What Are Implant-supported Dentures (snap-in dentures) - savina dental clinic malta and gozo

If you have missing teeth, dentures can provide a great way to restore your smile. However, as time goes by, your bones and gums change, resulting in a poor fit. This makes eating foods like apples, steak and basically anything that needs careful or hard chewing quite challenging. They can also leave your gums feeling sore and bruised. Implant-supported dentures provide an effective alternative. They offer a well-founded and stable solution than traditional dentures.

What are implant-supported dentures?

As the name implies, implant-supported dentures (colloquially known as snap-in dentures but more professionally as precision attachment-retained implant dentures) are replacement teeth that are removable and snapped into place. Their design, fabric and attachment style blend comfort with stability providing you with a natural-looking smile.

Implant-supported dentures also eliminate the embarrassing movements that are associated with traditional dentures, thanks to the dental implants that help support them.

How do implant-supported dentures work?

Implant-supported dentures need two to four implants to function properly. Dental implants are screws that are inserted into the jawbone to hold the denture in place. The posts boost adhesion so the dentures can work like natural teeth without the need for denture glue.

Who is eligible for implant-supported dentures?

Implant-supported dentures are suitable for people with missing teeth due to dental cavities, periodontal disease, injury or congenitally missing teeth. They are also a great option for patients to enjoy the security of knowing their dentures won’t suddenly slip off while eating or talking.

The procedure for getting implant-supported dentures

The procedure for getting implant-supported dentures involves dental implant surgery and may take up to six months to complete. The dentist starts by placing dental implants into the affected jawbone. Once inserted, the implants are left to heal in the jawbone for two to six months (depending on the individual’s situation) to allow the bone to heal around them. During this period, the patient can wear a conventional denture.

After one to two weeks of healing, your dentist may require you to come back after the operation to examine your mouth and confirm that the surgical site is healing well.

Once your gums heal, locators are attached and the moulds for your denture are taken. These locators protrude from the gums and serve as the anchor for your dentures. After around two to three weeks, your dentures will be ready for fitting.

Implant-supported dentures pros and cons

Pros

  • Better stability: The combination of dentures and implants ensures a proper fit. The dentures remain firmly in place thanks to the strength and stability of the implants
  • Increased chewing power: The implants help preserve the quality and quantity of your bone, increasing your chewing power. Stable dentures also help you chew more comfortably and confidently.
  • Better functionality: The implant-supported dentures function like natural teeth allowing you to enjoy your favourite foods
  • Greater comfort: They provide a better fit with little to no friction compared to conventional dentures
  • Greater lifespan: Various research studies show that dentures can last several years with proper maintenance.

Cons

  • The process of installing implant-supported dentures is surgically invasive
  • They are relatively expensive
  • Your insurance may not cover them

If you have any pressing dental issues or questions, you can book an appointment online or contact us directly on (+356) 2125 7253 (Skyparks Business Centre, Malta International Airport), or (+356) 2155 7323 (Dingli Street, Victoria, Gozo). For international patients, it is recommended to request a free e-consultation where we can discuss your individual case and treatment options.

How to care for implant-supported dentures

Implant-supported denture maintenance is important if you want to get the best out of your investment. For starters, you need to always make sure that you brush your tongue, gums and the roof of your mouth daily.

Implant-supported denture maintenance

  • Remove your dentures before going to bed
  • Before brushing your implant-supported dentures, make sure to remove any loose food and debris using a mild cleaner, water and a soft-bristled brush. If you leave anything behind, the dentures will not snap into place correctly
  • Once your dentures are clean, place them in a container filled with water or a denture box and leave them overnight
  • Care and patience are necessary when inserting your dentures. If the fit does not feel right after wearing them, do not attempt to correct it by biting them down. This may lead to the destruction of some components.

Implant-supported dentures versus traditional dentures versus dental implants

There are many differences between implant-supported dentures, dentures and dental implants that you need to take into consideration when choosing the right one for you. Some of the biggest differences between the three include:

  1. Implant-supported dentures are removable whereas fixed dentures and dental implants are permanent
  2. Implant-supported dentures are designed to be resistant to slipping when eating or talking because the attachment to your implants is secure
  3. The cost for dental implants and fixed dentures are usually higher than the cost for implant-supported dentures

What are implant-supported dentures made from?

implant-supported dentures are made from acrylic, and sometimes porcelain material. Porcelain is extremely durable and resilient and the material provides the resilience, function and appearance of your natural teeth.

The dental implants, which provide anchorage for the implant-supported dentures are primarily made from titanium. The resilience of these implants allows the implant-supported to click into place effortlessly and they are reinforced to prevent jostling, shifting, rubbing or any other movements.

Can you sleep with implant-supported dentures on?

Yes. you can sleep in your implant-supported dentures on, but it is not recommended due to the complications that may arise. For starters, you risk getting an infection, especially candidiasis (oral thrush). Candidiasis is a fungal infection that thrives in moisture-rich environments like the mouth.

Since candidiasis is somewhat resistant to antifungal treatments, it takes a very long time to treat successfully. To be on the safe side, it is recommended that you remove your implant-supported dentures before going to bed.

Another reason not to sleep in your implant-supported dentures is teeth grinding. Other than interrupting the quality of your teeth and damaging your teeth, bruxism can also damage your implant-supported dentures.

Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures are a more permanent solution that can help you eat, talk and smile confidently. What’s more, is that they offer patients the security of knowing their dentures won’t slip while eating or talking. That said, it is important that you talk to your dentist to determine whether implant-supported dentures are the right choice for you.

Have You Tried Our Free e-Consultation Service?

If you are worried about a dental related issue, interested in travelling to Malta for a dental holiday or have questions about any of the treatments we offer, please contact us using our new free e-Consultation service. One of our highly qualified team will respond to your query as soon as possible. Our e-Consultation service is live 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday.

If you would like to schedule an in-person consultation at Savina Dental, please book your appointment using this form.

Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.

Joseph Xuereb
Principal Dental Surgeon & Owner of Savina Dental Clinics, Dr Joseph Xuereb BChD (Hons), MFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP RCS(UK), FICD is a general dental practitioner with a special interest in Implant and Restorative Dentistry. Dr Joseph & the teams' full biographical information can be found here.