Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Umer Malik
If you need a tooth replacement, you may be considering dental implants. However, dental implants are not always an option—they can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance. Additionally, the surgery required for dental implants can be extensive and have a long recovery time.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to dental implants that can provide you with a similar level of function and aesthetics. Also, if you’re looking for a less costly or more readily available solution, here are some alternatives to dental implants.
Table of Contents
1. Dental Bridges
A dental bridge covers the gap left by one or more lost teeth. The bridge comprises pontics, or false teeth, in the centre and two crowns attached to the teeth on either side of the gap. Typically, porcelain or ceramic is used to create bridges, which can be closely matched to the color of your actual teeth.
2. Dental Partial
A dental partial is a removable appliance that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. A partial is made up of false teeth (called pontics) that are attached to a metal frame. The frame has clasps that fit around existing teeth, which helps to keep the partial in place. Partials can be made from various materials, including porcelain, acrylic, or nylon.
3. Root Canal Therapy
During root canal therapy, the tooth’s interior is cleaned, and the damaged portion of the tooth is extracted. The damaged part of the tooth is removed during root canal therapy, and the tooth’s interior is cleaned. The tooth is then sealed to prevent further damage. Root canal therapy can be an alternative to dental implants in cases where the damage to the tooth is not too extensive.
4. Dental Crowns
A dental crown is an appliance used to cover a damaged or misshapen tooth. The crown is placed over the existing tooth, which helps to restore its function and appearance. Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, or metal.
5. Resin-Bonded Bridge
A resin-bonded bridge is an appliance that is used to fill the space of one or more missing teeth. The bridge is made up of two crowns placed on the teeth on either side of the empty space and false teeth (called pontics) in between. The pontics are bonded to the crowns with resin, which helps to keep them in place. Resin-bonded bridges are usually made from porcelain or ceramic, which can closely match the color of your natural teeth.
Why Do We Need Alternatives to Dental Implants?
Dental implants are one of the most popular treatments for replacing missing or damaged teeth. However, they are not always the best option for every patient. For some individuals, cost or health concerns may make dental implants an unsuitable choice. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to dental implants that can provide patients with effective and affordable solutions for their dental needs.
- Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are removable prosthetics that are designed to replace one or more missing teeth. They are made of a combination of plastic and metal and can be easily inserted and removed by the patient.
- Dental Bridges: Dental bridges are a fixed option for replacing one or more missing teeth. They are made by attaching a false tooth to two crowns that are placed over the remaining natural teeth.
- Tooth-supported Overdentures: Tooth-supported overdentures are a type of removable denture secured by the remaining natural teeth. They provide better stability and comfort than traditional dentures.
- Resin-bonded Bridges: Resin-bonded bridges are a less invasive option for replacing missing teeth. They are made by bonding a false tooth to the adjacent natural teeth with a resin material.
Replacing missing teeth can be challenging, but there are a number of viable alternatives to dental implants. Dental bridges, partials, root canal therapy, and dental crowns are all options that can provide you with a similar level of function. Additionally, resin-bonded bridges can provide a cosmetic solution that closely resembles your natural teeth. Talk to your dentist to see which option is right for you. This way, you can restore your smile and your confidence.