Snap-On Dentures 101: What You Should Know

Male patient is smiling at a female dentist holding a upper jaw mold.

Are you tired of dealing with dentures that slip and slide, making it hard to eat and talk comfortably? You might want to talk to your dentist about getting snap-on dentures, also called overdentures or implant-supported dentures. They’re secure like implants but easy to remove. Here’s a simple look at how snap-on dentures work, their pros and cons and how to care for them:

How Snap-On Dentures Work

The term “snap-on” refers to how the underside of these dentures are made to attach firmly to a specialized platform that connects at the gum level, to the top of strategically placed dental implants, like a snap button on clothes. This makes them stable but easy to take out when needed.

As long as you’re in good health, have healthy gums and enough bone structure, you’re probably a good candidate for dental implants that would support snap-on dentures. The timeline and process will vary by person, but usually starts with removing any unhealthy teeth. After 3-6 months, following any extractions or recommended bone grafting, dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, acting as artificial tooth roots.

After the implants are securely in the jawbone, a special attachment is added to the top of the implant that extends above the gum line. The denture snaps onto this attachment, holding it in place. This set up enables you to take your dentures off when you want to, but they won’t come off by accident. You want them to stay put when you need them to!


  • Stability and Comfort: Snap-on dentures stay in place better than regular ones because they attach to implants. This means less sliding around when you eat or talk.
  • Improved Chewing and Speaking: With snap-on dentures, you can eat and talk with greater ease and confidence because they stay in place better than traditional dentures.
  • Bone Preservation: Implants ensure the regeneration of bone, which keeps your jaw strong and helps prevent it from shrinking. Regular dentures result in bone resorption over time making your jawbone weaker.
  • Ease of Cleaning: These dentures are easy to remove for cleaning, and it’s important to keep them free of debris. They will require maintenance and sometimes new parts but keeping them clean will help them last longer.


  • Eligibility: Not everyone can get snap-on dentures. You need to have enough bone in your jaw and be in good health for implant surgery. Although the surgery is not complicated, it will come with some risks and healing time.
  • Cost: Your insurance may or may not cover snap-on dentures. Most of the time hybrid dentures, like snap-on dentures, have a limited benefit. This means your insurance will cover them the same as a traditional denture and you would be responsible for the copay and the difference in cost between the traditional and snap-on option. As a Delta Dental of Arizona member, you can check your benefits to see what your dental plan covers in the member portal or the app. You may also want to get a pre-treatment estimate to determine the cost of your recommended treatment.
  • Maintenance: Snap-on dentures need more upkeep and sometimes new parts compared to other types. You might also need to visit the dentist occasionally for adjustments.

Caring for Snap-On Dentures

  • Daily Cleaning: Before you put in your snap-on dentures, remember to brush your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Tongue scraping is also ideal. Also, make sure to rinse your dentures well before putting them in, and use a gentle cleaner to get rid of any leftover bits of food or dirt from all surfaces of the denture, including the snap in components of the implants and the denture. Store your snap-on dentures in water in a safe area when you are not wearing them.
  • Regular Check-ups: As time goes on, dentures get worn out and might not fit well anymore because your jawbone and mouth shape can change as bone and tissue remodels. This can make them loose and uncomfortable. Also, the parts that connect your dentures to the implants might need to be replaced occasionally. Visit your dentist regularly to make sure your implants and dentures are in good condition. Plus, follow any instructions from your dentist to keep your mouth healthy and support the longevity of both the implants and the dentures.


Unlike conventional dentures, snap-on dentures are a more retentive and permanent solution that can help you eat, talk and smile confidently again. If you like the security of knowing your dentures won’t suddenly slip, snap-on dentures may be an effective alternative. Speak to your dentist if you think these dentures could be right for you.

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