Know Your Options: Alternatives for Dental Implants
Whether you have lost your teeth due to poor oral care, traumas, oral diseases, or other causes, replacing the damaged or missing teeth is necessary. Missing teeth is not just a cosmetic issue or part of the aging process. They can cause significant harm to your oral health, confidence, and appearance. Most importantly, gaps created by missing teeth can cause the neighboring teeth to drift, causing bite alignment issues and jaw stress.
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are the best option, as they:
- Offer a permanent solution
- Look and function like your original teeth
- Can last longer with proper care
- Offer a perfect fit
- Do not require adjustments to the adjacent teeth
However, there are several other tooth replacement options that you might consider as a substitute for dental implants.
5 Best Alternatives to Dental Implants
Here are the best alternative options for dental implants:
1. Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is recommended when a patient has one or more missing teeth. It is supported by dental crowns on either side of the missing tooth. Dental bridges are fully fixed in your mouth, and they won’t slip out or become loose, allowing you to speak and eat easily.
Dental bridges look natural and can be easily cleaned and maintained. Also, dental crowns on neighboring teeth will prevent them from damages and drifting out of the position. However, you must have strong and healthy adjacent teeth to support a dental bridge.
Dentures are a natural-looking, comfortable, and removable tooth replacement option. You can choose between full and partial dentures depending on the number of teeth that need to be restored.
- Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are ideal for those who want to replace one or more missing teeth either in the upper or lower jaw. They are made of gum-colored bases that hold replacement teeth and will attach to your supporting teeth. Sometimes, you may need a crown on your supporting teeth to ensure the dentures fit well.
- Full Dentures: A full denture is recommended when you have lost all teeth, or the existing set needs to be removed due to decay, infection, pain, or other dental issues. A full upper denture is held in place by forming a seal with the bone ridges, palate (mouth roof), and gums, whereas a full lower denture is held in place by dental implants (anchors).
- Implanted-supported Dentures: Besides the dentures mentioned above, you can also choose an implant-supported denture. It is ideal for patients who want to improve bite function and denture stability. These dentures are highly functional and are attached to and supported by implants. However, they require a healthy and sufficient jaw bone to support the implants.
3. Resin-Bonded Bridge
Resin-bonded bridges are like dental bridges that function and feel like your natural teeth. The only difference is that the false tooth will be attached with resin rather than with the help of adjacent teeth in dental bridges. The resin is placed behind the teeth to hold the false tooth in position. This procedure is less invasive and can be reversed if required.
Flipper is a natural-looking, temporary partial denture that is attached to the sides of the missing tooth. It relies on the palate of the mouth or suction of the roof and prevents the adjacent teeth from drifting. Besides, it does not require metal clasps and is easy to wear. Though less expensive, flippers are not a permanent solution.
5. Implant-Supported Bridge
An implant-supported bridge is recommended if you have several missing teeth. The lost tooth/teeth are supported by adjacent teeth that are held in place with implants. While enhancing your oral health and functionality, these bridges give a beautiful, natural look.
If you have lost one or more teeth and are looking for the best missing tooth replacement options, contact our team at Smile Arizona Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ, to schedule an appointment.