What are snap-on dentures, and how much do they cost? If you have missing teeth and are looking into replacing them, you have most likely come across a lot of options in your research. And, you probably already know that it's pretty important that you get those missing teeth replaced to maintain your oral health.
Snap-in dentures are on the expensive and permanent side of the scale since they are secured by dental implants. But, does ‘more expensive' mean they are the best dentures for you?
To answer this question and help you make a more informed decision, we'll take a closer look at some important information about snap-on dentures including:
- Snap-on dentures cost in the UK
- Implant dentures pros and cons
- Procedure for snap-in dentures
- Snap-on dentures with the NHS
- Implant retained dentures reviews
We hope this information helps you make the best decision for your needs and your budget.
Table of contents
What are snap-in denture implants?
Snap-on dentures are false teeth that are secured in your mouth with dental implants. They have quite a few names, so we will mostly refer to them as both snap-on dentures and clip-on dentures. However, they are also called implant-retained dentures, denture implants, removable implant dentures, implant dentures, and clip-in dentures.
This type of denture can require as few as two dental implants, and if your bone isn't strong enough for standard implants, mini implants may be substituted.
Snap-on dentures are considered to be a better tooth replacement option than standard dentures that use adhesive to stay in your mouth. And, they are a much better tooth replacement option than purely cosmetic products like clip-on veneers (although clip-on veneers shouldn't be considered a tooth replacement option).
Unfortunately, the fact that they involve surgery to place the implants makes them a more expensive option. However, they are still cheaper than a full mouth of implants or All-on-4s, making them the middle-of-the-road option for people with missing teeth.
How do they work?
When you get snap-on denture implants, the first step is to get dental implants placed in your upper or lower jaw, or both for a full set of false teeth.
Then, you simply ‘snap-on' your snap-in dentures which are held in place by the implants. You can eat and drink with your overdentures, but they typically need to be taken out at night.
Snap-in dentures vs permanent dentures
It's easy to get the two confused but there are some key differences between implant retained dentures and permanent or fixed dentures.
Permanent dentures require implants to be placed in your jaw and then your dentures are then fitted over your implants. They differ from clip-on dentures because you can't remove them by yourself. Instead, a dentist will remove them for you if and when they need to be repaired, replaced, or cleaned.
Snap-in dentures, just like permanent dentures, use implants for stabilization. They can be worn all day and while eating and drinking, but you can remove them yourself and they must be taken out at night.
You may have also have heard of the All-on-4 teeth replacement option, which is also a type of permanent denture. If you're interested in learning more about this option, you can read our full All-on-4 implant guide.
Snap-in denture implants vs standard false teeth
When considering options for restoring your smile, you'll find a wide range of treatments and costs in the UK.
On one end of the spectrum, you'll have options that are mostly cosmetic. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find options that closely mimic what it's like to have natural teeth.
You'll also find that the cosmetic options are usually a lot cheaper than the options that are both cosmetic and functional. The options that are mostly cosmetic include clip-on veneers, which clip on over your natural teeth, improving the look of your smile.
The options that are closer to your natural teeth are dental implants, which consist of a screw that is implanted into your jawbone taking the place of a tooth root. On top of the screw are an abutment and crown that attaches to the abutment and replaces the visible part of the tooth.
Implant retained dentures fall on this side of the spectrum because, while they aren't as stable and permanent as a full mouth of dental implants, they are considered to be a much better solution than a purely aesthetic option. As implants, Snap-on dentures contribute to preventing bone loss, which is imperative to achieve satisfactory retention and therefore stability.
Standard dentures don't involve implants and are secured in your mouth, usually with an adhesive. If they are of good quality, they can help you speak and eat almost like you would with natural teeth. So they are better than a purely aesthetic option, but they don't feel as natural as implants.
Implant retained vs implant-supported dentures
One important thing to consider when making your decision about what type of denture to choose is the masticatory function. Dentures must exhibit great stability to mimic as much as possible the natural chewing process. Deficiencies in this process might impact negatively your health in terms of nutrition.
The prior can take place as a result of either evasion to consume nutritionally important aliments that are tough to chew or due to poorly swallow food boluses which contribute to slowing down the digestive process.
This study makes a comparison of masticatory process effectiveness between conventional dentures and implant overdentures. It was found that implant-based dentures decreased approximately by half the chewing cycle compared to standard dentures. Additionally, implant-based dentures exhibited a major bite force.
In that context, both implant-retained dentures and implant-supported dentures are considered better than removable dentures that use adhesive to stay in your mouth.
Implant retained dentures include snap-on dentures. They require as few as two implants (which can also be mini implants) and help with eating and speaking in a more natural manner. They also help to stop some of the bone loss that can happen over time with missing teeth.
Implant-supported dentures generally require more implants, which absorb some of your bite impact for a stronger bite. These are better at stopping bone loss than implant-retained dentures and are also more expensive. All-on-4 implants are one example of these.
What are snap-on dentures pros and cons?
To help decide if this is a good option for you, check out these snap-on dentures pros and cons provided by the Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation:
- Help with speaking and eating capabilities
- More stable than standard dentures
- Better aesthetics than standard dentures
- Help stop the deterioration of the jawbone
- Require fewer implants compared to fixed implant-supported complete dentures.
- More expensive that other teeth-replacement options
- Involves surgery
- Slow rehabilitation process compared to conventional dentures.
- Not as good of a solution as all-on-4 implants or standard dental implants
What are the steps to getting snap-on dentures?
There are a few steps to getting your clip-in dentures. Some of them are similar to getting dental implants, but instead of getting a crown fitted a denture is attached. Snap-on dentures can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months depending on the amount of healing needed. The steps to getting snap-on dentures include:
- A consultation with your dentist to determine if your jawbone is strong enough to support implants. If not, you will need to get a bone graft, and then your gums will need to heal.
- Your oral surgeon or periodontist will surgically insert the implants into the jawbone.
- The healing process will last for the next two to six months, as the bone grows around your implants and secures them. You can wear temporary dentures at this time.
- A second surgery may be necessary in order for a locator (the base for your overdentures) to be attached to the implants.
- Once you heal from the second surgery (normally a two-week period) you can then get your snap-on dentures.
What do snap-in dentures cost in the UK?
The cost of snap-in dentures depends on a few different factors. But, one factor that will make a big difference is whether you get your treatment privately or with the NHS. It isn't easy to qualify for snap-on dentures with the NHS, so be prepared to get your treatment privately if necessary.
Can you get implant retained dentures with the NHS?
Yes, you can get implant-retained dentures with the NHS if they are medically necessary and you are eligible for the treatment. Unfortunately, many people that want implants will find they are not eligible. This is because of the high cost of any type of implant treatment, including snap-in dentures.
While snap-on dentures may be a cheaper alternative to full dental implants, it is still tough to get them on the NHS.
Like any NHS dental treatment, the cost is subject to NHS treatment band prices which differ from country to country within the UK. Snap-on dentures are a band 3 treatment and therefore cost £282.80 in England, £203 in Wales and the maximum charge in Scotland and Northern Ireland is £384.
It is possible to get free NHS treatment in some cases, including:
- Anyone under the age of 18
- Pregnant women who have given birth within the last 12 months
- Those eligible for low-income benefits.
What do implant retained dentures cost privately?
Snap-in dentures cost in the UK anywhere from £4000 to £14,000. This price includes implants and dentures. The price range is so vast because it depends on how many implants you need, the materials used, the denture, and of course which dental clinic you go to. But, whether you have to pay closer to £4000 or £14,000 it can be a hefty price that many might have trouble funding.
Thankfully, there are dental insurance plans available that offer coverage for restorative dental services like snap-on dentures. You will have to get separate or premium cover to cover implants though, as it's unusual to be covered in your standard dental insurance.
Another way to pay for your snap-on dentures is by taking out a dental loan. You can read more about how to do this, along with the pros and cons, in our dental loan article.
Alternatively, many people opt to get their snap-on denture implants abroad in places like Poland and Hungary. This is because the standard of care is as good as the UK, and prices are more affordable. To find out more about this option, you can read our article dedicated to dental tourism.
Snap-in dentures reviews
When making a decision, it's always good to look for reviews when doing your own research. Reading other people's snap-in dentures reviews can give you a better idea of what they are like, what you might experience when getting them. Some reviews may even be able to tell you what it's like getting used to dentures.
This, alongside a dental professional's advice, can help you to make a more informed decision about your dental treatment.
Implant retained dentures review: UK
Roger reviews his new snap-on dentures from Spires Dental Clinic in Lichfield, UK. He was having trouble with his standard dentures, so after reading reviews online he contacted the clinic. Roger explains that he was using Fixadent to re-glue his dentures at least twice a day, and only eating soft foods.
Once Roger decided that implant-retained dentures were the right choice he booked in for treatment. Roger says that he felt comfortable from start to finish and that the dentist looked after his best interests. He seems really pleased with his treatment and is happy to be able to eat steak again!
Mini implant retained dentures review
This young man updates us on his snap-on dentures two weeks into getting them. He didn't have a strong enough jawbone for normal implants, so he had to get mini implants for his snap-ons.
He's still in the process of working out the odds and ends of having new teeth. However, he does a good job explaining things you may not know when it comes to getting dentures.
He also goes over some of the aspects he likes about having implant dentures instead of regular dentures. This includes not having to use dental glue anymore, the taste of food being better, and overall comfort.
In his vlog, you can see what he looks like before and after he has his snap-in dentures implants placed.
Snap-on dentures review
One woman filmed her experience the day that she was finally ready to get her actual snap-on denture implants. The dentist goes over some helpful care information for snap-on denture implants as well. Of course, you should follow the instructions that your own dentist gives you first.
As you can see, she has a beautiful smile and seems to be overall happy with the experience. Watch the full video below:
If you have missing teeth, it's important for your oral health and overall health that you get them replaced. The best way is with dental implants, but these can be quite a costly option.
A more affordable option is implant retained dentures which according to dentists, aren't as good as normal implants, but are still a better option than standard dentures.
You and your dentist will have to decide which is the best option for you, based on your needs and your budget.
Have a look at the following table for a summary of the pros and cons of snap-on dentures versus other kinds of smile restoration options.
Less expensive than full implants
More expensive than purely cosmetic options
Help reduce bone loss
Aren't as good as normal implants in stopping bone loss
Help regain normal speech
Not as strong as normal implants
Can eat a mostly normal diet
How much do implant-retained dentures cost?
Snap-on dentures can cost anywhere from £4000 to £14,000 privately in the UK, depending on how many implants you get and where you go. You may also be eligible to get them on the NHS. The criteria for getting implants on the NHS is quite stringent so be prepared to go privately if you are not offered the option.
If you are concerned about cost, you can always look into dental financing. One of the best financing options is just to ask your dentist about payment plans, so you can spread your payments out over time. You may also want to consider dental tourism, but you need to make sure to find a trustworthy overseas dentist if you choose that option.
What are denture implants?
Denture implants are overdentures that are kept in place with implants. There are two kinds of denture implants: implant-retained dentures and implant-supported dentures. Implant-retained dentures require as few as two implants per jaw.
They can be used for talking or eating, and improve bite force, but aren't the best replacement for a natural bite. These are meant to be taken out after eating. Snap-on dentures are an example of implant retained dentures.
Implant-supported dentures generally involve more implants and thus take the force of your bite off of your gums, and direct it into your implants, much like with natural tooth roots. These are normally not meant to be taken out at night. All-on-4 implants are an example of implant-supported dentures.
Are snap-on dentures worth it?
You'll need to speak with your dentist about your oral health needs and your budget. Snap-on dentures aren't as good as regular dental implants, but they are better than standard dentures. And, for many people, they are more affordable than dental implants when paying for private treatment.
Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation: Implant overdentures, introduction. Consulted 31st January 2020.
NHS. How much will I pay for NHS dental treatment? Consulted 14th July 2021.
NCBI. A comparative evaluation of chewing efficiency, masticatory bite force, and patient satisfaction between conventional denture and implant-supported mandibular overdenture: An in vivo study. Consulted 17th January 2022.