Snap in dentures is a term some patients use when they come to see me for dental implant dentures in Burbank. There is a product called the "snap on smile" that is not related to implant dentistry.
Snap in dentures are dental implant overdentures. That means they go over dental implants. The more implants you have the more stable the dentures. Just as important to the number of implants is the spacing between the implants. The more space between the implants, the better. Overdentures are not fixed bridges.
I performed the surgery and made the teeth for the examples below.
Snap in dentures are wonderful!!! They are best for the patient that has been wearing dentures for many years. Someone who is already used to dentures is the best candidate.
They are NOT wonderful for someone who is just about to lose all their teeth. If you are about to lose all of your teeth or all the teeth on one arch, you are more used to SMALL natural teeth, not an acrylic denture that has the pink plastic covering the roof of your mouth and check areas. A fixed bridge is a better option for this situation, but sometimes a snap in denture can work well.
How many implants do you need? Snap in dentures typically use 2 -4 implants on the bottom and 4-8 implants on the top. The overdenture can be made to look extremely life like if a very high end dental lab is used…very similar to natural teeth. The denture will feel stable and secure.
Lower dentures are more challenging than upper dentures because there is no suction to hold them in. This lack of suction, along with jaw and tongue movement during chewing and speaking can cause a lower denture to be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful. The lower denture simply floats on the ridge where the teeth used to be and does not stay in by using suction like the upper. Because lower dentures slip and slide, and as a result cause continuous gum pain when eating, the snap on denture option is a must for lower dentures. For many patients, it is the minimum standard of care for a satisfactory quality of life.
Most of the time I see new overdentures that are made very cheaply using "economy" teeth.
If your current dentures fit well and look good, I can usually reline them to convert them to snap in over dentures.
Keep in mind that the surgery is much more advanced than replacing a single tooth. This is because you will have bone loss if your teeth have been missing more than 3 months. Placing implants in areas of thin and deficient bone requires substantial skill and experience.
Mini implants used for snap on dentures are often only a temporary solution but are often marketed as a "permanent" solution.
I have treated patients as old as 91 with dental implants. A healthy 91 year old can have implants while an unhealthy 50 year old may not be able to.
Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry