If you’re missing all of your teeth due to a dental condition or injury, you may want to consider snap-in dentures as a form of replacement teeth.
Unlike conventional dentures, which can potentially slip out of place, snap-in dentures are more stable and versatile.
Dental implants or screws placed within your jawbone hold snap-in dentures in place. Typically, two to four implants are used in each jaw, although depending on the need and your budget, you may have as many as 10 inserted.
Once the implants are in your jaw, an implant-retained or implant-supported denture (also sometimes referred to as an overdenture) can be set in place.
Depending on how the overdenture and implants are created, the overdenture itself may be fixed permanently in place, or it might be removable for cleaning purposes.
There are several benefits associated with snap-in dentures when compared with conventional dentures. Let’s take a look at some of them and how they can help you make the right decision for your situation.
- Snap-in dentures are more stable than conventional dentures, which are made to be removable daily. They are less likely to become loose while speaking.
- Snap-in dentures improve chewing ability. People are able to eat harder and stickier foods.
- Compared with conventional dentures, snap-in dentures tend to fit better and are more comfortable. There is less friction on the gums as a result of wearing a snap-in denture.
- Many people consider snap-in dentures to be more natural looking than conventional dentures.
- The jawbone is preserved and further bone loss is prevented with snap-in dentures.
Although several benefits are linked to snap-in dentures, they have some drawbacks as well. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to consider as you make a decision about your teeth.
- Snap-in dentures require implant surgery. Although the complication rate is
relatively low, it’s still a procedure that will require at minimum local anesthetic in an outpatient setting.
- Snap-in dentures can be a costlier alternative to conventional dentures, and they may not be covered by your insurance.
- Depending on your level of tooth or gum decay, you may require a bone graft to support the implants necessary for snap-in dentures. This can come with an extended healing period.
- Snap-in dentures eventually break down. As well, the attachments may become loose over time and need tightening.
Your insurance may or may not cover snap-in dentures, which can be a deciding factor if you’re on a budget.
Your dentist can give you a specific quote before you choose this option, but for two implants, you can expect to spend on average $6,000 on the procedure and dentures. This price may be higher depending on the number of implants you need and your specific circumstances.
Regardless of what type of dentures you choose to go with, maintenance is the key to ensuring you get the most out of your investment over time.
If your snap-in dentures haven’t been screwed into place, i’s critical to brush the gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth every day with a soft-bristled brush prior to wearing them. Rinse your dentures as well before brushing to remove any loose food and debris.
A soft-bristled toothbrush can be used with a nonabrasive cleaner to eliminate particles from the surface of the snap-in dentures.
When you’re not wearing your snap-in dentures, they should be placed in water in a safe area until they are used again.
While some snap-in dentures are attached into place and can’t removed, others are removable. Your final choice will depend on factors ranging from your specific needs to your budget.
Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between fixed implant-supported dentures and removable dentures.
- Removable or implant-supported dentures are designed specifically to be removable. They are often taken out nightly by the wearer for cleaning. Fixed dentures are more permanent, typically have a different cleaning process, and can only be removed by a dentist.
- Removable implant dentures are more prone to slipping out of place in the mouth compared with fixed dentures, which are more securely attached to implants.
- Fixed dentures usually cost more because they may need more implants or an additional attachment bar to secure the denture in place.
The procedure for getting snap-in dentures can be a lengthy one, including the time it takes to fully heal.
To begin, implants are placed into the jaw. At this point, 2 to 6 months may be required to allow the implants and the bone to bond together, forming a strong enough anchor for the snap-in dentures.
Depending on the system, a second surgery may be needed to uncover the implants and attach extensions. It’s at this point that these temporary healing caps create the full foundation for the artificial teeth. This step may be bypassed if the implant system already has extensions attached.
Once the implants have been inserted, a connecting device may be tightened down onto them to hold the dentures in place. Finally, full dentures will be created and attached to the connecting device.
Keep in mind that each procedure varies depending on the specific needs of the person getting the dentures.
Those who are missing the majority of their teeth due to injury, dental cavities, or periodontal disease may want to consider snap-in dentures. This can also be a better option for people who don’t want to handle the drawbacks of conventional dentures.
Unlike conventional dentures, snap-in dentures are a more permanent solution that can help you eat, talk, and smile confidently again.
In between the insertion of implants and the development of your artificial teeth, it may take months or years before your snap-in dentures are in place. It can also cost thousands of dollars, depending on your insurance coverage.
That said, snap-in dentures come with several benefits, such as improved comfort and stability while eating.
Weighing the pros and cons can help you make the right decision for your oral health.