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Snap-On Dentures vs. All-on-4 Dental Implants

Dr. Fred | May 29, 2023

Tooth loss is a common issue among adults in America. Many times, this is due to improper oral hygiene habits but may also be due to genetics or other issues. No matter what, missing teeth can lead to many issues with your oral and overall health. Therefore, when you are missing teeth, tooth replacement becomes necessary.

The most affordable solution is conventional dentures, but this doesn’t solve all of the issues related to missing teeth. Dental implants are a better solution because they look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Unfortunately, this option is out of reach for many patients due to the cost.

Dental Arts of Florida offers a hybrid solution: All-on-4 dental implants. This combines the affordability of conventional dentures with the advantages of dental implants. Many people believe that All-on-4 is the same as snap-on dentures. While similar, the two are also very different.

In this article, we’ll compare snap-on dentures with All-on-4 dental implants.

What are Snap-on Dentures?

Snap-on dentures are a stable, versatile alternative to conventional dentures. Typically, 2 to 4 implants are placed in the jawbone to support the overdenture. Snap-on dentures may be permanently fixed in place or may be removable for cleaning.

What is All-on-4 Treatment?

All-on-4 treatment is a hybrid solution for replacing an entire arch of missing teeth with only 4 dental implants. This combines the affordability of conventional dentures with the stability and security of dental implants. The implants hold the denture permanently in place- it can only be removed by the dentist during an exam and cleaning.

Snap-On Dentures and All-on-4 Dental Implants

Snap-on Dentures All-on-4 Dental Implants

Installation Process

Requires oral surgery for implant placement Requires oral surgery for implant placement

Number of Implants

2 to 4 implants, possibly more depending on your needs to support up to an entire arch 4 dental implants per jaw to support full arch

Stability

Implants make this a stable solution, but if removable, the clips could loosen, decreasing the stability Very stable because the dental implants hold the overdenture permanently in place

Bone preservation

Implants support jawbone health and stimulate growth Implants preserve jawbone health and stimulate growth

Eating/chewing

No special considerations required for eating/chewing No special considerations required for eating/chewing

Oral hygiene

If the overdenture is fixed, it can be cared for like natural teeth.

If the overdenture is removable, it should be treated like conventional dentures

All-on-4 is a permanent, non-removable solution, so you should care for it like your natural teeth

Long-term durability

Implants last a lifetime, and overdenture lasts about 5 to 10 years depending on care and maintenance Implants last a lifetime, and overdenture lasts 15 to 20 years or more, depending on care habits

Cost

$6,000+, depending on the number of implants required and the materials used $12,000 per arch, or $24,000 for both

Time for treatment

Takes several months to a year to let implants heal before the overdenture can be placed The entire process can be completed in one day

Aesthetics

Since the overdenture may be removable, it may not look as natural as a permanent one Since the overdenture is permanently fixed in place, looks more natural than other options, except for replacing each tooth with a single implant

Installation Process

Snap-on Dentures

Requires oral surgery for implant placement

All-on-4 Dental Implants

Requires oral surgery for implant placement

Number of Implants

Snap-on Dentures

2 to 4 implants, possibly more depending on your needs to support up to an entire arch

All-on-4 Dental Implants

4 dental implants per jaw to support full arch

Stability

Snap-on Dentures

Implants make this a stable solution, but if removable, the clips could loosen, decreasing the stability

All-on-4 Dental Implants

Very stable because the dental implants hold the overdenture permanently in place

Bone preservation

Snap-on Dentures

Implants support jawbone health and stimulate growth

All-on-4 Dental Implants

Implants preserve jawbone health and stimulate growth

Eating/chewing

Snap-on Dentures

No special considerations required for eating/chewing

All-on-4 Dental Implants

No special considerations required for eating/chewing

Oral hygiene

Snap-on Dentures

If the overdenture is fixed, it can be cared for like natural teeth.

If the overdenture is removable, it should be treated like conventional dentures

All-on-4 Dental Implants

All-on-4 is a permanent, non-removable solution, so you should care for it like your natural teeth

Long-term durability

Snap-on Dentures

Implants last a lifetime, and overdenture lasts about 5 to 10 years depending on care and maintenance

All-on-4 Dental Implants

Implants last a lifetime, and overdenture lasts 15 to 20 years or more, depending on care habits

Cost

Snap-on Dentures

$6,000+, depending on the number of implants required and the materials used

All-on-4 Dental Implants

$12,000 per arch, or $24,000 for both

Time for treatment

Snap-on Dentures

Takes several months to a year to let implants heal before the overdenture can be placed

All-on-4 Dental Implants

The entire process can be completed in one day

Aesthetics

Snap-on Dentures

Since the overdenture may be removable, it may not look as natural as a permanent one

All-on-4 Dental Implants

Since the overdenture is permanently fixed in place, looks more natural than other options, except for replacing each tooth with a single implant

Which One is Right for You?

Tooth replacement is a serious decision. There are several things you’ll want to consider when deciding between snap-on dentures and All-on-4 treatment.

First of all, both options use dental implants to secure the overdenture in place, which means they are both superior to conventional dentures. That being said, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • Care and maintenance

    All-on-4 are a permanent, fixed solution. You can care for them like natural teeth. On the other hand, snap-on dentures may be fixed or removable. If the overdenture is removable, it should be cared for like conventional dentures.

  • Food restrictions/recovery

    Both options require oral surgery for dental implant placement, which means you’ll have a recovery period. For snap-on dentures, you’ll need to eat soft foods until the implants heal, which can take a few weeks. You’ll need to avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods to avoid damaging the overdenture.

    All-on-4 treatment also requires a soft food diet to start with. However, once healing has taken place, no food restrictions are required.

  • Jawbone health

    Since implants are required, both require adequate jawbone health and density. The difference is that snap-on dentures require adequate density throughout. All-on-4, on the other hand, only requires adequate density in the front. The rear implants are placed at an angle, so some jawbone loss is acceptable.

  • Natural appearance

    Both give you a more natural appearance than conventional dentures. However, All-on-4 looks more natural because the prosthetic is thinner.

  • Eating/drinking

    Dental implants integrate with the jawbone, creating a stronger bite force than conventional dentures. The biggest problem with snap-on dentures is that the denture plate covers the roof or your mouth, which impacts your ability to taste things. On the other hand, All-on-4 follows the contour of the arch.

  • Cost

    The upfront investment on All-on-4 is much higher than snap-on dentures. However, this solution lasts an average of 15 to 20 years or more. Snap-on dentures are cheaper but need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years. The good news is the implants themselves typically have a high success rate and do not require replacement.

Schedule Your Tooth Replacement Consultation Today

If you are missing most or all of your teeth in one or both arches, schedule your tooth replacement consultation with Dental Arts of Florida in Jacksonville today. We are conveniently located on Gate Parkway. We offer a variety of dental services for pediatric and adult patients. Let us restore the aesthetics and functionality of your smile with one of our tooth replacement solutions.

Tooth Replacement FAQs

Missing teeth is bad for your oral and overall health. If you are missing most or all of your teeth, you should consider tooth replacement solutions such as snap-on dentures or All-on-4 treatment. Below are some of the most common questions that we get at Dental Arts of Florida about these two options.
Snap-on dentures may be fixed or removable. If they are fixed, there is no problem with sleeping with them. However, if they are removable, they should be taken out prior to bedtime for cleaning.
Yes, for some patients, snap-on dentures are a good solution. However, removable snap-on dentures usually require replacement and repairs, much like conventional dentures.
This depends on the materials used, as well as the patient’s attention to oral hygiene, but on average, snap-on dentures last about 5 to 10 years.

The All-on-4 system replaces an entire arch of missing teeth with 4 dental implants. The implants fix the denture plate in place. Therefore, you would care for this tooth replacement like natural teeth. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. If you use mouthwash, make sure it is alcohol-free. Finally, floss between teeth, paying extra attention to the area under the denture plate. Visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning.

Traditional dental implants take several months to a year or more, depending on additional procedures required and healing time. However, All-on-4 dental implants are also referred to as “teeth in a day”, which means you will be able to leave the clinic with a full set of teeth the same day you get your implants placed.
No, All-on-4 dental implants are fixed in place. Only the dentist will be able to remove them during your exams and cleanings.
This depends on the materials used, as well as the patient’s attention to oral hygiene, but on average, snap-on dentures last about 5 to 10 years.
Regular dental floss can cause damage to dental implants and the prosthetic. The best way to floss All-on-4 dental implants is with a water flosser and the attachments that come with it. Some professionals believe that once a day is sufficient. However, you can keep your teeth and mouth cleaner by flossing every time you eat.
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