Snap In Dentures
Patients missing a significant number of teeth have a few options available to them including traditional dentures, implants, or implant supported dentures! Patients can lose their teeth due to periodontal disease, medical conditions, medications, accident or injury, or even genetics. An implant supported or implant retained denture is a great way to restore one or both arches of your mouth. Unlike a traditional denture which is held in place using adhesion and suction, an implant retained denture uses dental implants to hold the denture in place!
An implant retained denture, sometimes called a snap in dentures, is a full denture held in place using dental implants but can also be removed by the patient for cleaning and maintenance. 4 to 6 dental implants are surgically placed directly into the jawbone and nylon O-rings are placed on the implant which allow the denture to be snapped in place.
Pros and Cons of a Snap In Denture
Snap in dentures are considerably more secure and stable for the patient than traditional dentures. The implants that hold the denture in place cannot be moved since they are surgically implanted into the jaw bone so the denture will not slip when the patient speaks or eats. Since they are not screwed down, snap in dentures can easily be removed by the patient for cleaning and maintenance. While traditional dentures are removable, they are not as stable and can become ill-fitting overtime. Dental implants act as the root of a tooth and help stimulate bone regeneration whereas a traditional denture sits on top of the gum tissue and can allow for bone degeneration. As the jaw bone deteriorates, a traditional denture will need to be adjusted and eventually replaced, possibly every ten years or so. Implant retained dentures will only need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear and can last decades. The comfort level of a snap been denture is also significantly higher than a traditional denture. Since a traditional denture is not a stable, it can rub against the gum tissue and cause irritation and sores.
The downsides of a snap in dentures include the fact that it does require implant placement surgery and they are much more expensive than a traditional denture. Dental implants have a success rate of about 95% and low risk of complication but no surgery is completely risk-free so there is the possibility of implant failure and infection. There are also other procedures that may need to be performed before implants can be placed with me include a bone graft or gum graft to support the implants. Even though a snap in denture is more expensive to start, it may be less costly in the long run. Traditional dentures will need to be replaced every 10 years or so but implants can last a lifetime and the implant denture will only need to be replaced if it becomes damaged or worn. The nylon O-rings may also need to be replaced every year or so to ensure a proper fit.
Snap In Denture Procedure
If your Dentist believes that you might be a candidate for an implant retained denture, they will send you to a Periodontist or Oral Surgeon for an evaluation and consultation. The specialist will be the doctor who places your implants! If they determine that you are a candidate for an implant retained denture, they will review the procedure with you and set up your surgery appointment.
At your surgery, the doctor will apply a numbing agent to the gum tissue before administering a local anesthetic where the implants will be placed. A small incision will be made into the gum tissue and a small hole will be drilled into your jawbone and the titanium implant will be screwed into the hole. A healing cap will be placed on all of the implants to protect them as they heal. After your surgery, you will have a temporary denture to wear while your implants integrate with your jaw bone, for about 6 months. This integration is what will provide the secure and stable base for the denture! Once you are fully healed, your Dentist will set your permanent implant retained denture!
Fixed vs. Removable Implant Denture
An implant denture can be fixed or removable. An implant supported denture is screwed into place on the implants and cannot be removed by the patient. An implant retained denture is a snap in dentures that is easily removed by the patient. Snap in dentures are ideal for patients who want to be able to remove their denture every night for cleaning but in comparison to a fixed denture, they are more likely to slip out of place. A fixed denture typically costs more because more implants are required to secure the denture in place.
Care and Maintenance for Snap In Dentures
No matter what type of denture or other dental prosthesis you have, oral hygiene is just as important as it is with natural teeth. Brushing your gum tissue and all of the soft tissue of your mouth regularly helps keep it clean and stimulate blood flow to keep them healthy. To clean your denture, rinse them off under tepid water before using a soft bristled toothbrush with a non-abrasive denture cleaner to remove particles and surface stains from the denture. When the denture is not in your mouth, it should be in water to protect it from becoming brittle. Regular visits to your dentist for implant maintenance will ensure that your denture is fitting properly and does not have any fractures or chips. They will also be able to clean each implant thoroughly while your denture is out.
What is the cost of a snap in dentures?
Snap in dentures can cost up to $20,000 depending on the number of implants you need and whether or not you need any preparatory surgeries such as a bone graft or a gum graft. Dental insurance may cover a portion of your treatment that most dental insurance plans will only pay out $1500-$2000 per year. It may be beneficial to begin your treatment at the end of one calendar year and finish it at the start of another in order to take advantage of two years of dental benefits.
Who is a candidate for snap in dentures?
Patients who are overall healthy and have a good bone structure may easily be a candidate for a snap and 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 sufficient bone structure or if you will need a bone graft. It is important to bear in mind the extensive timeframe of implant retained dentures. Recovery from implant surgery can be up to six months so it is important that you are able to endure a modified diet during this time period.