Snap In Dentures

There are a number of options available to patients who need to replace missing teeth. Traditional dentures are not the only way to restore your mouth. Other, more modern options, include implants and implant supported dentures. Patients may lose teeth due to a pre-existing medical condition, certain medication, periodontal disease, or even an accident or injury. Genetics may also play a role in the overall health of your mouth and an implant supported denture is a great way to bring your mouth back to a healthy state.

An implant supported denture can either be removable or permanent. A permanent denture is secured onto dental implants using either cement or screws. A removable denture, or snap in dentures, is a full denture that is held in place using dental implants but has the added benefit of being able to be removed by the patient for cleaning and maintenance. For such a denture, 4 to 6 dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone and nylon O-rings are placed on the implant to allow the denture to be snapped into place.

What are the benefits of a snap in denture?

In comparison to a traditional denture which is held in place with adhesives and retention, a snap in dentures is considerably more stable and secure for the patient while eating and speaking. The dental implants that hold the denture in place cannot be moved since they are implanted directly into the jaw bone which prevents the denture from slipping or causing any irritation on the gum tissue. Traditional dentures sit on top of the gum tissue and friction can cause the denture to rub a sore on the gum, making it uncomfortable to wear. They also contribute to bone loss and overtime will become ill fitting and need to be replaced. A snap in denture is healthier for the patient's overall oral health because dental implants act as the root of a tooth and help stimulate bone regeneration and keep the jaw bone from deteriorating. Bone deterioration can also lead to changes in your facial structure and appearance. The stability of a snap in denture makes them much more comfortable for the patient.

The only real downside of a snap in dentures is that it does require implant placement surgery which is an invasive procedure. They are also much more expensive than a traditional denture. Dental implants are very common and have a success rate of about 95% and come with a low risk of complication. No surgery is completely risk-free and implant surgery does come with the risk of infection or implant failure. Preparatory procedures may need to be performed before the implants can be placed which may include a bone graft or a gum graft. Sufficient bone structure is required to support the dental implants so if the patient does not have enough, a bone graft can make implants possible! Even though a snap in danger is more expensive, they have a much longer lifespan. Traditional dentures will need to be replaced every 10 years or so but dental implants can last a lifetime and the implant denture may need to be replaced only if it becomes damaged or worn. The nylon O-rings that allow the denture to snap into place may need to be replaced every year or so but that is not an invasive or expensive process.

What is the procedure for a snap in denture?

A patient who is overall healthy and can endure the process of implant placement in the extensive healing time may be a great candidate for snap in dentures. Your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon or periodontist for evaluation. The specialist is the doctor who will place your dental implants. If the specialist agrees that you are a candidate for dental implants and a snap and denture, they will review your treatment and what to expect before scheduling you for surgery.

At the time of your surgery, the doctor will apply a numbing agent to the area being treated before administering a local anesthetic. A small incision is made into the gum tissue and a small hole is drilled into the jawbone. A dental implant is typically titanium and is placed directly into the hole. The doctor will then place a temporary abutment, or healing cap, onto the implants to protect them while you heal. You will be given a temporary denture to wear while your implants integrate with your job bones which can take up to six months. The bone integration is what will provide the stability of your implants and a secure base for your denture. Once your implants are completely healed and integrated, your dentist will fit you for your new snap in denture.

Who is a candidate for snap in dentures?

Patients who are overall healthy and have sufficient bone structure may be a candidate for a snap in denture. Your dentist will help you determine what plan of treatment will be best for your individual case and the implant specialist will be able to determine if you have the necessary bone structure or if you will need a bone graft. It is important to understand the time frame of receiving a snap in denture: recovery from implant surgery can be up to six months and if you need a bone graft, another few months will be added to your overall recovery time. It is also important that you are able to endure a modified diet during your recovery period.

How do I care for my snap in denture?

Maintaining your snap in dentures is as simple as regular oral hygiene! A snap and unsure is often easier for the patient to care for since they can be removed for cleaning. It is important to brush your gum tissue with a soft bristled toothbrush to help stimulate blood flow in the area and keep them healthy. When you clean your denture, simply rinse them under tepid water before using a soft bristled toothbrush with a non-abrasive denture cleaner to remove any food particles and surface stains. When the denture is not in your mouth, it should be in water to keep it from becoming brittle. It is also important to maintain regular visits to your dentist for implant maintenance cleanings and to ensure that your denture is fitting properly and does not have any chips or fractures.

How much does snap in dentures cost?

Snap in dentures do have a hefty price tag, running up to $10,000 depending on the number of dental implants that need to be placed. If you need any preparatory surgeries such as a bone graft or gum graft, a few hundred dollars may be added to your overall cost of treatment. Dental insurance will probably help ease your out-of-pocket cost but typically only pays out between $1500 and $2000 per year.

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