Snap In Dentures
When patients are missing all of their teeth due to an injury or another dental issue, snap-in dentures may be a solution which should be considered for the replacement of the missing teeth. When compared to bulky and uncomfortable conventional dentures which are easily damaged and slip, snap-in dentures are more comfortable and offer more stability.
The procedure for snap-in dentures starts with the placement of dental implants or screws. The deceived are placed directly into the jawbone and provide a secure base for the snap-in dentures. For a majority of patients, two to four implants are placed in the top or bottom jaw. The number of implants which will be used will vary based on the specific needs of the patient and their budget. In some cases, up to 10 implants will be used to secure the snap-in dentures.
Once the implants have been surgically placed in the jaw, the implant-retained or implant-supported denture is placed. This type of denture may also be called an overdenture.
Based on the method which is used to create the overdenture and place the implants, it may be permanently fixed in place, or require regular removal for cleaning.
Snap-in Dentures – Benefits
The following are some of the primary benefits associated with using snap-in dentures:
- More secure solution. Conventional dentures require daily removal
- Do not slip or come loose when eating or speaking
- Improve chewing ability without food restrictions
- Enhanced fit and are more comfortable
- Secured with an implant, resulting in less friction or rubbing on the gums
- More natural in their appearance
- Implants stimulate the bone. Snap-in dentures aid in preserving the jawbone and preventing bone loss
Snap-in Dentures – Disadvantages
While snap-in dentures have multiple benefits, there are also few challenges which are summarized below.
- Procedure requires implant surgery. While the chance of complications is extremely low, there is a risk for infection and other potential complications which can occur following the procedure.
- Snap-in dentures are often more expensive than conventional dentures. In many cases, snap-in dentures are not covered by insurance and the cost is paid for by the patient.
- A bone graft may be required prior to the procedure depending on the amount of tooth or gum decay. An adequate amount of bone is critical to support the snap-in denture implants. When this additional procedure is needed, the time required for treatment and healing is also extended.
- As is true for most devices, snap-in dentures will eventually fail. While it is not common, the attachments can also become loose and need adjustments or tightening.
Snap-in Denture Cost
While dental insurance may cover a portion of the cost for snap-in dentures, this coverage does not always apply. Insurance coverage for treatment can be a critical factor in the evaluation of restoration solutions.
The dentist will provide a cost estimate to the patient before starting the treatment. In cases where two implants are required to support the snap-in denture, the procedure typically costs about $6,000. This cost estimate includes everything such as the implant surgery, all components, and the actual snap-in denture. It is important to note that are quite a few components which can impact the overall cost. The cost of the procedure is also impacted by the number and type of implants being used.
As with any denture used to replace missing or damaged teeth, in order to ensure longevity of the device, it is critical to be careful and follow proper maintenance instructions.
Before the snap-in dentures are secured into place, the gums, tongue, and roof of the mouth should be cleaned daily with a soft-bristled brush. Patients should also be rinse the dentures prior to brushing. This helps to remove any loose food or debris. To properly remove particles and debris from the surface, patients should use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a nonabrasive cleaner on the dentures. When the patient is not wearing the snap-in dentures, they should be properly stored in clean water.
Fixed Dentures and Removable Snap-in Dentures
In some cases, snap-in dentures are permanently attached and the patient is unable to remove them. Other types of snap-in dentures require regular removal for cleaning. Determining which type of denture is best can vary depending on the patient’s specific needs, preferences with their daily routine, and budget.
Some of the key differences between fixed implant-supported dentures and removable dentures are highlighted below. Removable dentures or implant-supported dentures are designed and intended to be removed. They are typically removed every evening for proper cleaning. Fixed dentures, in comparison, are a more permanent solution. They involve a different cleaning process and require a dentist for removal. Removable dentures are more likely to slip out of place than fixed dentures. Fixed dentures are securely attached using implants. Fixed dentures often require more implants or an additional component, making the solution a more expensive option.
Snap-in Denture Procedure
The procedure and healing time required for snap-in dentures can be quite lengthy. The first step of the process is placing the implants into the jaw. The implant then must fuse to the jaw and heal. This process typically takes anywhere from two to six months. Once the implant fuses to the bone, it forms a strong and secure anchor for the snap-in dentures.
Depending on the type of system used, a second surgery may be necessary. The second procedure exposes the implants and connects the extensions. If the implant system being used includes attached extensions, this step may not be needed.
Once placement of the implants is complete, a connecting device is attached. This holds the dentures securely in place. In the final step of the process, the denture is created and attached to the connecting device.
Snap-in Denture Candidates
Patients who are missing a majority of their teeth located on the top or bottom jaw make excellent candidates for snap-in dentures. The teeth may be missing due to an injury, decay, or periodontal disease. Snap-in dentures are also an ideal option for patients who want to avoid the limitations affiliated with conventional dentures.
Snap-in dentures are a permanent tooth replacement option which aid in restoring the function of the teeth through eating, talking, and increased confidence.
The snap-in denture procedure can take months or years to complete. However, there immeasurable benefits including an enhanced appearance, improved function, comfort, and stability. Contact your dentist today to discuss how snap-in dentures may be a great solution for your missing teeth.