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Updated on September 15, 2022

Snap-In Dentures

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What are Snap-In Dentures?

Snap-in or snap-on dentures, like conventional dentures, are sets of artificial replacement teeth. They’re intended for people who are missing some or all of their natural teeth.

fixed implant denture NewMouth

Traditional dentures can sometimes slip out of place because they’re supported by the existing tissues in the mouth. Snap-on dentures are a type of overdenture held in place by a set of dental implants.

These implants are titanium screws that are surgically placed in your jawbone. They hold snap-in dentures firmly in place.

Snap-in dentures are secure, but they’re also easily removable so you can clean them well.

dentist talking to old man 1

How Do Snap-In Dentures Work?

Usually, two to four dental implants are used in each jaw. However, up to 10 can be inserted depending on your requirements and budget. 

The process for receiving snap-in dentures can be lengthy, including the time it takes to heal from the procedure completely:

  1. To start, implants are surgically placed into the jaw. At this point, 2 to 6 months may be required to enable the implants and the bone to connect. This process is called osseointegration and is necessary for implants and snap-in dentures to be successful.
  2. Depending on the person, a second surgery may be required to uncover the implants and attach extensions. These provide the foundation for artificial teeth. However, this step may be skipped if the implant system already has extensions (healing caps) attached.
  3. After the implant portion of the treatment has been completed, full dentures are made using a dental laboratory to attach precisely to the implants. This may take several appointments. 
  4. Once the dentures have been made, they’ll be attached to your implants for the first time. You’ll be given instructions on removing, reattaching, and caring for them.

The exact nature and steps of the procedure will vary from person to person. Your oral surgeon, dentist, or prosthodontist will map out the process according to your unique needs.

Traditional Dentures vs. Snap-In Dentures

Snap-in dentures have many advantages over traditional dentures. However, they are not always the best treatment option for patients.

Snap-in dentures use dental implants that are surgically inserted into the jaw bone. That means snap-in denture candidates must have little or no jawbone deterioration.

If you’ve suffered significant bone loss in your jaw, implant placement may not be possible without a bone graft. Traditional dentures may still be an option, as they don’t require implants.

removable denture NewMouth

Additionally, snap-in dentures are more expensive than traditional dentures. However, many patients are willing to spend more on dentures that fit better and offer a more secure fit.

Who are Snap-In Dentures For?

Snap-in dentures are suitable for people with missing teeth due to: 

  • An injury
  • Tooth decay
  • Periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) 
  • Being born with fewer natural teeth

Snap-in dentures may not be a good option for people with medical conditions such as: 

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • A history of radiation in the jaw (implants are recommended in these cases)

For those who enjoy the security of knowing their dentures will not suddenly slip while they are talking or eating, snap-in dentures may be an excellent option. Talk with your dentist if you think snap-in dentures may suit you. 

How to Care for Snap-In Dentures

Regardless of what kind of dentures you choose, proper maintenance and oral health care is essential in ensuring you get the most out of your investment. 

Brushing the gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled brush daily before wearing your dentures is crucial.

You should also rinse your dentures before brushing to remove loose food and debris. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a gentle cleanser to remove particles from the surface of the snap-in dentures. 

When you are not wearing your snap-in dentures, they should be set in water in a safe area until the next use.

How Long Do Snap-In Dentures Last?

Patients who wear snap-in dentures should visit their dentist regularly for checkups of their replacement teeth. Over time, dentures can wear down, and the mouth and jawbone can gradually change shape.

These factors may cause snap-in dentures to loosen and become ill-fitting and uncomfortable over time.

Can You Sleep With Snap-In Dentures?

It is best to remove your dentures before sleep to allow your soft tissues to breathe, just as you remove your contact lenses or shoes before bed.

If you occasionally sleep while wearing snap-in dentures, it’s not likely to do any harm. However, you must clean the implant posts every night and brush your dentures regularly.

If you never remove your dentures, you are more likely to develop infections, such as oral thrush (candidiasis). This is a fungal infection that can be challenging to get rid of.

If you want to avoid these types of infections, don’t make a habit of sleeping with your dentures in.

Pros and Cons of Snap-In Dentures

Snap-in dentures have both pros and cons when compared with traditional dentures.

Pros

  • More stable and robust than regular dentures (less likely to loosen while speaking and chewing)
  • Typically fit better and are more comfortable
  • Less bulky due to implant support
  • Better at preserving the jawbone (bone loss less likely)
  • People who wear snap-in dentures can eat harder and stickier foods than those with traditional complete dentures

Cons

  • Can be less natural-looking and esthetically pleasing than traditional dentures due to less lip and cheek support
  • Not as convenient or quick as traditional removable dentures as they require implant surgery
  • You may need a bone graft or sinus augmentation to support the implants, requiring additional healing time
  • Can be more expensive than conventional dentures (and may not be covered by insurance)
  • It is also essential to know that snap-in dentures eventually break down
  • The attachments may become loose and require tightening

How Much Do Snap-In Dentures Cost?

Dental implants are often considered a cosmetic (not medically necessary) procedure. This means your health insurance may not cover all the costs of snap-in dentures. This may be a deciding factor if you are on a budget.

Your dentist can provide you with a specific quote before you choose snap-in dentures. However, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars for the implants and dentures if your insurance doesn’t offer coverage.

The exact price will vary depending on the number of implants you require and your specific circumstances.

Summary

Snap-in dentures are a type of removable overdenture supported by dental implants. They offer more comfort and stability than traditional dentures but can also be more expensive.

Talk with your dentist or oral surgeon to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for snap-in dentures.

6 Sources Cited
Last updated on September 15, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Kutkut, Ahmad, et al. “A systematic review of studies comparing conventional complete denture and implant retained overdenture.” Journal of prosthodontic research, 2017.
  2. Oh, Won-Suk, et al. “Bone Loss in the Posterior Edentulous Mandible with Implant-Supported Overdentures vs Complete Dentures: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” The International journal of prosthodontics, 2020.
  3. Ülkü, Sabiha Zelal, et al. “Clinical Evaluation of Complications in Implant-Supported Dentures: A 4-Year Retrospective Study.” Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research, 2017.
  4. Van der Bilt, Andries, et al. “Mandibular implant-supported overdentures and oral function.” Clinical oral implants research, 2010.
  5. Krishnaraj, R, et al. “Implant-based overdenture: A review in patient perspective.” Journal of pharmacy & bioallied sciences, 2016.
  6. Bandiaky, Octave N, et al. “Implant-supported removable partial dentures compared to conventional dentures: A systematic review and meta-analysis of quality of life, patient satisfaction, and biomechanical complications.” Clinical and experimental dental research, 2022.
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