Snap In Dentures
Snap in dentures have been changing the game of full mouth restoration for awhile now. Snap in dentures are a great alternative to traditional dentures. While they are still removable they allow patients the freedom to eat what they want and not move around. Snap in dentures are implant dentures that use what is called locator abutments, to snap into place like a snap in button.
The implants are screwed into your jaw bone and the locators are attached to the top of the implants as portrayed in the image above. The locators then snap into place by the attachments located on the underside of your denture.
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Snap In Dentures vs Traditional Dentures
Traditional dentures and snap in dentures are both customized to fit your mouth by shape, size and specific color. They both can be removed from your mouth at any time you please. Although there are some similarities they do have distinct differences.
When eating with traditional dentures they can slide and move with every shift of your jaw. While on the other hand, snap in dentures have a lot more retention or stability allowing your jaw to move as they stay snapped in place.
Traditional dentures are held in place by either denture paste or glue, this causes a lot of discomfort including the way you speak. Since snap in dentures use a button type method no glue is necessary for this denture, making your speech less affected.
Although traditional dentures for some people can be comfortable, most people find that traditional dentures aren’t as comfortable because of the palate. The palate on a traditional denture is completely enclosed or has a full palate, this causes a gagging reflex for a majority of patients. Along with this downfall, it also affects the way you taste food since a majority of taste buds are located at the roof of your mouth. On the other hand a snap in denture does not have a full palate, so all these problems are avoided.
Snap In Denture Treatment
At this point you may be wondering okay but what would the process look like? We are here to help you answer that question. Snap in denture treatment starts with the consultation, then the surgery, the follow up appointment and the final denture fitting.
The Consultation :
This is the very first appointment, you will meet our staff and both doctors. We will take what is called a 3D CT scan of your mouth. This scan allows the periodontist to evaluate the bone levels of your jaw, the location of your sinus and the level of possible infection. All these factors are very important for determining if you are a good candidate for snap in dentures. The doctor and you will make a customized treatment plan based on your needs and medical history. Next the prosthodontist will take molds of your teeth, pictures and you will decide the shape and color you want your dentures to be.
At this appointment your surgery will take place under IV sedation. IV sedation is optional but recommended and preferred by most patients. Once you are asleep you will be thoroughly numbed and any extractions necessary will take place. Next the bone will be smoothed and flattened with a procedure called alveoplasty. After a smooth platform is made, the implants will be screwed into your bone and placed at a specific angle. This agulation is very important to miss any nerves or arteries, the 3D scan aids the periodontist in this step. If you have a low sinus, a sinus lift may be necessary or if you have low bone, bone grafting might be necessary at this step as well. Finally you will be sutured up and sent home with a traditional denture to wear until your locators can be attached. This is very vital that you wear this traditional denture while your implants are healing to avoid any complications. Traditional dentures can be very frustrating as mentioned above, but this time period will only be for about 3-4 months till you receive your snap in denture and these problems go away.
Follow Up Appointments:
Follow up appointments will happen periodically during the healing process to ensure your implants are healing properly and no complications are occurring. During these appointments questions can be answered along the way and any adjustments to your traditional denture can be made as well.
Final Denture Fitting:
At this appointment you will receive your custom snap in denture. This denture will fit all your ideal standards of color and shape of teeth, this denture will also be a massive improvement from your traditional. Follow up appointments are necessary periodically to ensure your snap in denture is fitting correctly and implants are healing properly.
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How much does a snap in dentures cost, is usually the first question we get asked. If you have dental insurance, your insurance will most likely cover a majority of the cost of your extractions or implants. Although insurance may cover part of the treatment, it will not cover all since most insurances max out at around $1,500-2,000. There are many factors that affect cost such as:
How many teeth need to be removed? Less teeth= lower cost.
How many implants will need to be placed? Sometimes more implants will be necessary depending on the stability of bone. Majority of time 4 implants are placed in the maxillary or upper jaw and 2 implants in the mandibular or lower portion of your jaw.
Do you want to sleep during your procedure? IV sedation is offered and recommended but not required. The reason IV sedation is recommended is because it will allow you to stay comfortable and relaxed the entire time the procedure is taking place. You will fall asleep and wake up to the surgery completed. IV sedation does increase the cost of your treatment some.
Specialists such as a Board Certified Periodontist who have more years of experience and training might be more expensive due to skill level. Along with a prosthodontist who also has additional training to specialize in the esthetics of dentures to give you a more lifelike look, might increase the cost as well.