The rise of services like Amazon Prime and Uber Eats has heightened the bar around instant gratification and it no longer applies to just books or food. Straight teeth normally take 6-12 months and thousands of dollars but for those who can’t afford the price or the wait, there are snap-on veneers.
The growth of veneers increasingly reflects the global reach of American norms: Americans tend to smile more frequently and more broadly than people in other countries. Studies show that Americans uniquely prefer nice smiles to clear skin, and 14% of the US population have had professional teeth whitening compared to just 3% in the UK.
As American media continues to penetrate international markets, this behavior is spreading. Smiles are becoming more universal, and it’s one of a number of factors affecting the demand for dental care. As more people start to pay attention to their teeth, the market has opened up to cheaper and more convenient alternatives to classic options. Demand for snap-on veneers is rising, with much lower price points than traditional veneers— as little as $9 for DIY versions on Amazon, essentially low-end plastic inserts that are similar to vampire costume teeth and are moulded into place.
Choosing cosmetic dental options has always involved tradeoffs. Braces, for example, work well—but they're also a visible sign that the wearer thinks their teeth were crooked in the first place. And both braces and invisible aligners take time while snap-on veneers have an immediate effect.
The circumstances of this product have led to a very unusual dynamic on Amazon: there are many listings with thousands of reviews but almost all have roughly two-star averages. When the price and wait time is so much less than the alternative, consumers are often willing to take a chance on a product that only appears to work sometimes. It also highlights the unmet need and that millions of consumers are willing to pay for a quick, low-quality fix.
There are also social drivers for people to pay more attention to their teeth. Photo-sharing is one element, but it's fairly easy to retouch photos. It's harder to do the same with video, especially live, so as live video becomes a growing staple of the average consumer’s life, the premium on pearly-white teeth grows. Ironically, this cuts against a broader trend: usually, software replaces hardware, but in this case photo-retouching software is being replaced by dental hardware.