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Alternatives to Dental Implants: What are Your Options?

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Are you wondering if there are any dental implant alternatives that work similarly to dental implants? Although dental implants have long been considered the gold standard for tooth replacement and restoration, there are other alternatives that you may consider.

Moreover, some people may not be considered ideal candidates for dental implants, hence the need to seek other options.

This article explores these other alternatives by extensively looking at the following:

  • Why dental implants are so popular;
  • Why you may need to consider dental implant alternatives;
  • Top 5 alternatives for dental implants.

Dental implants are considered the best solution for replacing missing natural teeth. But why exactly is this the case? Here are a few reasons why dental implants are considered the gold standard in tooth replacement:

  1. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, closely mimicking the appearance and function of natural teeth.
  2. These prosthetics offer a longer-lasting solution than other tooth replacement options, potentially lasting a lifetime.
  3. Dental implants preserve the integrity of healthy teeth as they do not need to be tampered with during installation.
  4. Compared to most other prosthetics, dental implants provide advanced comfort and functionality as they integrate with the jawbone.
  5. Implants mimic your natural teeth in every way, including your speech. This means they do not alter your speech patterns, and you will be able to articulate your words correctly.
  6. Dental implants are ideal as they prevent bone loss by stimulating the bone tissue. This preserves the natural contours of one’s face.
  7. Dental implant technology and techniques have advanced significantly, resulting in high success rates for properly selected and placed implants. With careful planning and an experienced dental professional, the success rate of dental implants is generally over 95%.

Why Consider Dental Implants Alternatives

Even though dental implants are the ideal tooth replacement option, they may not be the right option for everyone. Several factors may impact your suitability for dental implants, hence the need to search for alternatives.

Here are a few reasons you may want to look for dental implant alternatives:

  1. Insufficient bone density: Dental implants require a particular amount of healthy bone in the jaw for proper support and stability. People that have experienced significant bone loss may not be ideal candidates, as there won’t be sufficient bone to anchor the implant properly.
  2. Chronic health conditions: Certain chronic health conditions may affect the body’s ability to heal after implant surgery. Conditions, such as bleeding disorders or uncontrolled diabetes, may necessitate one to consider other options for tooth replacement.
  3. Advanced gum disease: Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that can affect the health and stability of the supporting tissues around your teeth. To get dental implants, you ought to have adequate bone support, which you may lack due to gum disease.
  4. Regular smoking: If you are a regular smoker, you may have to consider other alternatives to replace your missing natural teeth. Smoking impairs the healing process, increasing the risk of infections and contributing to implant failure.
  5. Financial constraints: Dental implants are not cheap, and you may have to dig deeper into your pocket, especially when you need to replace a significant number of teeth. This alone can disqualify certain people from getting the treatment. Fortunately, there are ways to get low-cost dental implants if you qualify.

Top 5 Alternatives for Dental Implants

Not everyone can find dental implants a suitable option for tooth replacement. So, what are the alternatives that you may look at? Here’s a quick list of the top 5 dental implant alternatives that you can consider:

Dental bridges
Dental bridges

Dental bridges are fixed prosthetics that ‘bridge’ the gap created by one or more missing natural teeth. These devices rely on adjacent healthy teeth or dental implants for stability and are fully fixed in your mouth. This means they cannot slip out during eating or speaking.

Dental bridges also mimic the appearance and function of natural teeth and can be made from different materials, including porcelain.


Dentures are popular alternatives for dental implants. These natural-looking prosthetics can be worn or fixed in your mouth to replace missing natural teeth.

There are numerous types of dentures, and your unique needs determine the best option for you.

Some popular denture types are:

  • Partial dentures: These are ideal for people who only want to replace a few missing teeth, either in the upper or lower jaw.
  • Full dentures: Full or complete dentures are recommended when you have lost all or almost all of your natural teeth. Existing teeth may have to be extracted first before you get full dentures.
  • Implant-supported dentures: Implant-supported dentures are ideal for patients with sufficient bone density who want to improve bite function. These are dentures that are supported by implants.
Resin-bonded bridge
Resin-bonded bridge

Resin-bonded bridges, also known as Maryland bridges, are a more conservative alternative to traditional dental bridges. They are primarily used in replacing missing front teeth and consist of a porcelain or metal framework bonded to the back of adjacent teeth using resin cement.


Flipper, also known as a flipper denture, is a natural-looking, temporary partial denture designed to fill the gap temporarily until a permanent solution can be achieved. Flipper dentures rely on the palate of the mouth and prevent adjacent teeth from drifting. Moreover, they do not require metal clasps, as they do not provide any permanent solutions.

Mini dental implants
Mini dental implants

There are different dental implant types, and mini dental implants are some popular ones. Mini dental implants are smaller versions of traditional implants. They are suitable for people with insufficient jaw bone density. Moreover, such implants offer a less invasive option and can also be used to stabilize dentures.

What Procedures Can I Get as a Substitute for Dental Implants?

At times, dental implants can become the last resort, as they are used for replacing missing natural teeth.

However, before you can be recommended to get this treatment, your dentist will first evaluate your oral health.

Sometimes, your dentist may recommend other treatment procedures instead of replacing a tooth. Some of the most popular treatments are:

  • Root canal therapy: Root canal therapy treats infected or damaged tooth pulp. It involves removing the infected tissue, cleaning the root canals, and sealing them.

This procedure saves your natural tooth, eliminating the need for extraction and providing a functional alternative to dental implants.

  • Gum disease treatment: If gum disease affects oral health, seeking treatment can be an alternative to dental implants.

Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, can remove plaque and tartar from below the gumline. In more advanced cases, surgical interventions like gum grafts or periodontal surgery may be required to restore gum health and stabilize your teeth, eliminating the need for dental implants.


Are bridges better than implants?

Bridges can be a better option than implants, depending on the circumstances, such as when there are healthy adjacent teeth to support the restoration.

However, dental implants have advantages such as preserving bone health, not relying on neighboring teeth, and offering long-term stability. Hence, they are considered the go-to treatment for tooth replacement due to their durability and natural feel.

What happens if you can’t have dental implants?

If you can’t have dental implants, you can consider alternatives such as dental bridges and dentures.

Is there an alternative to metal dental implants?

Yes, there are alternatives to traditional metal dental implants. Zirconia implants are a popular metal-free option.

Can I live without tooth implant?

Yes, you can live without a tooth implant. Dental implants are a highly effective solution for tooth replacement, but they are not the only option. Depending on the specific case, alternatives such as dental bridges or dentures can restore functionality and improve aesthetics.


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