Snap In Dentures: Guide to Implant-Supproted Removeable Dentures

Dentures have been around for a long time. They’re one of the oldest, most well-known dental procedures on the planet.

For a long time, they’ve caused a great deal of embarrassment and discomfort for many wearers.

They often come loose at bad times.

They can affect the wearer’s confidence, and their ability to use their mouths properly.

But here’s the kicker:

Luckily for denture wearers, dental technologies have come a long way over the past few decades. Multiple methods have been developed to create more stable, durable, and reliable dentures.

Today we’re going to be looking at everything you need to know about one such development in denture technology: Snap in dentures.

What Are Snap in Dentures

snap on dentures picture

Snap in dentures are a type of removable denture. That means they aren’t permanently fixed in place and can be taken out at any time by the wearer.

The denture itself is a fairly regular denture. The material used, like any denture, will depend on your tastes and budget.

What’s different about snap on dentures is their use of dental implants.

READ MORE: Fixed Dentures – The Comprehensive Guide To Permanent Dentures

Rather than sit on your gums, snap on dentures “snap” on and off either the implants or to a metal plate connected to the implants.

How Do Snap on Dentures Work?

There are two ways snap in dentures can be used. Therefore, in both cases, magnetism is used to keep the denture in place.

Option 1 is that the denture snaps onto magnetic abutments (connecting points) that are attached to the implant itself.

Many patients like this option as it means less metal in their mouth.

Option 2 is that a metal plate is attached to the implants. This place runs over the top of the gums, and the denture snaps onto this plate.

Many patients like this option as it prevents the denture rubbing and bruising the gum.

Which option you choose largely depends on your personal preference and budget. Both options work equally well.

Snap on, Snap in, Is There A Difference?

Snap in dentures have quite a few different names — Snap on dentures, clip in dentures, clip on dentures.

There’s no difference in how the dentures connect to the implants. There’s no difference in shape or price or anything like that.

These all refer to the same system and are used interchangeably in this article.

READ MORE: The 5 Best Dentures Available on The Market (2017)

Snap on Dentures Implants

snap in denture pictureDental implants are a pretty major dental procedure. They present one of the highest achievements in the history of dental medicine and surgery.

Dental implants are typically used to replace a single tooth. Reliable, predictable, durable and long-lived, they’re the closest thing you can get to the look and function of a real tooth.

READ MORE: Immediate Dentures – Procedure Steps, Cost, Pictures

Over the years, dental implants have grown to support more than just replacing a single tooth. In addition today, several teeth can be replaced either with an implant-supported bridge.

Moreover, an entire arch of teeth can be fully supported on as few as four implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant has three parts. The main component, the actual implant, is a titanium screw that’s inserted into the jaw where a tooth used to be.

The second component is the abutment. This can take many shapes and types, depending on what needs to connect to the implant.

Lastly, the prosthetic. This attaches to the abutment and completes the implant. It can be a single crown to restore a single tooth, a bridge to restore a row of teeth, or a full denture to replace an entire arch.

What’s The Process for Dental Implants?

The first stage is to remove the teeth that are about to be replaced. This step has typically been taken care of by the time someone is considering snap in dentures.

The dental implants are inserted into the jaw after careful, computer-aided planning. Their positioning must be precise to give them maximum efficiency.

dental implants procedure

In fact with precise placement as few as four implants will support an entire arch of teeth.

Once the implant is in the jaw it will need to heal. The gum is sewed shut over the implant and it’s given time for the bone to fuse to the titanium screw.

After the bone has healed around the implant, the gum is reopened and the abutment is placed.

Finally, the restoration is attached. Sometimes a temporary crown, bridge, or denture is used until the final restoration is finished.

There may be one or more fittings to ensure the restoration sits properly and isn’t going to come loose any time soon.

Pros and Cons of Snap in Dentures

Snap on dentures present many great benefits to denture wearers, but they also have their share of downsides as well. We’ll start withe the positives.

Pros of Snap on Dentures

  1. The biggest benefit of snap in dentures is the increased stability and reliability they afford denture wearers.

Traditional, unsupported dentures can make life very difficult for people who need them. They can come loose in public situations.

While eating, while talking, while laughing.

The constant fear and anxiety that your teeth are going to fall out can have a very damaging effect on a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem.

READ MORE: Cosmetic Dentures – 5 Things You Should Know About

You might be wondering:

But by giving denture wearers peace of mind, clip on dentures can greatly boost their confidence in their day-to-day lives.

There are, obviously, the functional benefits as well.

  1. Clip on dentures aren’t likely to come loose and start rubbing against the gum. They’re not likely to cause bruises, grazes, cuts, or abrasions.
  2. They also improve the wearer’s ability to eat and chew food. Their ability to talk won’t be impeded by a full-palate upper denture that interferes with the movement of their tongue.

Cons of Snap in Dentures

No procedure is truly without its downsides, and for all the snap on dentures pros, there are a few snap in denture cons to go with them.

The two biggest issues are related more to the implants themselves than the actual denture.

  1. Firstly, there’s a markedly increased cost. We’ll go over the exact cost further on in the article, but suffice to say dental implants are not cheap.

A single one is already a serious investment, but four or more can be a serious financial hit.

  1. Secondly, dental implants are fairly major oral surgeries.

They involve general anesthetic.

There is pain and discomfort in the days following the procedure, which is made worse when you get several teeth done at once.

The pain and discomfort will subside fairly quickly, but you can reasonably expect it to be bad at first. Some people are luckier than others. Some are unluckier.

Who Can Get Snap in Dentures?

To answer who can get snap on dentures, you need to ask who can get dental implants.

Generally speaking, anyone with a healthy mouth can get dental implants. Patients into their 90s have been successful implant recipients in the past.

There are some major contra-indicators, however:

  • Smoking is a big one. Smoking greatly increases the risk of periodontitis or gum disease. This risk is simply too great when undergoing such a major oral surgery.

There’s also the fact that prolonged smoking can cause serious damage to gum tissue, because:

  • The gum must be in good condition to get dental implants. Severely diseased or damaged gums simply aren’t going to support the implant properly. There must be sufficient bone volume. Over time, the bone volume is lost. This is a natural process as we age.
  • If we have teeth extracted, the bone volume in our jaws will shrink fairly rapidly, regardless of our age. Combined, there are many patients who simply don’t have enough bone volume in their jaw to fully support the dental implants.
  • For some of these patients, bone augmentation and bone grafts can sometimes be successfully used to achieve the necessary result.

Your dentist or surgeon will assess whether you’re a suitable candidate for bone augmentation or grafting.

There are also various health conditions and medications which would normally preclude someone from any sort of major surgery, or put them at risk.

Any relevant medical conditions and medications need to be made known to your dentist during your consultation.

How Much Do Snap in Dentures Cost

There are two costs to consider with snap on dentures: the dentures themselves, and the implants.

The cost of the dentures will vary on a few things. It will change from dentist-to-dentist, for one. There are also different materials, which give different results.

Simple acrylic snap in dentures might cost as little as $400-$500, whereas more realistically detailed dentures can cost upwards of $1000.

Keep in mind these prices are per arch, so a set of cheaper dentures will be $800 while a set of high-quality dentures will be around $2,000.

Next, there’s the cost of the implants. A single implant can cost up to $2000 on its own. You then need to multiply that by the number of implants.

Sometimes you can get away with as few as two on a lower jaw and four on an upper jaw, but sometimes you need more.

Generally, implant-supported snap in dentures cost around $15,000-$24,000 per arch, that is, upper or lower row of teeth.

That means a full mouth rehabilitation with snap on dentures cost between $30,000 and $50,000.

How To Take Care of Snap on Dentures

Caring for snap on dentures is much the same as caring for traditional dentures. If you’ve lived with regular dentures for a while, you’ll find no surprises here.

1. Remove and rinse the dentures after eating. This will remove any bits of food from on or under the denture.
2. Clean your mouth after your dentures are taken out. Make sure to use a soft brush when cleaning your tongue, cheeks, and implants.
3. Brush at least once a day. Soak the dentures by soaking them and lightly brushing with another soft-bristle brush. You’ll be directed on the best non-abrasive denture cleaner to use to prevent scratches and damage.

taking care about snap on dentures
4. Get to your regular dental checkups. These will help make sure you’re keeping up with your denture cleaning and also catch any problems before they get serious.

It’s important to avoid:

Abrasive cleaning materials. Stiff brushes, strong denture cleaners and harsh toothpaste will ruin your snap in dentures.

Whitening toothpaste. These work in part by adding tiny abrasive particles that scrape staining elements off of teeth. These should be avoided when cleaning clip on dentures.

Bleach-based products. Bleach will weaken and discolor your dentures. Chemicals containing chlorine may erode the metal and ruin the snap attachments.


Snap on dentures are an excellent way for patients to improve their experience with dentures. They offer reliability and stability they may have been missing for many years or want to have from the outset.

There are costs surgical procedures involved. There will be temporary discomfort and pain. But in the long run, the self-confidence, self-esteem, and return to normalcy that snap in dentures offer to patients far outweigh the negatives.

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