dentist holding plastic model of teeth up for patient

Fixed Dental Implant Bridges vs. Snap-On Dentures: What’s the Difference?

Team Dental Implants, Dentures

When you’re comparing different solutions for replacing your teeth, you may feel overwhelmed by all of your options. Two possibilities that many patients consider are fixed dental implant bridges and snap-on dentures. Selecting which is best for you depends upon your dental needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Here’s what you should know about these two types of implant-based restorations.

Fixed Dental Implant Bridges

When it comes to fixed implant-supported bridges, a bridge is used to replace three or more adjacent missing teeth. (This is in contrast to a traditional dental bridge, which replaces one or more missing teeth.) Two dental implants are used to replace the roots of the outermost missing teeth; these dental implants then hold a span of prosthetic teeth, or pontics.

A fixed dental implant bridge is a more economical solution than replacing each missing tooth with its own dental implant, but it still helps maintain and restore jawbone and offers a strong, stable restoration. Fixed dental implant bridges are also more natural-looking than snap-on dentures, since they only replace your teeth themselves and don’t have an acrylic gum base. Many patients prefer them for this reason.

Snap-On Dentures

Snap-on dentures are a removable type of denture that literally snaps onto your dental implants, using them as an anchor for support. Many patients who have had traditional dentures in the past find that snap-on dentures are much more comfortable because they don’t slip, provide better stability, and function more like natural teeth. Since they are removed each night, they are easy to keep clean. Like an implant-supported bridge, snap-on dentures don’t require tooth-for-tooth dental implant placement; instead, you’ll have 4–8 implants placed in each arch for support for a full denture, and fewer if you need only a partial denture.

Making the Choice Between Fixed Dental Implant Bridges and Snap-On Dentures

When you’re a patient at Rio Grande Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, you never have to feel like you need to make a decision about dental implants by yourself! Dr. Steel is always available to help you understand your options, discuss any concerns you might have, and consult with you and your general dentist or prosthodontist.

Generally speaking, a fixed dental implant bridge is a better choice if you only have a few teeth missing, while snap-on dentures are well-suited for anyone who is missing most of their teeth or a full arch of teeth.

You may also want to consider the care involved. If you’ve had dentures for a while, you may prefer that snap-on dentures allow you to take them out for cleaning; if, on the other hand, you want a permanent implant-supported restoration that never comes out and is brushed just like your natural teeth, a fixed bridge could be a better choice.

Learn More About Your Dental Implant Options

If you’d like to learn more about fixed dental implant bridges and snap-on dentures, contact us today at 505-821-2111 to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Steel.