When we describe something as a hybrid, we mean that it combines two things with characteristics of both to create something new. For example, a hybrid car uses gas and electricity as fuel, making it a versatile travel method. A hybrid band that fuses two different genres of music can create new and expansive soundscapes. When it comes to replacing missing teeth, snap-on dentures represent a hybrid of removable traditional dentures with the stability of permanent dentures to create something new and versatile. Considering more than 40 million Americans use dentures each year, something that provides that fusion is sure to appeal to many people.
Understanding Snap-On Dentures
Snap-on dentures, also known as overdentures, belong to a family of tooth replacement options known as implant dentures. These prosthetics utilize dental implants—metal posts directly connected to the jawbone—to create a secure foundation for attaching the snap-on denture. At our practice, Dr. Ney uses minimally invasive mini dental implants to retain dentures due to their versatility and efficiency.
Snap-on dentures are firmly secured with 4-8 mini implants but can be easily removed at home as needed. This means they will need to be cleaned daily, just like traditional dentures. However, they are far more stable and durable than traditional or partial dentures, thanks to the dental implants.
Issues With Traditional Dentures
For decades, even centuries, traditional removable dentures were the default method for total tooth replacement. To their credit, traditional dentures help people speak, eat, and live with a reasonable approximation of their normal lifestyle. But despite their benefits, they come with their own set of problems.
One of the biggest issues with conventional dentures is that they are prone to slipping, sliding, or even falling out at the worst possible times. Because they rely on the gums for support, that support will naturally worsen over time as the dentures and your gums change shape due to bone resorption. As dentures start shifting within the mouth, they can lead to irritation, sore spots, and a gradual decline in their effectiveness for chewing and speaking as the movement worsens.
The dentures themselves will also suffer wear and tear. Repeated removal for cleaning increases attrition and the risk of additional damage or loss. Because of this, traditional dentures only have a lifespan of about 5-10 years.
Finally, conventional dentures do nothing to prevent further bone and tissue loss from missing teeth. When you lose teeth and don’t replace them, the roots no longer stimulate the jawbone to keep it healthy. Over time, bone and tissue density will diminish, and your face will droop.
Benefits of Snap-On Dentures
Snap-on dentures offer solutions for many of the issues associated with old-fashioned dentures, specifically regarding functionality. Their benefits include:
- Increased stability: Since the snap-on dentures connect to a framework of dental implants in the jawbone, they provide much more stability than dentures that merely rest on top of the gums.
- Better chewing power: As a result of this increased stability, you’ll regain your chewing and biting power. No more avoiding certain foods out of fear; you can enjoy your favorites once again.
- More comfortable: Once the dentures snap on, they fit more snugly on the gums and look more like natural teeth.
- Versatility: If you like the removability of traditional dentures but want more stability throughout the day, this hybrid is the one you’re looking for.
- Improved bone health: The dental implants act as artificial tooth roots, stimulating the jawbone and preventing bone and tissue loss.
While traditional dental implants can be used with this system, snap-on dentures retained with mini dental implants offer additional benefits. As their name suggests, mini implants are half the size of traditional ones. About as wide as a toothpick, their sleek profile allows Dr. Ney to place them more efficiently than larger implants. And, because of this smaller size, mini implants can be placed in tighter spaces, making them ideal for patients with reduced jawbone density. At your free consultation, Dr. Ney will determine if you are a good candidate for mini implant dentures.
Can My Existing Denture Be Converted to a Snap-On Denture?
The short answer is yes. Dr. Ney can convert traditional dentures to overdentures if the right conditions are met. The longer answer is it depends. Most existing dentures were not constructed with this conversion in mind and may not have the proper size, layout, or quality to accommodate the implants. The best thing to do is to bring your dentures to your free consultation, where Dr. Ney can examine them and give you his professional opinion on whether or not this transformation is possible.
Take the First Step Today
If you’re sick of the problems of traditional dentures and want to explore other options, why wait any longer? Your journey starts with a free consultation, where Dr. Ney can examine your teeth, take X-rays, and answer your questions. If you’re worried about insurance coverage or financing options, our experienced staff will explain all available payment options. This way, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budget.
Dr. Ney, “The Dental Guy,” aims to provide the best possible dental care at an affordable price. With over 25 years of experience and a compassionate and responsive staff, you can trust you’re in the right hands. So contact us today to schedule your free consultation and take the first step towards better denture stability.