Snap on Dentures vs All on 4 Dental Implants: A Comprehensive Comparison
Two of the most popular choices are snap on dentures and All-on-4 dental implants. In this article, we’ll compare these two options side-by-side, help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each, and give you our expert recommendation on which one is right for you.
Feeling self-conscious about your smile because of gaps from missing teeth? Or are you in your mid-50s and suffering from teeth that have worn down, stained, or shifted out of place?
If you’re unhappy with your smile, we have good news: there are more solutions for missing teeth.
Two of the most popular choices are snap on dentures and All-on-4 dental implants. In this article, we’ll compare these two options side-by-side. Read on to learn more.
What Are Snap On Dentures?
Do you prefer the type of dentures you can take in and out of your mouth, but far better than the old-fashioned dentures that used to slip and slide?
That’s called a snap on dentures, also known as overdentures, snap in dentures, implant dentures, implant-supported dentures, or dentures secured with implants
Snap-on dentures are essentially a more secure type of dentures that clip in place. You won’t experience any shifting, dislodging, or rubbing because the dentures are secured by the implants.
We know what you’re thinking: “If my dentures are attached to implants, how am I supposed to remove them?”
The answer is that snap-on dentures usually have a specialized attachment system that snaps into place and can be removed for cleaning.
This is the biggest advantage of snap-on dentures over traditional dentures.
So if you are looking for a removable denture option that you can take out and put back in as needed, snap-on dentures may be your best bet.
Here are some of the best advantages that a snap on denture can offer:
- They snap on and off easily on the tooth implants
- They are very secure and wouldn’t snap off on themselves
- Easiest to clean, no need for denture glue and flossing.
- Easy to repair or upgrade
- Preserves jawbone
- Recommended by top Mexico dentists because you get more cushion and support through the acrylic gums
The Process of Snap On Dentures
Unlike conventional dentures, which rest on the gums, snap-on dentures are attached to the implants that are surgically placed in the jawbone.
If you are considering having implant-supported snap-on dentures, it would be wise to visit a local dentist or an oral surgeon with in-depth experience with implants.
During the initial consultation, the dentist uses a CT scan or x-ray to determine the condition of your jawbone and assess if you’re a candidate for this type of dental restoration. It allows the dentist to know the location of your nerves and sinuses and any other potential obstacles that need to be considered before surgery.
If you think you are a good candidate for dental implants, here are some things you need to know:
Step 1: Fabrication of Temporary Denture:
Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth to create a custom-made temporary denture so you won’t walk out without teeth after surgery.
Step 2: Implant Placement
Your dentist will extract your remaining teeth and place the implants. It may take 3-6 months for the implants to fuse to the bone. Until then, you can use your custom-made temporary denture for the meantime.
Step 3: Impression taking for Permanent Dentures
After the implants have healed and fused to the bone, you will need to return to your dentist so they can take impressions for your permanent dentures.
Step 4: Placement of Abutments
The next step is to attach the abutments, which are small metal connectors that will link the implants to the denture.
Step 5: Permanent Denture Delivery
Once the abutments are in place, you will be given an entire arch of new, permanent dentures.
It will be snapped onto the implants, providing you with a new set of beautiful teeth firmly in place.
The base of the snap-on denture is made to match the shape of your gums.
You don’t have to worry about walking away with a missing tooth or an embarrassing gap in your smile.
What Are All on 4 Implants?
Still not satisfied with the idea of implant-supported dentures, and you want lifetime, permanent teeth? Then all on 4 implants are for you.
Unlike snap on dentures, these implants never have to be removed. Only a specialist or periodontist can remove them.
It is called an all on 4 because the 4 implants keep the replacement teeth secured.
It is similar to a fixed bridge; the only difference lies on the angulation of the implants.
With all on 4, the implants are tilted or angled to the front section.
Other implants, such as fixed bridges and snap on dentures, have vertically placed implants.
Learn about the difference between dental implants and fixed hybrid bridges.
The all on 4 implants are a superior solution among other conventional teeth replacement methods for the following reasons:
- Ideal solution for those who have lost most or all of their teeth
- Ideal replacement option for traditional dentures
- Preserves good bone density
- Allows for brand new smile all in one go
- Permanent and lifetime solution to missing teeth
- Allows patients to brush and floss just like with natural teeth
The Process of Getting All on 4 Implants
In cases where a patient is entirely edentulous or missing all of their teeth, All-on-4 dental implants can be used to provide a full arch of replacement teeth.
Step 1: Have your consultation
The first step in the process is to have a consultation with your dentist to see if you are a good candidate for this type of treatment. If it is determined that All-on-Four implants are right for you.
Step 2: Diagnostic tests and Denture Fabrication
Before the surgery, your dentist will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth to create a customized temporary prosthesis (fixed denture). Some of the measurements that will be considered include the height of the natural gum lines, the extent of the jawbone loss, and the ridge width.
Step 3: Implant placement
Your dentist will make incisions in the gums and drill the screws into the jawbone.
Step 4: Placement of the temporary prosthesis
The temporary prosthesis will be loaded onto the implant posts on the same day of surgery. Your dentist will recommend a soft diet for approximately 4-6 weeks while the implants fuse with the jawbone. It will take 3-6 months after the surgery for the implants to heal fully.
Step 5: Fabrication of permanent prosthesis
Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create your full arch of new permanent prosthesis. This will be customized to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth.
Step 6: Delivery of permanent prosthesis
After 1-2 weeks, you will get your new set of permanent prosthesis that is irremovable, natural-looking, and feels just like your real teeth. These are your new set of beautiful teeth firmly and permanently attached to the implants.
Which Is Better: Snap-on Dentures or All-on-4?
Here’s a comparison table between snap in dentures and all on 4 implants to help you out:
|Benefits||Snap-on Dentures||All-on-4 Implants|
None after healing
None after healing
Prevents bone loss
Prevents bone loss
|Cleaning & Maintenance|
You need to remove it while brushing
You can brush, but you need a special floss you clean between your gums and prosthesis.
Has more material and acrylic on the palate
Same as with your natural tooth
Acrylic on the palate may hinder the full taste of your meals
Follows your natural arch, so the taste is not as limited
Least expensive full arch teeth replacement option
1. Cleaning and Ease of Use
While all on 4 implants are considered a more permanent solution, they still require regular cleaning and maintenance. With this procedure, you have to use a string of special floss to clean the space between your prosthesis and your gum.
The same goes for snap-on dentures that require regular cleaning and maintenance. The biggest difference, however, is that you can remove your pull-out snap on dentures from the implants for easy cleaning. Then you can simply brush and rinse the dentures before putting them back in Winner: Snap on dentures
2. Food Restrictions and Downtime After Surgery
Another factor to consider is the amount of downtime required for post-surgical recovery. This is because both procedures require a period of adjustment as your mouth gets used to the new teeth.
Snap on dentures will feel awkward initially and require you to eat soft foods for a few days as you get used to them. As far as food restrictions go, you need to avoid nuts, popcorn, apple, chips, carrots, hard candy, and other crunchy or sticky foods.
All on 4, on the other hand, requires as much as 6 weeks of soft diet because the treatment plan varies significantly from overdentures. During the all on 4 implant process, the dental implants are immediately loaded with the temporary prosthesis. Winner: Snap on dentures
Age can be a factor in choosing the right dental implant.
If you are an adult in your 60s or 70s, you may prefer snap on dentures because they are easier to clean. You just snap them off and put them back on.
However, all on four dental implants require a particular type of floss used to clean and remove the debris around the base of each implant. This could be quite tedious for you to do on your own.
On the other hand, if you are on the younger spectrum, an all on 4 would be the most suitable treatment since it offers a permanent fix that doesn’t require regularly removing your teeth. Winner: The decision varies on what age you are.
4. Bone Health
Your bone health will dictate which type of denture is best for you.
Both procedures require a certain amount of healthy bone to support the new teeth.
The difference lies in the fact that overdentures need good bone density throughout the jaw. All on 4 implants, on the other hand, require good bone density at the front of the jaw.
In cases where the patient has lost bone due to periodontal disease or tooth loss, the dentist may recommend bone grafting to build a good bone density around the jawbone. Winner: Tie
Both procedures will make your smile look natural. But all on 4 has a slight advantage because it’s thinner and less bulky.
All-on-4 dental implants provide a natural support for your cheeks and lips, which helps to improve your facial profile. It can give you the fullness that counteracts the sunken-in look that can happen with removable dentures.
Many patients we’ve encountered complain that their smile still looks “fake” or “off” after getting dental implants. So to achieve a truly good, all-natural, and beautiful smile, you will need the expertise of a qualified dentist with extensive experience in both procedures. Winner: All on 4 implants
6. Biting and Drinking
Unlike traditional dentures, both types of implants integrate directly with the biting surfaces of the teeth. The difference falls in how each type of implant is designed.
Did you know that aside from your tongue, your palate is also significant in tasting food? Since a snap-in denture has an acrylic plate that partially covers the roof of your mouth, it limits the full taste of your food.
All on 4 implants follow the natural contour of your jaw, and it doesn’t cover the roof of your mouth, making it the absolute champion for this category.
In contrast, the acrylic plate of the snap-on denture rests directly on the roof of the mouth, which is not a problem when eating soft foods Winner: All on 4 implants
If you are a long-time denture wearer, you most likely know theres a difference in speech or phonetics when using traditional dentures.
Snap-in dentures have an acrylic plate that covers the roof of the mouth, which can affect some of your speech.
The all on 4 implants follow the natural arch and shape of your mouth, so speaking is easier.
But the all-on-4 implants and snap on dentures are designed so that they do not move around, which preserves normal speech patterns.
Remember that snap on dentures don’t usually slip or click unless done by a bad dentist. A good dentist will ensure that the dentures fit snugly and are comfortable for you to wear.
Overtime, you should be able to adjust and speak normally with both procedures. So there’s no clear winner between the two. Winner: Tie
Cost is one of the deciding factors of patients when choosing dental implant restoration. Note that removable teeth are always cheaper compared to fixed permanent teeth.
A full mouth of all on 4 implants usually costs around $11,800 in Mexico. On the other hand, snap on dentures cost roughly $7,700 for an entire set of teeth.
Below is the estimated cost of snap on dentures and all on 4 implants in countries like the US and Mexico
|Country||Snap on dentures||All on 4 implants|
Be aware that the term “cheapest all on 4 implants” gets thrown around a lot. One thing to keep in mind, though – cheap all on 4 implants might not include everything you need. You should request an itemized treatment plan to get an accurate cost for all on 4 implants. This will give you a better idea of what is included in the cost and what isn’t. Winner: Snap on Dentures
Read this article to learn more about dental implant prices: How Much Are Dental Implants in Mexico?
9. Which is More Durable?
If you’re wondering which one is more durable, All-on-4 implants are in a class of their own. The average lifespan of an All-on-4 implant is about 15 to 20 years with proper care.
In contrast, the average lifespan for snap on dentures is about 5 to 7 years. Then you will need to get them replaced or professionally cleaned.
Winner: All on 4
Before you decide on any treatment option, you must consult with a qualified dental professional to learn more about which option is right for you.
Contact Dayo Dental today to arrange your consultation appointment. We will gladly answer all of your questions and help you choose the best dental implants for your needs.
Common Questions About Snap-On Dentures and All On 4 Dental Implants
Yes, snap-in dentures are cheaper than all on 4 implants.
While all on 4 implants are the most expensive denture option, they are also the more durable and long-lasting. On the other hand, snap-in dentures are a more affordable option that still offers good stability and function.
They only last for about five to seven years before needing to be replaced or professionally cleaned. In contrast, all on 4 implants can last an average of 20 years or longer, depending on how you care for them.
A snap-on, implant-supported denture can’t be done in a day. You must wear temporary removable dentures for about 3 to 6 months while your jaw heals and the implants fuse to your jawbone.
With All on 4 implants, you can get a brand new set of teeth implanted on the same day of your surgery. That’s why it’s called “teeth in a day”.