We can lose a tooth for various reasons: poor oral health or trauma. Whichever the case, a replacement in necessary. This is not only a matter of aesthetics, but can also significantly impact your oral health, confidence, appearance. But most importantly, gaps left by missing teeth can cause your other teeth to shift, resulting in bite misalignment and jaw stress. So, when it comes to replacing missing teeth there are several dental implant alternatives you can consider.
Dental implants are a good option because they:
- Are a perfect fit to your missing tooth
- Don’t require further adjustments
- Can last really long if you care for them properly
- Look and feel like your natural teeth
- Are a permanent solution to missing tooth
But if you’re not keen on this solution, here are 5 different dental implant alternatives
If you’re missing one or more teeth, this is the most ideal option. Dental bridges are supported by dental crown on each side. They are permanently fixed, sturdy so you don’t have to worry about them becoming loose. It won’t impact your speaking and eating habits at all.
Dentures as dental implant alternatives
Unlike dental bridges, which are fixed, dentures are removable tooth replacement options. They are also comfortable and natural-looking just as dental implants. Now, depending on the number of teeth you want to replace, you can choose between full or partial dentures.
Partial dentures are meant for patients that want to replace one or more missing teeth. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on your top or lower jaw. Dentures have a base the same color as your gums and it (the base) hold the replacement teeth). The base attaches to your supporting teeth, although sometimes you might need to get a dental crown in order to ensure a good fit.
Full dentures are advised for those patients that either lost a lot of teeth or they need to remove the existing ones because they have decayed too much. A top denture is hold in place by a seal which is created with the palate, gums and bone ridges. The lower denture is held in place by dental implants which serve as anchors.
There is another type of dentures, meant for patients that want a better bite function but also denture stability. These implanted-supported dentures are held in place by dental implants. However, in order to have these, you need to have healthy and sufficient jaw bone support so they can support the implants.
Resin-bonded bridges are also dental implant alternatives similar to dental bridges we’ve mentioned before. The only difference is that the bridge is not held in place by adjacent teeth, but with a special type of resin. The resin in placed behind the teeth to hold the bridge in position. Good thing about this is that it is reversible if necessary and it’s less invasive.
Flipper as dental implant alternatives
Unlike dental implants which are a permanent solution, flippers are temporary dental implant alternatives which are attached to the side of the missing tooth. The palate of the mouth or suction on the roof holds it in place and the adjacent teeth don’t drift. There’s no need for metal clasps, it’s quite easy to wear and it’s less expensive.
If you have several missing teeth, your dentist will most likely recommend you to have an implant-supported bridge. Adjacent teeth hold in place the lost teeth (bridge) with the help of implants. It’s not only sturdy, stable and functional, but is also looks natural.
As you can see, there are many dental implant alternatives that you can consider, depending on whether you’ve lost one or more than one tooth. However, it’s still the best option to keep your natural teeth in good health, schedule regular appointments with your dentist and have good oral hygiene.