Dental implants are considered one of the most effective tooth replacement methods nowadays. However, not every patient would go with a dental implant. They may not be qualified for a dental implant due to a lack of the jawbone to hold the implants in place. Additionally, the fact that a dental implant is a surgical procedure – meaning it is somewhat invasive, may scare them away from this option. Whatever the reason is, good news for these individuals is besides dental implants, there are other alternatives that they can choose from. Read on and find out about these dental implant alternatives with Sydney Dental.

dental implant alternatives

Dental implant

1. Why and how is a dental implant done?

Generally speaking, dental implants play as the substitute roots for your teeth. They bring patients a strong base for permanent or detachable false teeth that are designed to match your original ones.

Those who have lost one or more teeth can find dental implants helpful. A dental implant is also needed if you have missing teeth as a result of:

  • Tooth decay, also called cavities;
  • Breaks in the tooth roots;.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism;
  • Periodontal conditions;
  • Injuries to the face;
  • Innate tooth loss (born with some teeth missing).

During the procedure, the dental specialist will:

  • Put you under anesthesia. They will calculate the right dose of local anesthesia to numb your gums up. If you want to be sedated, meaning you’ll fall asleep during the procedure, the provider may accommodate that request as well;
  • Make a cut in your gums. As soon as you feel comfortable with the help of the numbing medication, the professional will create an incision in your gums to give space for the upcoming dental implant. This will reveal the bone underneath for the implant to be located;
  • Prepare the jaw. Your dentist will use specialized tools to make a hole in your jawbone. They’ll expand the it until it is of the exact diameter for your the implant;
  • Position the implant. The provider will place the dental implant into your jaw with extra care;
  • Seal the cuts. Finally, your dentist will reposition the gums and stitch the incision shut.

2. The candidacy

2.1. What makes someone a good candidate?

Those whose health is good enough to receive a normal tooth extraction or dental surgery can be a candidate for dental implants. They should also have:

  • Healthy gums;
  • Enough bone for the implants to be bonded to;
  • Decent oral hygiene;
  • Frequent visits to the dentist.

Thorough examination needs to be done before dental implants for patients who:

  • Are chronic smokers;
  • Have out-of-control chronic diseases, like diabetes or heart problems;
  • Are undergoing radiation therapy in the head or neck.

Whatever the case is, always consult with your dentist to see if dental implants are a good fit for you.

2.2. And what makes them not a candidate?

Dental implants may not be a good fit for some people due to certain risk factors, specifically if they:

  • Are less than 18 years of age, this is because most dentists will only give dental implants to those whose jaw has stopped growing;
  • Smoke or use tobacco;
  • Have substantial loss of the jaw bone;
  • Practice improper oral hygiene;
  • Have deep tooth cavities;
  • Have existing periodontal disease;
  • Suffer from health problems, like bone or autoimmune diseases;
dental implant alternatives
dental implant alternatives

3. Dental implant alternatives

Luckily, there are several less invasive and possibly less costly alternatives to dental implants available for patients who are not a candidate or don’t want implants for whatever reasons. There is no one-fits-all option for everyone, so make sure to take a look at all the options below and consult your dentist to make the best decision for your treatment.

Dental bridges

Dental bridges are false teeth held by the teeth surrounding the lost tooth. They are usually made from materials like porcelain or plastic that are color-matching to your teeth. These bridges can cover one or a few missing teeth.

Although both implants and bridges can bring results that are natural-looking, they have their own pros and cons. The table below will show you how these two options compare.

The good The not so good
Dental implants
  • Can last at least 15 years and are the most durable tooth restoration on the market;
  • The natural looks remains longer than that of bridges; 
  • Won’t do harm to the surrounding healthy teeth;
  • Treatment time may stretch for up to 6 months;
  • Greater fees;
  • Risk of surgical complications.
Dental bridges
  • No need of bone grafting or invasive surgery;
  • Typically lower fees than dental implants;
  • Requires only two visits to the dentist that spread over a few weeks.
  • Requires a replacement after 5 to 7 years (some may last for more than 10 years);
  • The natural looks fade with age;
  • Greater risk of cavities and tooth decay in adjacent teeth than that of dental implants;
  • Can damage the healthy teeth around the missing tooth.

Resin-bonded bridge

These bridges work like dental bridges and look as well as feel like your original teeth. The difference between these two types of bridges is that the false tooth is bound with a material called resin instead of using the support from surrounding teeth like dental bridges. The resin is placed at the back side of the tooth to secure it in place. Resin-bonded bridges are less invasive and can be removed if needed.

Dentures

Also known false teeth, dentures are a detachable tooth replacement. Dentures are partial or full sets of artificial teeth made to fit over your gums. These are made to look and function just like your normal teeth. Although dentures are often used in senior citizens, they are also a good choice for other users of different age groups with tooth loss.

Dentures can be customized to precisely fit your mouth. This makes your smile natural-looking and others may not notice that you are wearing dentures. On the plus side, dentures are also more affordable than dental implants and bridges. The downside of this alternative restorative method is they are not as durable as dental implants and have to be replaced periodically as the mouth changes. 

These artificial teeth come in two types: complete and partial dentures.

Partial dentures

Partial dentures typically include prosthetic teeth bound to a gum-colored plastic cast, which is sometimes connected by a metal frame to keep the denture right in place. Partial dentures are an option when there remain one or more original teeth in the patient’s either jaw. A partial denture works to fill the lost teeth inside of the mouth. Additionally, it also avoids the shift of other remaining teeth. A partial denture is detachable with internal attachments instead of clasps to attach the surrounding crowns. This would enable the dentures to look more natural.

dental implant alternatives
dental implant alternatives

Complete dentures

While partial dentures are a good choice when there remain some of the original teeth, complete dentures are helpful in those suffering from a complete tooth loss.

Complete dentures can be divided into conventional and immediate dentures. A conventional denture is generated following the tooth extraction and as the gums are healing. It is to be placed in the mouth from 8 to 12 weeks after the tooth removal.

Unlike conventional ones, immediate dentures are created ahead of time and can be attached as soon as the teeth are gone. That means the receiver won’t have to be without teeth throughout their healing time. In spite of that, bones and gums get smaller over time, especially when they are healing after a tooth extraction. Therefore, immediate dentures require more adjustments to be fitting during the recovery time and should only be a temporary fix before conventional ones are created.

Is there such an option as “doing nothing”?

One of the frequently asked questions that dental care providers receive is whether the patient can do nothing about their problems. It may be coming from many different things like no time, no budget, and fear of seeing a dentist. However, you should keep in mind that if you choose to leave your dental issues untreated for now, they will only deteriorate and treatment will end up being way more extensive and expensive.

For instance, unresolved infection and cavity may lead to severe pain and lower your tooth health. If you extract a tooth but don’t have anything to cover in its place, the gums, jawbone, and surrounding teeth will start to wear with time, which causes more serious complications that can only be helped with complicated surgical procedures.

4. A note from Sydney Dental – your trusted provider

Hopefully this read has provided you with a good idea of what restorative dental methods you can choose from apart from dental implants. If you are still unsure of which treatment to go with for a new unforgettably stunning smile in your particular case, do not hesitate to reach out to us Sydney Dental. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

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