Snap-on Denture vs. All-on-Four Denture

In order to stay in place, traditional dentures rely on a good suction provided by your gums and jaw bone ridge.  If you lack the depth that’s needed for a secure fit, you’ll experience a loose denture that can be very bothersome.

Getting an implant retained denture in Mesa, Arizona is a great way for people who struggle to wear a traditional denture to get the hold that they need. When it comes to these types of prosthetics you have the option of getting a snap-on denture or an all-on-four permanent denture.

To better understand the ins and outs of these appliances, it’s very helpful to first know what a dental implant is.

What Is A Dental Implant?

An implant is a titanium post that is threaded down into the jaw bone.  Implants serve as an anchor or post to hold connecting pieces that are used as teeth replacements (in this case being dentures). Before attaching any permanent appliances to your implants, they will need some time to fuse with the bone which typically takes about four months or so, depending on your body’s healing capabilities. There’s nothing that can be done to speed up this transition, so you’ll just need to be patient during this time. A temporary, traditional denture will be given to you to wear in the meantime so that you don’t have to go without teeth. Once we can confirm with a dental x-ray that the implants are securely in place then we can proceed with making your permanent denture.

Snap-on Dentures (Implant Retained Dentures)

To make a snap-on denture successful, we typically place anywhere from 2-6 implants depending on the condition of your bone ridge.

When the time comes to get your permanent denture, we will attach buttons to the implants that extend past the gums. The inside of the appliance will also have some components in it.  The technique here works similar to the snap buttons on a shirt. When aligned properly, the denture will snap into the buttons that are attached to the implants. As a result, the denture won’t move around as a traditional one can.


Snap-on dentures do still need to be cleaned and removed prior to going to bed.  Cleaning your implant attachments is also important.  If tartar buildup starts to accumulate around these areas, then the denture won’t snap in as it should. Visit the dentist regularly and we can thoroughly clean your implants and appliance for you.  You may also need to see the dentist when your denture begins to lose its stability. Repeated insertion and removal of the appliance can weaken the components and cause them to have to be replaced. Doing so is very easy and will take just minutes.

All-on-4 Dentures 

An all-on-4 denture is similar to a snap-on denture, except it’s permanent and doesn’t come out. To begin we’ll strategically insert four implants in your jaw bone and allow the same amount of time for the integration process to take place.  In the meantime, you will have a traditional-type denture that you can wear.  When the time has come to get your permanent prosthesis, you’ll return to the office and we’ll attach some extenders to your implants and make some holes in the denture where these attachments go through.  With the denture in place, we’ll secure the appliance by screwing a cap over the extenders. Once connected, your denture will only be able to be removed by your Mesa implant dentist.

Since all-on-four dentures are screwed in place they are more secure than snap-on dentures. However, that means that having proper oral hygiene habits is more important than ever.

Having an all-on-four denture does NOT give you a get-out-of-jail-free-card when it comes to oral hygiene. We recommend that you use a Waterpik twice a day to remove any food particulars that may be trapped under the denture. Use a threader floss at least once a day as well to remove anything that the Waterpik may have left behind.  Use mouthwash, and be sure to brush the appliance and your gum tissue as best you can at least twice per day.  Visiting the dentist twice per year will allow us to clean your denture and make sure that your gums are healthy.  Serious gum infection can occur if you neglect to care for your mouth. Plaque and tartar buildup collect on your denture just like on your natural teeth so always remember to clean, clean, clean.

Implant Retained Dentures in Mesa, Arizona

To learn more about implant retained dentures and find out which one is best for you, give Dr. Vinh Huynh, DMD, our Mesa, AZ implant dentist of Eastport Dental a call today.

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