Snap-in dentures are often recommended for patients who currently have dentures and are dissatisfied with them and/or for patients who have recently lost a tooth and would like to have a cost-effective solution that still retains the majority of their functionality and reduces the risk of other serious issues from developing.
Snap-in dentures eliminate many of the issues common to traditional dentures, such as being uncomfortable, limiting one’s diet, and requiring constant maintenance. Snap-in dentures are also more cost affordable and can be placed in a shorter amount of time compared to fixed dentures.
During your initial evaluation, your periodontist will review your oral and medical history and evaluate your current oral health. If necessary, they will identify the underlying cause of your tooth loss and schedule any preparatory procedures that may need to be performed prior to the snap-in denture procedure. They will also take diagnostic exams to gather additional information about your underlying bone density to determine if snap-in dentures are a good treatment option or if you may benefit from a different treatment approach.
Once any underlying issues have been treated, the snap-in denture process will begin with placement of two or four titanium implants into your jawbone. After these posts are placed, it will take several months for them to fuse with your jawbone. Once they have, you will return to have your customized dentures attached to these posts. To remove the dentures, all you have to do is simply press the denture outward and up on both sides. It will take a little bit of practice, but before you know it, removing and placing your snap-in dentures will be second nature.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Snap-in Dentures
Because of the cost and time involved in getting snap-in dentures placed, you may be asking yourself if the end result will be worth the effort. As you consider the cost of treatment, it is important to keep in mind that in some ways, you will be saving money by investing in this procedure. Patients with missing teeth often develop more significant oral health problems over time, and also increase their risk of developing physical issues, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and stroke. All of these issues, which may have been avoidable, will result in more hospital visits and money spent addressing them.
It is also important to consider the many benefits you will enjoy once the procedure is complete, and how invaluable your improved quality of life will be. For example, some of the benefits you will enjoy following placement of your snap-in dentures include:
- Strong and stable: Compared to dentures that rest on your jaws, snap-in dentures provide much more strength and stability and are far less likely to cause discomfort or fall out of place.
- Eat the foods you enjoy: Traditional dentures severely limit the types of foods you can enjoy. With snap-in dentures, you will increase your chewing force and be able to enjoy a much broader variety of foods.
- Enjoy the comfortable, natural feeling: Your snap-in dentures are designed with your specific mouth in mind to ensure that they are comfortable.
- Will look just like your natural teeth: In addition to feeling just like your natural teeth, your snap-in dentures will also look completely natural!
- Reduces your risk of developing oral and physical health issues: While the aesthetic and quality of life improvements alone are enough to make snap-in dentures an essential procedure, having them placed will also significantly reduce your risk of developing additional oral health issues such as jawbone deterioration and reduce your risk of developing health issues like diabetes or a stroke.
On the flip side, some of the biggest disadvantages to having snap-in dentures placed include:
- Maintenance: While the maintenance of taking care of your snap-in dentures will be greater compared to a permanent implant, it will also be much less than traditional dentures.
- Stability: Snap-in dentures are much more secure and less likely to slip out of place compared to traditional dentures, but they are not as secure as fixed dentures.
- Surgical procedure required: One of the biggest drawbacks to snap-in dentures compared to traditional dentures is that traditional dentures do not require surgery. While the process of having snap-in dentures is more invasive, dental sedation will be available as well as pain medication following your procedure to alleviate discomfort.
- Time involved: Because the process of placing snap-in dentures requires placing a titanium post and waiting for that post to fuse with your jawbone, you can expect to wait up to six months or longer for the process to be complete.
- Cost: Though less expensive than permanent implants, snap-in dentures are more costly compared to traditional dentures.
How to Care for Your Snap-in Dentures
To ensure that your snap-in dentures continue to fit well and feel natural, it is essential that you practice good oral hygiene habits. Before you go to sleep, you need to remove your dentures and brush them with water, non-scented soap, and a denture brush. It is also important to scrub the O-rings. Once the denture is clean, place it in a denture box filled with water overnight. Once you have finished cleaning your snap-in denture, use a soft toothbrush to clean your gums, tongue, roof of your mouth, and locator abutments. You may also benefit from adding a water flosser as part of your regular oral health routine, as doing so will help flush away any remaining food debris and extend the life of your dentures.
Are Snap-in Dentures Right for Me?
Hopefully this overview has provided you with some insight into what qualities and characteristic are unique to snap-in dentures, and whether those qualities and characteristics align with your personal preferences and treatment goals. While it is important to educate yourself on different treatment plans, in order for you to truly decide whether snap-in dentures or another treatment option is best suited to meet your needs is to schedule a consultation with your periodontist. They can answer any remaining questions you may have and provide you with their professional recommendation as to which treatment option is best suited for you.