Some of today’s most popular DFW implant treatments are “snap-in dentures” or “snap-on dentures”. Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear different explanations as to what they are and how they work.
What is a Snap-on Denture?
Both snap-in and snap-on dentures are what we call an implant-stabilized denture. Essentially they’re a traditional denture that snaps onto dental implants. It’s still removable and shaped the same way as a conventional denture, but it’s designed to physically attach to dental implants.
Can you wear a snap-on type of denture 24/7? No. You still have to remove it at night the same way you would a conventional “plate”. It comes on and off with the “snapping” motion that gives it its name.
Snap-in vs. Snap-on Dentures
Technically, there isn’t a difference between snap-in dentures and snap-on dentures. Both of them have special locators on the underside of the denture that snaps onto the corresponding dental implant.
The reason why some people call these implant treatments a snap-on denture is because the denture goes on top of the implants, snapping into place. But on the other hand, people may refer to the treatment as snap-in, since the implants go inside of the small locators on the under-side of the dentures.
In theory, it’s a matter of preference as to whether you want to call this treatment snap-in vs. snap-on. But ultimately the term is to differentiate this prosthesis from conventional denture designs or even a permanent All-on-4 implant denture.
Why do People Want Snap-on Dentures?
When you wear a snap-on denture, you totally bypass the need for any messy denture adhesives or paste. The dental implants underneath your denture keep the prosthesis firmly set in place throughout the day. That means:
- No rocking
- Less rubbing
- Fewer sore spots
- Improved speech
- Easier meal times
- Less maintenance
- Improved comfort
If you’ve ever worn a denture before, you know that it requires a tight seal between your prosthesis and gum tissue. If the “fit” isn’t good, the denture can constantly move throughout the day. So incorporating a couple of dental implants to keep it stabilized can eliminate all of those worries.
And if you’re someone who already has significant bone shrinkage (resorption) due to tooth loss, fitting a traditional denture can be even more challenging. The narrow bone ridge makes it more difficult to establish a seal or for the overall prosthesis to rest comfortably on your gum tissues.
Opting for a snap-on denture can give you added confidence and comfort a step-above what’s possible with a traditional “plate.”
How do Dentures Snap-in to Dental Implants?
A snap-in denture will have anywhere between 2-4 locators built into it. The locators are the small attachments that snap onto the corresponding dental implant.
Depending on your oral anatomy, you may only need two implants or up to four to stabilize your prosthesis. Once the implants are surgically installed, an abutment is attached to the top of each one. This special type of abutment is slightly different than what would go under something permanent like a crown or bridge. Instead, it’s specially shaped to snap into the locator on the denture.
As you might guess, it’s crucial to work with an implant expert to make sure your treatment is a success. The relationship and positioning of both the implants and the locators are extremely delicate. Once you place the snap-on denture over the implant abutments and press down, it simply clips into place.
Snap-on/Snap-in Dentures Compared to All-on-4
There’s one thing that a snap-on denture cannot do: set permanently in your mouth. It absolutely must be removed at night for cleaning.
If you’re looking for a permanent full-arch restoration, then All-on-4 implants may be the better choice. All-on-4 dental implant treatment is more of a hybrid appliance that’s slimmer than full dentures, yet replaces all of the teeth at one time. These hybrid treatments are non-removable, similar to a dental bridge. Once they’re installed, you continue biting, eating, chewing, and speaking almost as if you had natural teeth. There’s nothing to take in and out of your mouth.
All-on-4 implants have an overall slimmer design since they don’t rest directly against the roof of your mouth or gum tissues. The shape follows the curve of your mouth.
Choosing between a snap-on denture and All-on-4 implants is an individual decision. Our DFW implant specialists are happy to guide you through the process.
Implant Stabilized Dentures vs. Overdentures
Not to add to your confusion by any means, but it’s important to call out another implant treatment called “overdentures” or “implant-stabilized dentures.” Overdentures are a type of denture worn over dental implants. And as the name suggests, an implant-stabilized denture is a removable prosthesis that attaches to implants for stability throughout the day.
Both overdentures and implant-stabilized dentures are essentially one and the same as snap-on dentures. The terms used can vary geographically as well as from one dental provider to the next. Much of it just depends on personal preferences.
Knowing that overdentures, snap-on dentures, and implant-stabilized dentures are all basically the same thing can help you feel a bit less confused when it comes to smile reconstruction.
Retrofitting a Denture into a Snap-on Denture
It’s not always an option, but denture retrofitting can sometimes be offered on a case-by-case basis. Retrofitted implant dentures are where a dentist takes your existing denture, installs “locators” on the underside of it, and has those pair up to corresponding dental implants in your mouth.
The key as to whether or not a denture can be retrofitted is how new and well-fitting the prosthesis is. Older dentures typically aren’t able to be retrofitted to snap onto implants, even though it’s not a permanent attachment.
Snap-on Dentures in Fort Worth
Archpoint Implant Dentistry is your preferred provider for implant therapy in Fort Worth and DFW. Our highly-skilled specialists offer a variety of dental implant designs and denture modifications. We encourage you to request a consultation to find out how we can assist you!