ALTERNATIVES TO DENTAL IMPLANTS
Implants are superior to dentures in many ways, but they are not always the answer for everyone
Although we are very much implant-focused in our work, as opposed to general dentistry, we always take great care to advise our patients of all the options available to them. If we feel someone may be more comfortable with a denture, for example, we will say so and explain why. We only ever act in the best interests of the patient.
Hear from our expert…
The alternatives to dental implants explained VIDEO (142 seconds)
The principal alternative to having implants is to wear dentures, which perform a similar function. Some people find them fine, but for many – because they are non-permanent and require constant fixing and removal/reinsertion – they can be a nuisance and an embarrassment:
A denture has to come out every night, and might not prove as retentive as you would want it to be. It can make eating difficult, can alter the taste of food and can affect your ease of speaking.
A resin-retained (‘stick-on’) bridge
A resin-retained (‘stick-on’) bridge bonds to the teeth on either side. Although quite effective, these tend to have a much shorter lifespan than implants
A fixed bridge
A fixed bridge requires the adjacent tooth or teeth to be shaped into a peg(s) that will retain the bridge. Cutting natural teeth down risks compromising their structural and functional integrity, which can mean having to replace them in time.
Doing nothing is also an option. However if a gap is left untreated for a year or more, bone loss can become apparent. Also adjacent teeth tend, over time, to drift towards the space left. Both factors would make future restoration that much more difficult should you change your mind.
Unsuitable for implants
Some patients will be unsuitable for implants due to bone degradation. In such cases, dentures might be the only option for filling gaps. Again we would advise accordingly.
Frequently asked questions
Are there alternatives to dental implants?
Yes. However none of these are likely to last as long, or be as aesthetically pleasing, as implants.
- You can choose to have a single denture or a denture bridge. However neither of these are fixed solutions, and can affect your speech and taste as the false teeth are attached to a removable plate which impinges on the roof of your mouth
- Or there are fixed dental bridges, which are attached to adjacent teeth either by a crown or by an adhesive wing.
Are there alternatives to dental bridges and implants?
Yes. You can choose to have a removable single denture or denture bridge.
Are there cheaper alternatives to dental implants?
Yes. Both dentures and dental bridges are likely to cost less than dental implants. The down side is that they usually do not last as long, are rarely as effective and will not look as natural.
3 Ashford Road