Last updated on April 20th, 2022
There are a lot of reasons for missing teeth ranging from poor oral hygiene to simply aging. Moreover, though many people agree that missing teeth are the result of many factors, they ignore that it may cause further health problems and cosmetic issues.
Dental implants stand as the most popular treatment to recover from missing teeth. It is widely accepted that implants offer a permanent solution and fit the patients’ array of teeth perfectly. In addition, they can function and look just like natural teeth.
While implants are widely practiced in dentistry, some patients are still looking for less invasive or less expensive alternatives to dental implants. In this post, you will read about some of the most common alternatives to implants with short explanations.
Alternatives To Dental Implants
Millions of people prefer dental implants all around the world. However, since dental implants pose certain drawbacks, such as delayed bone healing, potential jaw and nerve damage, and the longer time required for the treatment, some patients are looking for other alternatives. Some alternatives are preventive, while some are corrective. In this post, we are explaining to you the most popular alternatives to dental implants with key factors.
1. Gum Disease Treatmen
As an effective preventive way, gum disease treatment is a good alternative for those not yet suffering from significant teeth loss. Regenerative care given to gums can save teeth from further damage. Of course, any treatment given to gums will not eliminate the existing cosmetic or functional problems with your teeth, but it will stop the infection from spreading throughout the body.
2. Root Canal
Root canal treatment is another alternative for dental implants. In some cases, the inside of the tooth is seriously infected even though the outside is still fine. In this procedure, the infected tissue is removed, cleaned, and a filling called “gutta-percha” is injected. It will prevent further decay, and you can keep using your natural tooth. In order to prevent the tooth surface from further damage, dentists apply crowns on the problematic tooth after root canal therapy. However, if there is no problem with the tooth surface or enamel, you can skip crown treatment.
3. Dental Bridge
If you are looking for corrective alternatives to dental implants, a dental bridge is one of the most effective ones. In this treatment, missing teeth or teeth are replaced by artificial teeth (resin or porcelain). Bridges are permanently fixed in the mouth, and they don’t get loose or slip out. As a result, you can eat and speak comfortably. However, you should bear in mind that dental bridges need two strong adjacent teeth to be fixed effectively. Usually, crowns are used to make the adjacent teeth stronger.
4. Implant-Supported Bridge
There are some other alternatives to tooth implants. For example, patients with several missing teeth can consider an implant-supported bridge. In this treatment, implant screws are used to hold adjacent teeth to support the replacement tooth. The procedure is similar to traditional dental bridges, but titanium screws are used instead of crowns to keep the bridge stable and stronger.
Dentures are removable but natural-looking alternatives to dental implants. If one or few teeth are missing, you can consider partial dentures. Artificial teeth are placed on a platform looking like your natural gum, and this platform is attached to your supporting teeth. If the existing teeth are not healthy and strong, or there are no teeth at all, then full dentures can work for you, though the procedure is a bit more complicated then. There are also implant-supported dentures for those seeking permanent alternatives to teeth implants. In this treatment, the denture (not the individual tooth) is secured and stabilized by using implants.
6. Resin-Bonded Bridge
Resin-bonded bridge, also known as a resin retained bridge, is a prosthetic dental treatment usually used to replace a single missing tooth. A false tooth replaces the missing tooth with a wing-like extension bonded to the neighboring teeth on each side. If you are looking for less invasive alternatives to dental implants, it may be a good option for you. However, this treatment is usually viable for the front or canine teeth as less biting force is required here.
7. Dental Flipper
If you are looking for temporary alternatives to dental implants, flippers can make a good substitute for a while. It is composed of a retainer that fits your palate and an artificial tooth attached to its front end. This single tooth looks like your natural teeth, and you can use it confidently. However, eating with a flipper is a controversial issue. It is not impossible, yet not very comfortable, either.
Dental implants are a common and effective way to replace one or more missing teeth. However, patients are not sure about getting this treatment because of the invasive methodology, long healing time, costs…etc. Now, you have learned about practical dental implant alternatives, and you can make a better decision for your case.