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If you are looking for a solution to missing or damaged teeth, you know how important it is to find the solution that is the best fit for your needs. However, between multiple procedure options and varying terms for the same procedure, it can be difficult to make the right choice.

One of the most common questions we receive asks about the difference between snap-in dentures vs. permanent dentures. Below, we will clarify these terms, describe the pros and cons of the procedure, and offer a potentially different oral solution that might meet your needs.

What Are Snap In Dentures?

Snap-in dentures are a combination of permanent implants and a removable prosthetic that replace all your missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Screws are permanently placed into the jawbone and the prosthetic “snaps” into the abutments above the gumline. While the screws are permanent, the prosthetic is not, and it will need to be replaced about every five years.

What Are Permanent Dentures?

“Permanent dentures” is another term for snap-in dentures. You may have seen other terms for permanent dentures, like snap-on dentures, anchor supported dentures, implant dentures, or overdentures. Regardless of the name you may have come across, they all point to the same product: snap-in dentures.

It’s common to confuse “permanent dentures” with all-on-four dental implants. However, it’s important to remember that unlike all-on-4 dental implants which are fixed, “permanent dentures” are removable and need to be replaced over time.

Snap In Dentures vs. Permanent Dentures

Snap-in dentures and permanent dentures describe the same procedure, so the advantages and disadvantages of each will be the same. Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of snap-in dentures.

Advantages of Snap In Dentures

Snap-in dentures offer patients several advantages, especially when compared to traditional dentures. First and foremost, the titanium screws used to anchor snap-in dentures can encourage jawbone growth, something that traditional dentures cannot offer at all.

Snap-in dentures also offer a more secure bite than traditional dentures and also fit into the mouth more securely. This can help to avoid some disruptions in speech, but the bulky prosthetics of snap-in dentures will still impact your natural speech patterns.

Advantages of Permanent Dentures

Remember, permanent dentures are the same as snap-in dentures. As such, they will also use titanium screws to anchor your false teeth, and the prosthetic will be designed to snap in and snap out of your mouth. While they are more secure than traditional dentures that use adhesive, they are still less stable than fixed dental implants such as all-on-4.  

Drawbacks of Snap In Dentures

There are a lot of drawbacks to snap-in dentures. They have to be removed overnight for cleaning, but porous materials they are commonly made with are still a haven for foul-smelling bacteria. The abutments (where the fake teeth snap in) are bulky and also needs to be regularly and thoroughly cleaned. Furthermore, the connectors for snap in dentures will need to be replaced on an annual basis.

Since snap-in dentures are bulky, they can interfere with your ability to speak clearly. Snap-in dentures also come with dietary restrictions, since your bite will not be as secure as the All on 4 treatment. This style of denture is also not permanent, so the snap-in denture will need to be replaced around every five years at your expense.

Drawbacks of Permanent Dentures

You will see the same drawbacks in permanent dentures, since they are the same as snap in dentures. Permanent dentures are not permanent because the prosthetic denture will need to be removed for cleaning each night; the replacement of prosthetic is also your your direct expense.

Cost of Snap in Dentures vs Permanent Dentures

The national average for snap-in dentures and permanent dentures is $8,000 – $12,000 per row of teeth, meaning it is not uncommon for a pair of dentures to cost upwards of $24,000. The fake teeth or removable prosthetics of snap-in dentures also need to be replaced over time, which will be between $2,500 – $5,000 per row of teeth. Snap-in dentures and permanent dentures are very expensive in the long-run. The average cost for snap-in dentures usually includes acrylic as the material for your false teeth. This material is a soft plastic, which is prone to chipping and damage. This is why snap-in, or permanent, dentures have the same food restrictions as traditional dentures that use glue to stay in place on your gums.

Despite popular belief, permanent/snap-in dentures can in fact be more expensive than fixed all-on-4 dental implants (which do not need to be removed each night, nor do they need to be replaced over time). For example, our all-on-four dental implant cost for a row of teeth is $14,950, which is an all-inclusive cost. Your fake teeth will never have to be replaced, and there are no extra expenses beyond your upfront cost. While the national average for all-on-4 dental implants runs between $25,000-$40,000 per arch, our low price for all-on-4 ($14,950/arch) is backed by our lowest price guarantee, which makes it affordable for customers who need it. Unlike snap-on dentures that use bulky acrylic for the prosthetic (fake teeth), our all-on-4 comes with permanent zirconia teeth – which looks and functions just like natural teeth.

Longevity & Durability of Snap in Dentures vs. Permanent Dentures

Despite what their names might suggest, snap-in dentures and permanent dentures have limited durability and longevity. While the titanium screws or anchors are permanent, the prosthetic, or fake teeth, are not. They are often made from acrylic or other soft materials, making them prone to cracking or breaking. They also need to be cleaned daily to prevent the growth of bacteria that cause terrible smells.

Even if you follow your dietary restrictions and keep your snap-in dentures clean, you will have to replace them. As we have said, the prosthetic of snap-in and permanent dentures needs to be replaced about every 5 years. You will also need to get your fake teeth adjusted and fitted from time to time, which will also be at your own expense.

Permanent Dentures vs. Snap In Dentures – Which Ones Look Better?

Both permanent dentures and snap-in dentures struggle to look like real, natural teeth. The prosthetic is bulky, much more than natural teeth. This bulk will be noticeable and may affect your ability to talk normally. The materials commonly used in permanent and snap-in dentures, like acrylic and other plastics, tend to look dull and noticeably fake.

If you want an option that allows for natural looking teeth, then consider all-on-four dental implants. There is no bulky prosthetic, and the teeth are made from zirconia, a hard, naturally white material. All-on-four dental implants look like real teeth, and most people you speak with won’t be able to tell the difference.

Dental Implants – A Modern Alternative to Dentures

All-on-4 dental implants are a modern alternative to permanent and snap-in dentures and offer a number of advantages that dentures can’t match. Some of the best advantages of all-on-4 dental implants are:

  • A strong, secure bite that matches the bite strength of natural teeth
  • No bulky, obtrusive prosthetic that interferes with speech
  • No dietary restrictions
  • A white, natural look that is nearly indiscernible from natural teeth
  • A permanent solution, with no adjustments or replacements required
  • Needing only basic oral hygiene to keep clean and avoid odors

While the average cost of $25,000-$40,000 per arch for dental implants can feel intimidating, our office provides them at $14,950 per arch. Our special pricing – backed by our lowest price guarantee and quality warranty –makes all-on-four dental implants an affordable option, as well as far more cost-effective than snap-in and permanent dentures.

Since the advantages of dental implants are so numerous and impactful, our office will recommend them to almost all eligible patients.

Which Solution Is Best For You?

For the majority of our patients, we will recommend all-on-four dental implants. They have superior comfort, functionality, and looks when compared to snap-in or permanent dentures. If you want to find out whether you are eligible for dental implants, contact our office for a free consultation. Our oral surgeons will provide the best recommendations based on your needs and will develop a plan to quickly, easily, and affordably help you get new teeth.

Snap-in Dentures vs. Permanent Dentures FAQs

1. What’s the difference between snap-in dentures and regular dentures?

Snap-in dentures “snap” into abutments that have been placed into your jawbone. These titanium screws are permanent, and while the prosthetic will need to be removed every night and replaced every 5 years, the screws themselves are permanent. Regular dentures connect to the gum line through adhesives and are not otherwise anchored or secured into your mouth.

Traditional dentures are less secure and less comfortable than snap-in dentures, and they are also less expensive.

However, snap-on dentures and traditional dentures suffer from many of the same issues, including:

  • Soft acrylic prone to chipping and damage
  • Porous materials that harbor bacteria, causing foul odors
  • Severe food restrictions
  • A weaker, uncomfortable bite
  • Need to be removed nightly for cleaning
  • Need to be replaced every 5 years

nap-on dentures and traditional dentures provide an experience that pales in comparison to all-on-4 dental implants (which are permanent and fixed).

2. Do snap-on dentures cover the roof of your mouth?

Yes. Snap-on dentures (and permanent dentures) cover the roof of your mouth when they are “snapped in.” The prosthetic is large and bulky, which can interfere with your ability to talk normally and can cause you to gag. The prosthetic is also prone to collecting food and bacteria, so they have to be removed nightly for regular deep cleaning.  Furthermore, because it covers the palate or roof of the mouth, your ability to taste will be diminished.

If you’re concerned about having a large, bulky prosthetic, then we encourage you to consider all-on-4 dental implants. They look and feel like natural teeth, don’t interfere with speech, and don’t collect food particles or bad-smelling bacteria like snap-on dentures do.

3. Can you sleep with snap-on dentures in?

You should not sleep with snap-on dentures in. The prosthetics of snap-on dentures are large and full of little spaces that bacteria like to hide in. If not consistently cleaned, these bacteria will create terrible smells, which can be difficult to fully clean once a large number of bacteria are present. You should take snap-on dentures out nightly for cleaning.

Compare this to All on 4 dental implants, which can be slept in (since you can’t take them out), and only require basic hygiene habits like brushing and a mouthwash.

4. Do snap in dentures prevent bone loss?

Yes. The reason why snap-in dentures, as well as all-on-4 dental implants, prevent bone loss is because of the titanium screws that are placed in the jawbone. Titanium is a biocompatible material, which means your body won’t try to attack it as a foreign invader. Instead, it encourages bone to grow around it once the screws are placed.

Not only do snap-in dentures and all-on-4 dental implants prevent bone loss, but they also actually encourage the regrowth of bone.

5. Does insurance cover permanent dentures?

Insurance rarely covers permanent or snap-in dentures. That means you will need to plan on paying the upfront and long-term costs of this procedure, which can be tens of thousands of dollars. Our all-on-four dental implants are far more cost-effective in the long-run, and we offer several financing options to put them within financial reach.

6. How much do snap-in dentures, permanent dentures, and all-on-four cost?

Snap-in dentures and permanent dentures describe the same procedure, so their costs are the same. The average cost for permanent dentures is $8,000-$12,000 per bridge (or row of teeth). That’s not the final cost since you will also have to pay for periodically replacing the removable false teeth. This can cost upwards of $5,000/arch, and you will have to replace the prosthetic every five years.

Our all-on-four dental implants have an upfront, all-inclusive cost of $14,950 per row of teeth. (The national average is $25,000 – 40,000.) Since dental implants are truly permanent, the upfront cost is the only cost you will have. This makes all-on-four implants the best financial choice, and it’s one of the many reasons we almost always recommend an all-on-four procedure to our patients if they are choosing between snap-on dentures or all-on-4 dental implants.

7. Do snap-in dentures or all-on-four bridges look more natural and cosmetic?

All-on-four bridges (or replacement teeth) look far more natural than snap-in dentures do, and there’s several reasons for this. First, all-on-four dental implants are permanently fixed into the screws placed into your jawbone. This means there’s not bulky prosthetic, like there is with snap-in dentures, which helps the inside of your mouth to look natural.

All-on-four bridges also use zirconia instead of acrylic for the teeth material. Zirconia is a white (and durable) material that looks like your natural teeth. Acrylic is a dull plastic that noticeably looks fake. It is also soft and easy to damage, and it’s porous, which provides the ideal environment for terrible smelling bacteria to grow.

Patients looking for the most natural-looking replacement for their original teeth should be looking at all-on-four dental implants.