Snap-on Dentures versus All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures

Dr. Firoz Lalani

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Firoz Lalani

Table of Contents
All on 4 Dental Implants in Houston, TX

If you are missing the majority of your teeth, you probably want to replace them as soon as possible. After all, it’s harder to eat and speak without teeth- and you probably don’t really want to smile much without teeth. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for replacing teeth. Two of these options are snap-on dentures and all-on-four implants.

While most people are familiar with traditional dentures, they don’t really know as much about snap-on dentures and all-on-4 implants.

Snap-on dentures are also known as snap-in dentures, overdentures, anchored dentures, and implant retained dentures. Traditional dentures are anchored to your gums with adhesive, while snap-on dentures are connected to your jawbone with dental implants. The implants act as tooth roots to hold the denture plates in place, providing more stability than denture adhesive.

Snap-on dentures are similar to traditional dentures in that they are made of an acrylic material and must be removed daily to be cleaned. Also, in general, snap-in dentures must be replaced every 5 years. However, while these are a better, more stable option than traditional dentures, there are some disadvantages to snap-on dentures, especially when compared to All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures

We offer both of these options at A Dental Care. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two to help you make an informed decision.

All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures

All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures is a teeth replacement procedure in which 4 titanium posts or implants are placed into your jawbone. Abutments are placed on top of the implants, which will hold the artificial teeth, or bridge, in place. All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures allow patients to have a full arch set of teeth in each arch which is 12 to 14 teeth, replaced with only 4 dental implants each- two in the back and two in the front.

All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures are a permanent solution to missing teeth, unlike snap-on dentures. All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures act like natural teeth. Once installed, All-on-4 are not required to be removed by the patient for cleaning. They require very little special care and require the same dental hygiene as your natural teeth.

Since they look and act like natural teeth, you can expect these benefits:

  • Improved diet- you can eat whatever you want, you don’t have to eliminate foods that are tough, chewy, or hard.
  • Restored speech- you will be able to enunciate your words better
  • Increased confidence/socialization- they are securely attached to your jawbone, so you don’t have to worry that they will slip out of place. The only thing others will see is your smile.
  • Healthy facial structure- when you’re missing teeth, your jawbone will begin to absorb into your system- but dental implants prevent this, which keeps the structure of your face.

Durability of All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures

All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures

Research shows that All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures are more durable than snap-on dentures and much more durable than traditional. The bridge teeth are made from zirconia, which is a material that is strong and long-lasting. You don’t have to worry that it will crack, break, or stain. However, snap-on dentures are typically made from acrylic, which will break and change color over time, requiring replacement. You don’t have to worry about replacing All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures

  • Comfort of All-on-4

All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures are much more comfortable than snap-on and traditional dentures. This is because they are attached to your jaw with implants and don’t rub or press on your gums. They look a lot more like regular teeth than bulky snap-on dentures.

What is the difference between Snap-On Dentures and All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures?

Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the differences between snap-on dentures and All-on-4 dental implants:

  • Pain

Both require titanium posts (implants) to be inserted into the jawbone. This is a surgical procedure, performed by an oral surgeon. However, the procedure is painless because oral surgeons at A Dental Care are experienced, trained, and certified in providing patients with IV sedation anesthesia, allowing you to sleep through it.

Since snap-on dentures are bulky and removable, they can rub on your gums, causing friction and creating sore spots. This makes them much less comfortable than All-on-4s. Plus, though they are more stable than traditional dentures, they do not have the same stability as All-on-4s.

On the other hand, All-on-4s are made from zirconia, which is a durable, bio-friendly substance that looks and feels like natural teeth. The prosthetic bridge is permanently attached to the implants, so you don’t have to worry about slipping and rubbing.

  • Cost

On average, snap-on dentures cost between $8,000 to $12,000 per arch and must be replaced approximately every 5 years. Replacements are $2,500 to $5,000.

All-on-4 dental implants cost an average of $25,000 to $40,000 per arch.

  • Maintenance

Snap-on dentures require about the same maintenance as traditional dentures. They must be taken out daily and cleaned, brushing isn’t enough. Like traditional dentures, snap-on dentures must be brushed and soaked overnight. Plus, since acrylic is porous, snap-on dentures will become foul-smelling over time.

Snap-on dentures must be refitted to the connector yearly to ensure appropriate alignment to prevent excess wear and tear on the prosthetic teeth. Also, snap-on dentures must be replaced every 5 years.

On the other hand, All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures are permanently attached to your jaw and never need to be replaced. The only maintenance required is regular brushing and flossing and regular visits to the dentist and hygienist for maintenance , just like natural teeth.

  • Eating

When it comes to eating, there is no comparison between these two tooth replacement options. Snap-on dentures do not restore bite strength like All-on-4 dental implants do.

Snap-on dentures are made from soft acrylic, meaning they are more vulnerable to damage from eating hard foods. Therefore, patients with snap-on dentures must stick to the same food restrictions as patients with traditional dentures. This means you must give up hard foods, chewy foods, tough foods, etc. Snap-on dentures still shift when eating, creating sore spots, ulcers, and pain on your gums. Also, food often gets trapped between the denture and gum.

All on 4 Fixed implant Dentures are made from zirconia, which is a biocompatible material that is strong like natural teeth. Therefore, patients with All-on-4s don’t have to worry about food restrictions. They are secured tightly to the implants and will not move at all when eating.

  • Life Expectancy

When cared for properly, All-on-4 dental implant bridges will last a lifetime. They are secured to titanium posts, which are biologically inert and corrosion-resistant. The prosthetic teeth are made from zirconia, which is resistant to wear and tear.

Snap-on dentures are made from acrylic, which is porous and soft. Over time, these dentures will become deformed, damaged, and loose. Also, since acrylic ages quickly, they will become brittle over time. Most patients find that they must replace them at least every 5 years- sometimes sooner, depending on the foods that you eat. Plus, since acrylic is porous, it often develops a foul odor over time.


At A Dental Care, we understand that missing teeth can have a detrimental effect on your life and health. Therefore, we want you to know you have options when it comes to tooth replacement. Two of those options are Snap-on Dentures and All-on-4 dental implants.

As you can see, both are a viable option- but All-on-4 dental implants are the closest tooth replacement you’ll get to your natural teeth, unless you do a full set of dental implants, which can get expensive.

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