There are a lot of orthodontic and cosmetic dentistry treatments out there, and most treat one or two specific concerns. Braces correct alignment; dentures step in for missing teeth; traditional veneers cover surface imperfections. But what if your smile has more than one issue to hide?
Snap-on veneers allow you to cover your teeth — and any imperfections that come with them — with a bright, perfectly straight smile substitute. Instasmile is just one company offering these veneers. But is this a legit cosmetic cover-up? And is Instasmile a solid company? Let’s dive in and get to the bottom of things!
Table of Contents
Instasmile at a Glance
Instasmile is one of the oldest snap-on veneer companies in operation. Founded in 2012, it has a decade of experience under its belt, which goes a long way to inspire confidence. While it started as a UK exclusive, the company has since expanded to the United States, operating out of Chicago.
Unlike many clip-on veneer companies, Instasmile offers a range of products through their parent company, Smile Lab Solutions. These include night guards, retainers, and whitening products, making them a one-stop-shop for many dental needs.
As removable devices, Instasmile veneers do not actually correct any cosmetic dental issues. Instead, they conceal imperfections, fitting over the teeth and presenting a whiter, straighter smile. Some of the dental issues Instasmile can mask include:
- Slightly crooked teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Missing teeth
- Stained teeth
- Irregularities in the enamel
- Chipped teeth
- Small teeth
- Teeth with silver caps and fillings
Instasmile snap-on veneers are thousands cheaper than the multiple treatments required to actually correct these concerns. However, they aren’t a perfect solution for everyone. If you have active tooth decay or gum disease, you’ll need to get those treated before using snap-on veneers. And if you have crowns, traditional veneers, or fixed appliances like braces or a permanent retainer, you can’t use Instasmile products.
How Does Instasmile Work?
The first step is taking their smile assessment, a simple three-step quiz that asks about the current state of your teeth, if you want to treat one arch or two, and which veneer models are right for you. You then provide your shipping and payment details and select a payment plan if you need one.
After you place your order, Instasmile ships an impression kit to your address and a representative calls you to explain the impression process in detail. The impression kit includes everything you need to complete the process, including the putty mix, trays, and detailed instructions. Instasmile gives you enough putty to take two impressions of each arch and their trays come in three sizes, allowing you to select the correct fit. Once your impressions are done, take photos of them and your teeth, which you’ll email to Instasmile. If your impressions are good, they’ll begin production on your veneers.
About 3-6 weeks later, depending on if you chose express manufacturing or not, your snap-on veneers arrive at your home. Try them on, and if anything seems off, let the company know. If all is well, you’re ready to wear them in your day-to-day life.
Whenever you want to wear your veneers, just clean them and your teeth well, then pop them in. Depending on which model you selected, you might need to remove them before you eat. If you can eat with them in, stick to softer foods — they’re less likely to damage the veneers and easier to chew since snap-on veneers are blunter than natural teeth.
Pros and Cons of Instasmile
Instasmile is our #6-ranked snap-on veneer service, and they score 3.8/5 overall based on our review criteria. Although the company has a long history and many happy customers, it has both benefits and drawbacks. Here are the primary advantages and disadvantages of Instasmile.
- They offer their veneers in four different shades — more than most snap-on veneer companies offer.
- They have two versions of their product: one for occasional wear and one for daily wear, letting you pay less if you only want to use the veneers for special events.
- Their premium version can cover up to six missing teeth per arch, making them a good substitute for people who need partial dentures.
- Their sticker price is on the higher end for snap-on veneers.
- The majority of online reviews that aren’t hosted by Instasmile lean negative.
Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?
It depends entirely on your priorities. If you like the idea of choosing from a variety of shades and different wear schedules, Instasmile is worth considering. However, if you are more focused on affordability and solid customer reviews, you’d be better off looking elsewhere.
Snap-on veneers are an investment, and they directly touch your teeth. These two facts together mean that you want to be sure you are getting a quality product. So, what level of quality does Instasmile offer?
There are a number of dental-grade materials snap-on veneers can use, but the most common are acrylic and crystallized acetyl resin. Instasmile isn’t too clear on which ones they use. We reached out for clarification and they directed us to their FAQ page. There, under “What is Instasmile made from?” they state the following:
“All Instasmile clip-on veneers are made from high-quality, safe, and certified materials, perfect for creating the best aesthetic cosmetic detail. The materials have been successfully lab-tested for strength and color stability by a leading university and all Instasmile products are FDA registered, biocompatible, BPA & monomer free.”
Are these materials acrylic, crystallized acetyl resin, polyester resin, or something else entirely? We can’t say.
Some people want snap-on veneers that they can wear all day, every day. Others want something to spruce up their smile for big events or photo ops. Instasmile makes two different products: Instasmile Classic and Instasmile Dynamic. Their classic version is meant for intermittent wear while the dynamic version is designed to be worn daily.
As you would expect, Instasmile Dynamic is the more durable option, made from a thicker material and designed to stand up to more pressure. However, since you’ll wear them more often, they might need to be replaced just as soon as Instasmile Classic.
So, how long should you expect Instasmile to last? The company doesn’t give an exact timeframe. Instead, they state that the better you care for your veneers, the longer they will last. With that said, online reviewers commonly note the veneers last a year or less, with quite a few complaints about them breaking within 3-6 months.
At first, having a foreign object in your mouth can feel a little, well, weird. Snap-on veneers make the teeth feel thicker, changing how and where your tongue meets the teeth while speaking, as well as the sensation against your lips.
Instasmile customers note that their veneers are pretty thick, especially Instasmile Dynamic. This can be a big adjustment. Additionally, there are quite a few complaints of the veneers being painfully tight or too loose. While a little tightness is typically just part of having snap-on veneers, pain or a loose fit are problems.
This leads to another quality variable: slippage. If you ever watched home video compilation shows as a 90s or early 2000s kid, you’ve seen embarrassing clips of elderly relatives losing their dentures while eating, drinking, and speaking. Should your veneers fit too loose, this could happen to you.
Unfortunately, Instasmile reviews noted slippage more than those for most other companies. In our research, customers commonly reported that they have to continually suck their veneers into place to stop them from falling down. While the company does state that they will fix this, it seems like it’s a pretty frequent issue.
Snap-on veneers’ most enticing advantage over traditional cosmetic dentistry is their affordability. When compared to traditional cosmetic treatments, they cost up to tens of thousands of dollars less. So, just how affordable is Instasmile?
Instasmile isn’t the most expensive snap-on veneer provider; that honor goes to Brighter Image Lab. However, it does fall at the higher end for removable veneers.
You can choose to get veneers for both arches or just the top or bottom teeth, and this decision will impact the price, as will choosing Instasmile Classic or Instasmile Dynamic. With the classic version, you will pay $600 for both arches or $400 for one. The dynamic version costs $950 for both arches and $600 for just one.
The lowest sticker price for Instasmile is $400. While this is very affordable when compared to traditional veneers, it still might be more than you can spare from your budget in one go. Fortunately, financing is an option.
The specifics of Instasmile’s financing vary based on which version you purchase and whether you cover one arch or two. In all cases, they require a down payment but no credit check. Their financing does not charge interest and the post-down-payment balance is broken up over 12 monthly payments.
Dental insurance typically covers restorative treatments, but not cosmetic ones. While snap-on veneers can help to replace the function of missing teeth to a degree, they aren’t classified the same way as dentures, excluding Instasmile and other similar treatments from coverage.
Snap-on veneers are cosmetic appliances, so their appearance is incredibly important. Even if a company earns top marks in all other categories, if they fall short in terms of looks, they probably won’t cut it. For the most part, Instasmile produces pretty realistic veneers.
We already took a look at Instasmile’s materials when talking about quality. However, they also impact the veneers’ appearance. Many customers note that the material, especially for Instasmile Dynamic, is pretty thick.
Thicker material can alter the profile of the lips. Naturally, they sit against the teeth, so when the teeth suddenly get thicker, they can push the lips out and create a more rounded profile from below the nose to the upper part of the chin.
Thick materials can also make the teeth look longer. While a thicker material can add much-needed length to undersized teeth, for those who are happy with the size of their teeth, this can be an issue.
While many companies offer just one or two color options for veneers, Instasmile offers four. Customers can choose from the following:
- BL1 – Hollywood White
- A1 – Pure Natural White
- A2 – Light Ivory
- A3 – Medium Ivory
Some customers have bought both the Classic and Dynamic versions of Instasmile in the same shade and found that the Dynamic veneers’ thicker material can alter the color. If that concerns you, contact Instasmile to see if they can send you examples of how the color you want looks with both materials.
You’ve likely worn fake teeth for a Halloween costume or as part of a joke. And that’s the only experience most people have with them. It’s only natural to worry that your Instasmile veneers might look like plastic vampire teeth.
Good news: Instasmile doesn’t look anything like Halloween teeth. However, video reviewers state that there are times when they can look fake — like when they go up too far on the gum line. In cases where they match the gum line and create the illusion of division between teeth, they look natural.
Snap-on veneers are frequently called Millennial dentures because they can visually replace missing teeth — and in some cases, a degree of their function. However, not all companies handle missing teeth in the same way. Some can only cover a couple of missing teeth per arch and not all fill in the gaps the same way.
Instasmile does a great job here. Their Dynamic veneers can cover up to 6 missing teeth per arch — that’s nearly half of all adult teeth after wisdom tooth removal.
On top of that, they don’t leave that gap sitting empty, which can mess with the opacity of your veneers. Instead, they fill it with a fake tooth material, ensuring that the teeth all look the same color no matter how the light hits them.
You’re a busy adult. You aren’t looking for a smile enhancement that requires a lot of effort just to get out the door in the mornings. You need something that fits right into your existing routines. Like most snap-on veneer companies, Instasmile’s start-up process, production and shipping times, and day-to-day wear make for a fairly convenient experience.
The Start-Up Process
Before you can revamp your smile with Instasmile, you need to take impressions of your teeth. For most people, this is the most difficult part of the remote snap-on veneer process. Taking your own dental impressions can be tricky, and it is normal to get things wrong on the first try.
Instasmile offers pretty excellent support for taking impressions. They don’t just include printed instructions in the kit — they also require that you phone conference with them before taking your molds and provide clear video instructions on their website. Their kit comes with three different tray sizes, so you can find the right fit for the size of your mouth, and extra putty in case you make a mistake. And if you get into the process and feel confused, you can always reach out to their customer service team.
Shipping and Production Turnaround
According to Instasmile, production turnaround is 15 days if you select express manufacturing and 21 days for standard. However, this is just from the day they receive your impressions to the day they ship them. It doesn’t include shipping times.
Instasmile has headquarters in both the UK and the U.S. (in Chicago). However, some U.S.-based customers have stated that the veneers are made in Europe and shipped to North America. Their website does not clarify where the veneers ship from, so we cannot confirm or deny this. If it’s true, it means shipping might take a few weeks after they finish manufacturing your veneers.
One additional detail to note is that the company cannot ship to P.O. boxes. So, if you live in a rural area without direct mail service, you may not be able to purchase Instasmile.
Daily Wear Experience
Wearing your Instasmile veneers is pretty simple. Just remove them before bed and clean both them and your teeth before putting them in. If you choose the classic version, you’ll need to remove the veneers before eating and drinking to prevent damage and staining. If you purchase their dynamic veneers, you can leave them in while you eat.
Most reviewers who purchased Instasmile Dynamic note that while you can wear them while eating, your food options are limited. Overly tough or crunchy foods are too hard for the veneers to chew. However, soft and mashable foods are fine.
Like most snap-on veneers, Instasmile can initially cause tooth soreness since they fit snugly against the teeth. This can stress the ligaments that hold the teeth in place, resulting in sensitivity.
Instasmile itself states that their veneers do not hurt, but some users tell a different story. Many noted significant soreness, to the point that some were unable to eat with the veneers in place. While the discomfort often resolved in time, some customers found that it never subsided, and they gave up wearing their veneers.
Everything we covered above plays a role in how happy customers are with their Instasmile experience. However, some finer details can be easier to overlook despite the big impact they can have.
Guarantees and Warranties
Instasmile does not offer a customer satisfaction guarantee. While that might sound like a red flag, it is actually pretty standard for snap-on veneers. They will still work with customers who are unhappy with their products on the first go-round.
They do, however, offer a warranty. Previously, all their veneers came with a 30-day manufacturer’s warranty that covered manufacturing errors and fitting issues, with an option to pay extra to extend that warranty to a full 12 months. However, since October 12, 2021, they have pivoted to make the 12-month warranty standard on all their veneers.
If you’ve tried to repair or alter your veneers, or their damage is from something outside of normal wear, that warranty won’t cover them. Nor will it cover lost veneers or any products that fit and function well.
Instasmile allows for a maximum of two remakes per arch. If the veneers aren’t correct after two tries, you’ll need to discuss this with the company to see if you have further recourse.
Instasmile does not have a refund policy for their veneers, just the impression kit. To qualify, you must request the refund within 14 days of receiving the kit and send it back to Instasmile, unopened and unused, within 30 days of reception. As for the veneers, they will work with you to deliver a product you’re satisfied with, but they will not return your money.
We have to give kudos to Instasmile here; the knowledge base section on their website has a lot of great information that can empower customers and curious minds alike. Primarily covering cosmetic treatments their product can replace, the goal certainly is to make a sale, but the information is valuable.
They also have a wealth of helpful YouTube videos for any potential customers. Their tutorials on taking impressions are particularly useful.
Customer Service Responsiveness
With remote dental treatments, you don’t have a dentist providing support. So, customer service is pretty important. Compared to most other companies, we find their customer service responsiveness a bit lacking.
When you go to their contact page and click “get in touch,” you’re directed to either start a live chat or send a request. We tried to start a live chat but no one was available, even in the middle of business hours. The service then directed us to send a message.
About two days later, we received a response — not an ideal time frame if you’re dealing with an urgent situation. Additionally, the response wasn’t very helpful. It just directed us to their web page, which didn’t have the answers we needed.
But do they treat those who have already paid for their veneers differently? Based on online reviews, not really. There are a lot of complaints about their customer support, specifically noting that their answers are short, vague, and somewhat unfriendly. However, in all cases, it seems that they eventually resolved the issue.
What Are Instasmile Customers Saying?
You’ve got more than enough information to envision the Instasmile experience. But the best way to know what to expect is by turning to those who have already purchased and worn Instasmile veneers. Here’s what customers are saying:
- Being able to smile with confidence once more.
- Buying a little more time before they need to take on the larger bill of more permanent cosmetic options.
- Interest-free financing options that make Instasmile accessible.
Most Notable Complaints
- Poor customer service.
- Veneers that slip out of place.
- Issues related to shipping (slow times, no delivery to P.O. boxes).
Want to hear opinions directly from the customers themselves? Here are some of the most informative Instasmile reviews on YouTube.
Instasmile vs. Other Snap-On Veneers
Instasmile can be a mixed bag. However, it isn’t your only option. Here’s how Instasmile compares to three other snap-on veneer providers.
Snap-on veneers can boost confidence in your smile, but what about confidence in the product itself? You’ll have plenty with Shiny Smile. They are the best-reviewed snap-on veneer provider, bringing both a natural look and durable materials to the table. Just know that they only have one model, so you don’t get as much flexibility.
Removable Veneers USA
If you want to wear snap-on veneers long term, you need to consider the replacement costs. This is where Removable Veneers USA rises to the top. They state that their Premium Plus Veneers can last up to 10 years, meaning you might save money over time when you choose them. However, they only have two shades to choose from, so your customization options are limited.
Feeling nervous about diving into the world of snap-on veneers? Choose a provider that offers top-notch support like TruSmile. Their staff is almost always available and they work hard to resolve issues as they arise. However, like Shiny Smile, they only have one veneer model.
Alternatives to Snap-On Veneers
Snap-on veneers offer instant, affordable results, but they’re not the only way you can improve your smile. There are plenty of alternatives that could work for you, depending on your conditions and priorities. Here are the ones you should research before making your decision.
This is the cosmetic treatment snap-on veneers seek to emulate. Traditional veneers are thin shells that are fixed to the surface of each tooth. They offer a very natural look, especially when you choose porcelain over composite. However, they are very expensive, require permanent changes that weaken the teeth, and must be redone every 5-15 years. The tradeoff is that they can mask many concerns, including chips, irregular texture and color, and even small tooth profiles.
Benefits of choosing traditional veneers: They are affixed to the teeth, which means you don’t need to treat them any differently than your natural teeth.
Dentures are removable appliances that help visually and functionally replace missing teeth. While full dentures are not a snap-on veneer alternative — since removable veneers require some teeth still be in place — partial dentures are. They are custom made for each patient but tend to lose their fit after a year or two of wear, especially if the patient gains or loses weight.
Dental implants replace missing teeth with artificial ones that are as close to the real deal as possible. The dentist implants a root into your jawbone and, after the two fuse together, adds false teeth caps. The result is a smile that not only looks as good as a natural one, but also fully replaces the function of the real teeth.
If you have small chips and cracks in your teeth, dental bonding might be the best solution for you. This procedure involves applying soft resin to the teeth, which the dentist then shapes, hardens with a light, and polishes to match your natural teeth.
At-Home Clear Aligners
Clear aligners are one of the most popular ways to straighten teeth. They direct pressure against the teeth, which changes with each new aligner in the series. At-home aligners allow people to straighten their teeth without dental visits and for a fraction of the cost of in-office treatments.
Aligners aren’t the only way to correct tooth alignment; braces do it as well, and they can treat much more severe cases. They use an archwire and brackets to direct pressure against the teeth, steadily moving them into their ideal positions.
These are treatments you can purchase online, at the pharmacy, or at a big-box store. Completed entirely at home, they lift stains out of the teeth and can come in pen, tray, and strip form. Some include special lights that enhance the effects of the whitening solution.
Snap-on veneers from Instasmile can be a wonderful way to disguise the aspects of your teeth that bruise your confidence. However, they aren’t ideal for everyone. If you have active tooth decay or gum disease, fixed appliances, and certain types of restorative dentistry, Instasmile isn’t a viable option. Plus, if your goal is to make lasting changes, simply hiding your teeth won’t be enough.
Your ideal cosmetic dental procedure depends on your unique teeth and goals. Luckily, you have plenty of options. Take time to think about your goals and budget before making a decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do snap-on veneers look real?
This depends on which company you select and your definition of realistic. Some companies aim to mimic the appearance of real teeth as much as possible, while others go for the impossibly perfect look. Both can be great for the right person.
Can I eat and drink while wearing snap-on veneers?
It depends. For example, Instasmile has two veneer models: Classic and Dynamic. Classic is not meant for eating and drinking, but Dynamic is. Be sure to research each company’s models before you make your purchase.
How much do snap-on veneers cost?
Each company sets their prices, and those with multiple models will charge based on the product tier. You’ll also pay more for covering both arches rather than just one. The cheapest snap-on veneer company is Alpha Veneers — their single-arch option costs just $299. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll pay $2,495.00 for both arches from Brighter Image Lab.
Are snap-on veneers comfortable?
Many people experience a little discomfort at the start. However, after an adjustment period of about a week, the wearer grows acclimated to wearing them. There are, of course, exceptions. If you only wear yours from time to time, you won’t adjust to them. Also, thicker and poorly made snap-on veneers won’t be comfortable.
Can snap-on veneers straighten my teeth?
No. Snap-on veneers can hide gaps and crowding, but they will not actually move the teeth. If you find that your teeth seem to be shifting while wearing snap-on veneers, stop using them and see your dentist.
Will snap-on veneers give me a lisp?
Maybe. Some people find that their speech adjusts automatically, while others take time. In general, people who previously wore retainers or aligners have the shortest adjustment period.
How long do snap-on veneers last?
There is no guaranteed lifespan on snap-on veneers. Different companies and models have different averages. Overall, premium veneers offer more longevity than standard models, and the better you care for them, the longer they last.
Are Instasmile veneers the same as the DIY ones I can buy on Amazon?
No, they are very different. The snap-on veneers sold on Amazon are not custom-made. Instead, you heat the fake teeth and bite into them, letting them mold to your teeth. These are very risky. Some people have reported that the veneers got stuck and their teeth broke while getting them removed. The majority are poorly reviewed, and the ones with higher ratings are usually repurposed listings; scroll down to the reviews and you will see that they are all for a different product.
Is there a company offering snap-on veneers with in-office oversight?
Yes, Snap-On Smile. These are removable veneers that are offered strictly through licensed dentists and orthodontists. Just be aware that there are DIY products with the same name. Never pay for Snap-On Smile online. The real deal requires you to pay your dentist directly.