Snap In Dentures

If you’re missing multiple teeth because of a health condition or injury, you’re probably investigating your options for replacement teeth. Conventional dentures can be inconvenient, slipping and rubbing and interfering with a person’s ability to eat and speak properly. Full dental implant restorations, which use multiple dental implants to support individual dental crowns, can be prohibitively invasive and expensive. Snap-in dentures can be an excellent option for people who want to replace multiple teeth but prefer something more stable and comfortable than conventional dentures and more manageable than multiple implant crowns. Snap-in dentures rely on dental implants for support, but they can often be supported by as few as two to four implants in each jaw. After the implant posts have been surgically placed in the jaw and given time to heal, an implant-retained denture can be placed onto the implants. This denture could be permanent, or it may snap in and out of the mouth for cleaning.

Snap-in dentures provide greater stability than traditional dentures and are less likely to slip or loosen while speaking or chewing. This helps snap-in dentures improve a patient’s ability to chew a wide variety of foods, thereby increasing the nutritional potential of the diet and allowing their wearer to safely enjoy the occasional sticky or gooey treat. This also prevents the uncomfortable, or even painful, friction that removable dentures can inflict on the gums. The implants themselves provide the added benefit of helping to preserve the bone tissue in the jaw while preventing future bone loss, whereas the pressure from removable dentures can accelerate the bone loss that accompanies tooth loss. When a tooth is removed from the bone, either intentionally or not, the bone loses its source of stimulation. Just as the muscles can atrophy when not used, the bone tissue atrophies from lack of use as well, and this bone deterioration continues the longer the bone remains unstimulated. Dental implants can help restore the health of the bone tissue and maintain its continued vitality and strength while supporting snap-in dentures or other dental restorations.

While snap-in dentures can provide many benefits to patients, they are not without their drawbacks. While the surgery required for snap-in dentures to be placed on implants is less invasive than other implant procedures, it still requires an anesthetic and is subject to the general risk of any surgical procedure. Additionally, dental implant procedures may not be covered by dental insurance, and snap-in dentures are likely to cost more than conventional dentures. If you have advanced gum disease or tooth decay, you may need to undergo a bone graft procedure before any dental implants can be placed, and these grafts will need to heal fully before implants can be placed, adding additional time to an already extensive procedure. Snap-in dentures also require periodic adjustments and tightening, and the mechanisms that hold the denture to the implants need to be replaced regularly.

If your insurance won’t cover snap-in dentures, this could clearly factor into your decision about your dental restoration. Your dentist will give you a step-by-step rundown of the estimated cost for your treatment, but in general, the average cost for a snap-in denture supported by two implants is about $6,000. The cost of treatment increases with the number of implants and the number of procedures required.

Maintaining your snap-in dentures is of maximum importance if you plan to get the most out of your dental restoration. If your snap-in dentures are removable, make sure to clean the inside of the mouth, including the tongue, gums, and palate, with a soft-bristled brush daily. Rinse and brush your dentures, too, to remove food particles and debris, and store your dentures in water when they’re out of your mouth for an extended period. If your denture has been permanently attached to dental implants, follow your dentist’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance, which is similar to the care and maintenance of the natural teeth in many ways.

Your choice between removable snap-in dentures and those that are attached in place will depend on your particular clinical needs, your preferences, and your budget. Removable snap-in dentures are taken out nightly for cleaning, while fixed dentures are cleaned in the mouth and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable snap-in dentures are more likely to slip out of place in the mouth, while fixed dentures are intended to remain securely in place. Because they often require additional implants or a supplementary attachment apparatus to stabilize their position in the mouth, fixed dentures often cost more than removable snap-in dentures.

The snap-in denture procedure takes time, but complete healing throughout the treatment is key to its long-term success. Dental implants are placed into the jaw, and they are then given adequate time to heal; healing can take as long as six months. As the bone heals around the dental implant posts, it bonds with the post, which is made of medical-grade, biocompatible material. Once the bone has bonded with the implant, the implant becomes a secure anchor to support a dental restoration like a snap-in denture. In some cases, an additional surgical procedure is required to expose the tops of the implant posts after they’ve healed so the denture apparatus can be attached, though some types of snap-in dentures feature implants that already include these attachments, called abutments. If necessary, an additional attachment device is tightened onto the abutments. Then, the full snap-in denture is crafted and attached. Each procedure requires time to fully heal in order for the overall treatment to be effective.

People missing most of their teeth should consider snap-in dentures as an option for dental restoration. While it could take several months to a year – or more – to complete a snap-in denture treatment, once they are placed, snap-in dentures can be a long-term solution that allows a person to eat with enjoyment, speak freely and clearly, and smile with conviction. For many wearers, the higher cost of snap-in dentures is worth the benefits they provide. You and your dentist can work together to decide if snap-in dentures are the restoration option that’s right for you, your dental needs, and your budget.

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