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.
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 like snap on dentures.
What Are Snap in Dentures
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 reasonably 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.
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.
Pros and Cons of Snap in Dentures
Snap on dentures present many significant benefits to denture wearers, but they also have their share of downsides as well. We’ll start with the positives.
- The most significant 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.
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.
- Dentures aren’t likely to come loose and start rubbing against the gum. They’re not likely to cause bruises, grazes, cuts, or abrasions.
- 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.
No procedure is truly without its downsides, and for all the snap on dentures pros, there are a few cons to go with them.
The two biggest issues are related more to the implants themselves than the actual denture.
- 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.
- Secondly, dental implants are fairly major oral surgeries.
They involve general anesthetic.
There are 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 just too high 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 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 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.
- Remove and rinse the dentures after eating. This will remove any bits of food from on or under the denture.
- Clean your mouth after your dentures are taken out. Make sure to use a soft brush when cleaning your tongue, cheeks, and implants.
- 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.
- 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.