One afternoon in 2009, I was browsing online and came across an article about DenMat?s Snap-On Smile. I wanted to find a suitable alternative for my patients who wanted or needed to improve their smiles but could not afford traditional cosmetic dentistry.
After speaking with Dr. Mark Liechtung, Snap-On Smile?s inventor, I began to offer it as an alternative procedure for my patients who declined traditional treatment plans, and since then, it has been received amazingly well. It?s a great option for opening vertical dimension for patients who cannot afford full mouth reconstruction, for replacing a partial denture, for simple cosmetic enhancements, and as a temporary appliance while a patient heals from an implant.
One of my teenaged patients was bullied in school because of her congenitally missing teeth that created large diastemas. Her mother could not afford orthodontics, so I fabricated a Snap-On Smile for her, and it changed her life for the better.
Another patient was a victim of domestic violence, and her upper anteriors had been knocked out. Living in a shelter, she had no self-esteem. Now, with her Snap-On Smile, she has regained self-confidence, and she was able to find a job.
These are 2 extreme situations. Many patients seek Snap-On Smile to replace a partial or for cosmetic enhancement. Others use it as a transitional appliance until they can afford veneers or crowns.
Versatile for Many Cases
I currently offer the newer Snap-On Smile Advanced for more complex cases, such as large edentulous spans or severe malocclusion with limited retention. Recently, I delivered an upper and lower Advanced case to a man in his late 60s who could not afford crowns or veneers. He was missing numerous teeth in the upper arch and he had a span of 5 missing teeth, so I was worried about retention. He also had a loss of vertical dimension. His lower arch was not any better, as he had numerous chipped and missing teeth. The result far exceeded his expectations?and maybe more importantly?his wife?s!
Tips for Success
Introducing Snap-On Smile into a practice is easy. I recommend attending a webinar or contacting DenMat to get started with a Comprehensive Starter Kit. Understanding indications and contraindications for proper patient selection is important.
With experience, I?ve established a routine and some guidelines:
Keep Snap-On Smile models on hand so patients can visualize the product. Place Snap-On Smile pamphlets in the reception area and educate the staff, so the entire office is excited about offering this procedure to your patients.
Make sure impressions have no bubbles or distortions. Get optional digital previews for each patient. All Snap-On Smile patients should have a full set of x-rays, proper cleaning, and comprehensive examination. Before Snap-On Smile is placed, all decay must be taken care of. Snap-On Smile patients usually maintain their recall appointments, because they know if anything happens to their natural teeth, the Snap-On Smile may not fit properly.
Snap-On Smile is unique because it is reversible, removable, and requires no alteration of existing tooth structure. The bottom line is: patients love it!