Dental Implant Alternative Options at University Dental

Dental implants are the most permanent, durable, and natural-looking solution to replacing missing teeth, but they’re not the right solution for everyone. Some people have insufficient bone density in their jaw, and others have health conditions that put them at risk of poor outcomes. Additionally, some people might prefer to avoid the lengthy healing process involved with dental implants, and others might decline due to financial reasons. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to dental implants available. 

Dental bridges

 

Dental bridges involve a prosthetic, natural-looking crown to fill in a gap from a missing tooth, using the adjacent teeth as anchors. The teeth are usually filed down to support the bridge, which features two crown “caps” for the existing teeth and a solid crown to replace the missing tooth. If the existing teeth are not strong enough to be filed down, a prosthetic tooth can be attached with “wings” adhered to the surrounding teeth. As with any dental procedure, there are advantages and disadvantages to dental bridges:

 

Advantages:

  • Long-lasting, up to 10 years
  • More stable than dentures
  • Help prevent tooth decay and gum disease

 

Disadvantages:

  • Capable of replacing only one or a few adjacent teeth
  • Might add pressure to surrounding teeth, which may cause damage

Full Dentures

Dentures are a great affordable option to replace a full arch or full mouth of missing teeth. Typically made of durable plastic or porcelain, the prosthetic teeth are attached to a natural-looking support piece designed to fit comfortably in the mouth. Dentures are easy to remove and clean, and they allow much more freedom in what you can eat compared to the limitations from missing or severely decayed teeth.

 

Advantages of full dentures:

  • Instantly improves appearance and ability to eat and speak
  • Preserves facial structures and prevents jaw misalignment
  • Improves speech over time

 

Disadvantages of full dentures:

  • Can cause discomfort when worn for long periods of time
  • Not a permanent solution to missing teeth, and might require periodic adjustments
  • Patient will still be limited in what they can eat

Partial dentures

 

Partial dentures are similar to full dentures, but instead of replacing an entire arch or mouth of teeth, partial dentures replace several missing teeth, even if they are not adjacent, making it a more viable option for certain patients compared to dental bridges. Partial dentures are made of natural-looking prosthetic teeth attached to a strong plastic base, which is secured with metal clasps on the existing teeth. 

 

Advantages:

  • An affordable way to replace several missing teeth
  • Prevents further tooth decay
  • Allows for more comfort when eating and speaking

 

Disadvantages:

  • Not permanently fixed in the mouth, which can cause slippage
  • Can cause minor discomfort or sores when worn for long periods of time
  • Might need size adjustments over time

Dr. Armin Hage has helped thousands of patients reclaim the confidence of having a full set of teeth, through dental implants or other tooth replacement options. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at (619) 582-4224.