when you eat or drink. I asked Gareth Stephen Edwards, Principal Dentist and Co-Owner of Smile Stories, for his view on clip-on veneers and the state of British teeth.
Q. Thanks for giving me your time Gareth. First of all, can I ask the worst things you have seen people do when they have teeth problems, instead of visiting a dentist?
A. People often come to us when things have got really bad, a tooth is wobbly or has fallen out, they have gum disease, and are often in pain. Patients have come in with home-done fillings or teeth they have superglued back in.
Q. Clip-on veneers and clip-on teeth seem to be more popular than ever. Prices for the higher quality custom-made ones seem to range anywhere from £200 to £800. Why do you think they are so popular?
A. They offer a quick solution and many people are afraid to go to the dentist when their teeth are in a bad state. Adverts on social media have also promoted clip-on veneers and teeth, increasing awareness of these products.
Q. Are clip-on veneers and clip-on teeth a cheaper option?
In general, clip-on veneers or teeth are less expensive than extensive dental treatment, although this is not always the case with the more expensive options. Many dentists push veneers because they can be more profitable for them. But other options, such as repairing chipped teeth with composite bonding, can be extremely effective and a lot less expensive. In fact, if you only need small chips repaired, it will probably cost you less than many clip-on veneers.
Q. Do you think the popularity of clip-on veneers and teeth is causing a rise in gum disease and tooth loss?
A. Without a doubt! Gum disease is a really serious issue and almost half of UK adults have a severe form of gum disease called irreversible periodontitis (5). To stop gum disease from progressing to this stage, it is critical to have your teeth cleaned at the dentist at least once every 12 months. When people start using clip-on veneers and teeth, they no longer feel concerned about how their real teeth look and are more likely to not go to the dentist.
Q. But if you can’t get seen by an NHS dentist or afford to pay to see a private dentist, what on Earth should you do?
A. Do not waste money on clip-on veneers and teeth. And never try to fill your own teeth with an online temporary filling kit. And do not use super glue to glue in a tooth that has fallen out! Teeth that have holes are rotting from the inside and just packing the hole will probably make them rot even faster. If you have had a tooth fall out, then it is highly likely you have gum disease and if you ignore it, you are almost guaranteed to lose more teeth.
Many private dentists will be able to offer a payment plan with interest-free credit. So the first thing to do is look online to see if you can find a dentist and ask about payment plans and if they offer interest-free credit. Remember, the sooner you go to a dentist, the less it will cost in the long run. Gums can recover from gum disease and teeth implants can last for a lifetime if looked after properly.
Maybe you want clip-on veneers or teeth for a special day like your wedding, or because you are looking for a new dentist? But do they actually look like real teeth?
We read the reviews, good and bad, to find out what real people were saying. Don’t forget influencers who promote products on social media are paid!
Reviews of clip-on veneers were either excellent or terrible. When you look at reviews overall, the feedback was not positive. Many people said they spent around £400 and ended up with clip-on veneers that looked fake. Some people did rave about them, but they were few and far between. If you really want to try them, just be warned they will never look as good as your natural teeth can with the right dental treatment!