How Does Snap On Dentures Compare To All On 4 Implants?

Medically Reviewed By
Jonathan G. Campbell, DDS, FAGD
One of the top rated Dentist in Salt Lake City, UT
young old couple smiling in white dress

In order to compare these two dental appliances, it will be necessary to define what each one is. Snap-on dentures are those that can be secured in your mouth by attaching them to dental implants. The implants themselves are usually made of titanium, because that substance bonds well with human bone. In fact, that is exactly the intention - to have the titanium post fuse with the jawbone over time, thus creating a rock-solid anchor for the dentures to be placed on top of them. It is generally necessary to install two implants for securing the dentures. Salt lake dentist provide dental implants and improve your smile  

Snap-on dentures

Snap-on dentures are considered to be superior to ordinary dentures that simply rest on top of your gums. Standard dentures must be secured to your gums by applying an adhesive. In some cases, this adhesive can give way, and then your dentures might move around anywhere inside your mouth. This can be particularly embarrassing if it happens in the midst of a social event or gathering. Snap-on dentures are not only much more solid in your mouth, but they provide better functionality for biting, chewing, and speaking.

There is a slight difference between snap-on dentures and permanent dentures. Although both rely on implants for anchoring, permanent dentures are never removed from your mouth, unless your dentist sees a need for that. Snap-on dentures can be removed at night and for brushing, so that they're not constantly in place. This gives your gums a rest at night, so they're not constantly being irritated by dentures and friction. A special type of permanent denture are all-on-four implants, and these carry some tremendous advantages.

All-on-4 implants

It is generally necessary to install one implant for each missing tooth you have. That's because the dental implant actually serves as the root of your tooth, and that's how the tooth gets anchored to your jawbone. With all-on-4 implants, you can replace an entire arch of upper or lower teeth with just four implants rather than 15 or 16. Prior to the procedure, it will be necessary to extract any teeth that need to be pulled. That will leave the arch free for the installation of implants, and eventually the set of replacement teeth.

At Legacy Dental in Salt Lake City, UT, Dr. Jonathan G. Campbell is an expert at installing both snap-on dentures and all-on-4 implants. In his experience, many people tend to opt for the cheaper approach, which is snap-on dentures as a good first step. If they later decide to upgrade to all-on-4 implants, some of the implants are already in place, and only a follow-up procedure would be necessary. Dr. Campbell makes a point of thoroughly explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each solution, so the patient won't come to be dissatisfied later.

The reason that just four implants can support all your upper or lower teeth is that the two rear implants are inserted in a special way. They are installed at a 30 to 45 degree angle, and this provides all the additional support needed. This angled installation can also be so effective that it's not necessary to undergo any kind of bone grafting to build up the jawbone. It is essential to have sufficient jawbone in order to install implants in a patient's mouth. If that jawbone mass is lacking, it will be necessary to go through a bone grafting procedure first, or in some cases a sinus lift to supply more bone mass to the jawbone.

Comparison of tooth replacement methods

All-on-4 dental implants are most often used when a patient has lost most or all of their teeth. Many experts in dentistry consider that all-on-4 implants have completely revolutionized the industry in the area of tooth replacement. Until very recently, the only possibility when a person had lost most or all of their teeth was installing a set of dentures. But this was not a perfect solution, because even with adhesive applied, the dentures could slip around inside the mouth. The discovery of implants changed the entire dental landscape, practically overnight.

There are a couple drawbacks to all-on-4 implants however. For one thing, it generally takes several months from start to finish before they can be put in place. Following implant surgery, it is necessary to allow several months to pass by so the titanium post has a chance to fuse with your jawbone. This can be a slow process, but once it is complete, you'll have a very solid anchor in place for your new teeth. Another drawback of all-on-4 implants is the cost. It will always cost at least several thousand dollars to install the four implants, plus the dental appliance which replaces your teeth. The cost might go even higher, if it's necessary to pull teeth first, or to do some bone grafting to build up your jawbone.

The two main types of snap-on dentures are full sets and partial sets. Depending on how many teeth you've had replaced, you may have either type of denture installed in your mouth. Snap-ons are also supported by implants, and that makes them very stable. You'll be able to bite, chew, and speak close to normal when you've had snap-ons installed. They are generally less costly than all-on-4 implants, so that makes them an appealing option to patients. Snap-ons are also removable at night, so they can be taken out for cleaning, and for an overnight of rest. It's a good idea to take dentures out at night, so your gums don't get irritated by the constant friction with them.

Contact us

If you're still not sure which of these dental appliances might be right for you - give us a call. Our Legacy Dental professionals will be happy to review the pros and cons of any dental solutions you're considering. We can answer any questions you may have, and we can provide you with ballpark figures on the cost of any procedure, so you can make a more informed decision. For any emergency situation we are there for you. 

Legacy Dental blog is proudly run by our Salt Lake City dentists team; We share knowledge about general dental care and practices. Apart from running this blog, we offer various dental services such as general dentistry, emergency dentistry, and dental implants for the community in Salt Lake City, Utah

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