Snap In Dentures

Snap In Dentures

There are a variety of options available to patients who are missing teeth and would like to replace them. Traditional dentures have long been the only solution when a patient needs to replace multiple teeth or even an entire arch of teeth, but advancements in modern dentistry have supplied new alternatives. Dental implants and implant supported dentures have become a popular and effective solution for these situations. Whether teeth have been lost to pre-existing medical conditions, periodontal disease, trauma, or bone loss, snap-in dental implant dentures may be the best option to restore your smile to a natural looking and feeling aesthetic.

Implant supported dentures can be either removable or permanent. A permanent denture is secured onto dental implants using either cement or screws. A removable denture, or snap-in denture, 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. These dentures are placed on four to six titanium implants that are surgically implanted into the jawbone with plastic, resin, or nylon attachment points that allow the denture to be snapped into place.

Implant Supported Dentures vs Traditional Dentures:
When compared to a traditional denture that is held in place with adhesives and suction, a snap-in denture 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 to the gum tissue. Where traditional dentures sit on top of the gum, friction can cause the denture to rub against the sensitive area, making it unpleasant or uncomfortable to wear.

Traditional dentures also contribute to bone loss. When the body senses that the pressures associated with biting and chewing are not being applied to the area with missing teeth, it sends resources elsewhere. The bone and gum tissues in this area are then slowly resorbed, exacerbating these problems. Bone loss in the face and jaw can lead to changes in facial structures and appearances.

Snap-in dentures prevent bone loss because the titanium post that comprises the implant is fused directly to the bone. When biting and chewing with dental implants, the signals necessary to prevent resorption are sent to the body, and bone loss is avoided. The stability gained by being fused to the jaw bone also makes the implant supported dentures far more comfortable and natural feeling than traditional dentures.

Implant supported dentures have a much longer lifespan than traditional dentures. Most traditional dentures need to be replaced, refitted, or rebuilt every few years. Implant supported dentures are designed to last a lifetime, requiring only maintenance and cleaning as well as regular visits to the dentist and dental hygienist.

While the benefits for implant supported dentures are far greater than those of traditional dentures, there is one major downside. The surgery required to place the implants is quite invasive and takes a long time to recover from. They are also far more expensive than traditional dentures. Dental implants are very common, they have a high success rate and have a very low risk of complications. While no surgery is completely risk free, and implant surgery does come with the risk of infection or implant failure, the procedure can be made less risky with proper preoperative care.

In certain cases where bone loss has already occurred, a bone graft may be necessary before the implant procedure can be attempted. A piece of bone from elsewhere in the patient’s body or from a donor will be surgically placed atop the existing jaw in order to create a large enough area for the implant to be fused.

Procedure for Snap-In Dentures:
The first step for installing dental implants is a thorough examination by a dental professional. A dentist will take x-rays and other scans to determine the shape of the mouth and its structures. The dentist will then refer their patients to an oral surgeon or periodontist for a more thorough evaluation, as these specialists are the ones who will place the implants. Once the patient is deemed healthy enough for the procedure, a follow up visit will be scheduled.

The implantation procedure itself is relatively quick though invasive. A small incision is made into the gum tissue to expose the underlying bone. A small hole is then drilled in order to place a titanium post directly into the bone. The incision is then sewn up and a temporary crown placed onto the post and the entire area cleaned and sterilized. If the patient is replacing an entire arch of teeth, this process is then repeated three or five times around the mouth in order to create a stable platform for the prosthesis to snap into. A follow up appointment will then be scheduled for three to six months later.

During the next few months, the titanium post will become fused directly to the bone and the surgical site allowed to fully heal. While the patient recovers, the specialist will work with a dental laboratory to fashion a custom prosthetic that will make up the denture. After the patient has healed, the post fused to the bone, and the prosthetic dentures manufactured, the patient will then return to the dental professional for a final fitting. The implant procedure is complete, and the patient has a restored smile!

Snap-in dentures require daily maintenance that is not dissimilar to the regular hygiene practices of natural teeth, though it is arguably easier because the denture can be removed for cleaning. Flossing and brushing are necessary in order to preserve oral health. Regular visits to the dentist and hygienist are necessary to complete deep cleanings as well as monitor any potential complications that may arise from daily wear and tear.

Snap-in dentures are a great solution for patients that are seeking replacement for an entire arch of teeth. They are far more beneficial than traditional dentures as the very nature of dental implants helps to preserve oral health, bone density, and general aesthetics. While they may be much more expensive than a traditional denture, implant supported dentures represent a significant and excellent investment in your future dental health.