Snap-On Dentures — Are They Right for You?
More and more people look to alternatives to address missing teeth; dental implants, all-on-4s, and snap-on dentures, also referred to as overdentures, are getting much attention and interest. As a result, we receive more requests for information about these procedures than any other inquiry.
There is a lot of information on our website about dental implants and all-on-4s, but what are snap-on dentures, and their advantages and disadvantages.
What are Snap-On Dentures (Overdentures)?
Snap-on dentures, also called “overdentures” and “implant retained dentures,” is a removable tooth restoration solution that is more stable than traditional dentures but not as sophisticated as the all-on-4 procedure (non-removable permanent dentures). It is a cross between traditional dentures and implants.
Snap-on dentures can be full or partial, and in either case, the denture appliance is mounted on implants inserted into the jawbone. Typically, there are fewer implants used than with an all-on-4 procedure. In addition, the row of teeth in the form of dentures “snaps” onto the rods. As such, the appliance is more stable than traditional dentures.
What are the Pros and Cons of Snap-on Dentures (Overdentures)?
Since smaller (and often fewer) implants are used, snap-on dentures are usually faster to complete and less expensive than permanent implant solutions. So they are more affordable than the all-on-4 (non-removable permanent dentures) procedure. In addition, you may be able to get snap-on dentures even if you have some bone loss since the mini-implants require less bone mass. This could avoid the additional procedures of bone grafting or sinus lifting.
Traditional dentures are cheaper and can be produced more quickly than snap-on dentures, but they do not last as long and require more maintenance. They are also less stable than snap-on dentures. But the snap-on dentures, while being more costly (and take more time to complete), are more comfortable, stable, and durable. Snap-on dentures typically last five years or more.
It’s important to note that with either traditional dentures or with snap-on dentures, the false teeth must be removed each night for cleaning. This is not the case for all-on-4s, which are considered a permanent solution (although they do wear out over a longer time), but all-on-4s are considerably more expensive. That being said, any of these procedures can be provided by our trained and experienced dental professionals in Mexico, typically at 50% or more savings over average U.S. prices. Again, the savings are significant in Mexico compared to the U.S. (up to $120,000 for all-on-4s by some estimates).
While snap-on dentures are a step beyond traditional dentures and are more affordable than all-on-4s, they do have drawbacks to keep in mind. First of all, they do need to be removed nightly, just like traditional dentures, and reports from our clients and our Implantologist professionals say that this system is prone to failures. It simply isn’t as reliable as a more permanent solution such as all-on-4s. There are ongoing maintenance expenses, and the prosthesis’s life is limited compared to a more permanent solution. They do not absorb all of the shock from contact with food, may require a softer diet, and need realignment from time to time. Still, if cost is an issue that precludes a more permanent solution such as all-on-4s, snap-on dentures can have significant advantages compared to traditional dentures.
- Restore the natural look of your teeth
- More stable, easier to speak with than conventional dentures
- Affordable implant-supported denture solution
- Can be effective at disguising lost gum in an attractive way
- Will not slip out when you eat, drink or sneeze
- Do not trigger the gag reflex
- It helps maintain bone mass and prevent loss
- Daily maintenance—must be taken out, cleaned, and stored
- Good bone support is necessary
- Dental insurance may not pay for this procedure
- Requires a surgical procedure to place
- The entire process typically takes 4 to 6 months
- The lifetime is usually last between five and 10 years
Am I a candidate for Snap-on Dentures (Overdentures)?
There are several considerations with snap-on dentures. Smoking is a big challenge to implants in general and is often the cause of the system’s failure. It is highly recommended that snap-on dentures be fitted for non-smokers only. It’s also not a suitable solution if you have TMJ, or gum, or periodontal disease. TMJ patients usually do best keeping their teeth in at night. Periodontal disease must be absent before the process of implantation begins, or you may risk further dental infections. And as mentioned earlier, hard foods must be temporarily void in your diet. If you want to consume steak and similar foods, you may not be happy with snap-on dentures, as recommended a soft-food diet.
Most importantly, any implant procedure requires good oral health. A patient care coordinator will review your dental history with an Implantologist to assess if snap-on dentures are the best option for you.
What are the steps involved in getting Snap-on dentures?
Here are the basic steps in the process of getting fitted for snap-on dentures:
- Start with a consultation. Our patient care professionals will review your case and discuss it with our certified, experienced implantologist.
- The dental office can help develop a dental treatment plan for you.
- If needed, extractions are completed, bone grafting will be performed to give you the volume of bone structure needed to receive the implant rods, and then a period of months (three to six months) for healing is needed. Temporary dentures are provided during the healing phase until the next phase of the procedure.
- On the next visit, permanent fixed hybrid dentures are placed, and depending on the individual case, a follow-up visit may be necessary for final adjustments.
Note: The price for the procedure our offices’ charge includes the surgical placement of standard implants, temporary denture, abutment, healing cap, permanent fixed hybrid denture, and follow-up appointments.
It’s a lot to think about and absorb. But beyond Borders Dental is here for you and will help you sort through all of the issues, including a budget, and help you choose the best solution for your situation. That’s what we do, and our services are always free for you.
To learn more about snap-on, removable dentures, visit the Snap-on Dentures page.
If you have questions or are interested in a no-obligation, complimentary dental treatment estimate for your individual case, click this link to send us your inquiry, and we’ll get back to you.