Why lower dentures don’t stay put
One of the great challenges when making a denture is to make it ‘stay put’. Especially a full denture in the lower jaw often has problems with retention. There are several reasons for this:
1) A denture has the best retention, if it fits around the jaw bone. The bone in the lower jaw is often too flat for this and the denture might slide around or tip on top of the gum.
2) The upper full denture has the advantage of a sort of ‘suction’ between the denture and the palate, because the denture covers the whole palate. In contrast, the denture in the lower jaw can only be U-shaped because of the tongue. As a result, the contact area between the denture and the gum is relatively small and there can be no suction between the denture and the gum.
Many people have no problems with their full lower denture, but for others the inadequate retention of the denture causes problems when speaking and chewing food. For these a ‘snap-in’ denture might be a good solution.
The ideal conditions for a snap-in denture is, if the roots of a couple of your natural teeth (preferably the canine teeth) are still left in the jaw to attach the denture onto. But even if you have none of your natural teeth left, it is still possible for you to have a snap-in denture made by implanting titanium roots into the jaw.
Snap-in dentures and implants
The procedure of making an implant is not as complicated as it sounds. First, a little hole is drilled in the bone and a titanium screw is placed in the hole. After a few months the bone has healed so well around the screw that it is completely attached to the bone and it is stable enough to support a denture.
The snap-in concept
Whether you have natural roots of implant roots, the snap-in system works the same way: A little ball-shaped attachment is added on top of the root. On the denture is attached a little lock that fits perfectly together with the attachment on the root. When the denture is placed over the root, the attachments snap in place and the denture will stay put.
How many ‘snaps’?
Normally a minium of two original roots or implant roots are required to achieve a good result with a lower denture. For the upper denture more than two roots are needed for retention.