Best Alternatives to Dental Implants – Overview
Dental implants are highly recommended when you need to replace one or more teeth. However, many patients tend to avoid getting conventional dental implants for one or more reasons.
The patient always has the discretion to choose or refuse any treatment option. However, what other options do you have if you need to get a tooth replacement?
In this article, we will describe in detail the importance of dental implants and some of the most popular dental implant alternatives.
When Do Dental Implants Become Necessary?
Some patients tend to dread undergoing dental implant surgery. In reality, a person is lucky if they can afford to undergo dental treatment for tooth decay or a dental implant procedure. Dental experts say dental implants are necessary when a tooth has been damaged or decayed extensively.
This dental procedure is highly recommended to prevent the infection from the decayed tooth from affecting other healthy teeth around it.
Though there could be other reasons for undergoing dental implant surgery, there are not many options available for treating, repairing, and restoring healthy teeth in some situations.
How Does a Dental Implant Work?
Dental implants are usually lengthy and somewhat painful surgical procedures. These require some recovery care and time. To many patients, this is a drawback.
A dental implant procedure involves the following steps:
- Removing decayed teeth or teeth
- Replacing it with an artificial implant that has been specifically designed to fit your jawbone and replace the damaged, removed tooth
A dental implant is fixed onto your jaw with an artificial tooth on top. These artificial teeth are often called “crowns.” Usually, patients need to remove and replace more than one tooth with dental implant surgery. You should expect to feel significant swelling and pain as the tooth extraction and implant procedure is underway.
What Are the Dental Implant Alternatives?
Fortunately, there are several different types of alternatives to choose from instead of a conventional dental implant.
However, as it’s not likely to find a sure fix or alternative that suits all, it is recommended to check all options before deciding on the best-suited dental implant alternative in your case.
These dental implant alternatives are usually less expensive than conventional implants but provide the same relief and result, if not better.
These are highly helpful in restoring lost tooth volume. On the other hand, dental restorative treatment may not always provide a permanent solution for dental problems.
Here are some of the top dental implant alternatives you can try:
1 – Gum Disease Treatments
Gum disease treatment is considered one of the most basic alternatives to dental implant surgery. Gum disease can damage or cause decimation of the tooth enamel, which causes decay and form cavities in time.
Severe gum disease can even cause teeth to become loose. However, you can effectively restore healthy gums with proper regenerative dental care.
Though this alternative may not always produce the most satisfactory results, it is often a good choice for patients who have not experienced significant tooth loss or loss of jawbone structure. In any case, you will still be able to prevent the loss of teeth and keep your natural teeth for a longer time.
2 – Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is highly recommended if there is a threatening infection inside your tooth. This treatment helps to clean out the tooth and stabilize its health. This dental implant alternative makes it easier to remove and replace damaged and decayed teeth with fillings.
Once the dentist removes the infected pulp from inside your tooth, they will fix the filling in its place.
A dental crown is placed over the tooth to prevent further decay or infection. If the damage to your tooth is mild, you may not even need to wear a crown on the tooth.
3 – Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is an excellent dental implant alternative when you have a missing tooth and want to try an alternate treatment. This dental restoration method uses two crowns on each side of the space where your missing tooth used to be. It then placed a replacement tooth in between the crowns.
Dental bridges look extremely similar to dental implants but without the problems and drawbacks associated with the latter.
This alternative is more affordable than expensive dental implants and does not require undergoing any surgery. However, this is not a durable option as the dental bridge is liable to get knocked, loosened, chipped or even broken by chewing hard foods, over time.
4 – Partial/Full Mouth Dentures
Dentures are excellent for improving your situation when dental implants and crowns are ineffective.
Dentures are the partial or full set of replacement teeth that fits snugly over your gums, very similar to your natural teeth. These are often associated with old age but offer numerous benefits to users of all ages.
Dentures can effectively imitate the feel of your natural teeth within the mouth. They are created to custom measurements so they can fit an individual’s mouth perfectly. Some of the high-quality dentures look so similar to natural teeth that it is often hard to distinguish between the two.
5 – Denture attachments
You can attach dentures using several different ways to your existing teeth or your mouth. Dentists may sometimes use simple dentures that can easily be fixed in place using glue and suction.
However, thanks to advances in dentistry, you can get dentures with locking systems that are similar to crowns and lock in place using magnets. It is easier to quickly remove and attach these types of dentures, making cleaning and maintenance more efficient.
When discussing long-term durability and comfort, many dentists recommend using denture attachments as these are most comfortable, less irritating/painful and cause less discomfort than conventional dentures.
Some of the best dental implant alternatives are gum disease treatment, root canal therapy, classic dental bridge, full/partial mouth dentures and denture attachments.
Make sure to consult with your dentist or orthodontist to determine the most affordable and effective dental implant alternative for you.