Below are non-implant treatment options that you should discuss with a credentialed dentist who is an expert in replacing teeth. It is very important to speak with a credentialed dentist before making your decision because, as noted below, making the wrong tooth replacement choice can be embarrassing, have a higher long term cost, and cause bone loss in your jaw, affecting how your face looks.
Non-Implant Option for Replacing A Single Tooth
A tooth-supported fixed bridge is the most common alternative to dental-implant supported restoration of a single tooth. It has several disadvantages when compared to dental implants. Placement of a tooth-supported bridge involves grinding away – or damaging – healthy, adjacent teeth, which will be attached to, and used to support, the bridge. Natural bone underneath a tooth-supported bridge is not stimulated as it is with dental implants, and may deteriorate over time, ultimately changing the appearance of your smile and face. A tooth-supported bridge also may not last as long as an implant-supported bridge, and it requires more ongoing care and maintenance. Before choosing this option, check with a trusted dentist using because the bone loss with the fixed bridge can affect how your face looks.
Removable partial dentures don't require grinding down adjacent teeth but are not nearly as stable or comfortable as dental implants and can affect speech and eating. This type of restoration is less expensive but doesn’t look as natural or function as well as an implant-supported ceramic crown. Removable partial dentures can bring with them issues regarding stability and comfort. Removable partial dentures may also affect your speech and eating in ways that are embarrassing. It should also be noted that the bone underneath a removable partial denture may deteriorate over time changing the appearance of your smile and face. Before choosing a denture, check with an experienced dentist because the bone loss can change your appearance.
A resin-bonded bridge (also called Maryland Bridge) is sometimes considered for tooth replacment, especially to restore front teeth that don't endure the biting and chewing demands of back teeth. It has wings on each side to attach to healthy, adjacent teeth but usually doesn't involve preparing, or grinding down, other teeth. A resin-bonded bridge looks and functions better than a removable denture but isn't as strong as fixed bridgework and typically doesn’t function or last nearly as long as dental implants. Before choosing this option, check with a trusted dentist because the bone loss can result in a change in the way your face appears.
Non-Implant Option for Replacing Multiple Teeth
A removable partial denture, an alternative to restore multiple teeth, is not nearly as stable as dental-implant restored teeth. The device can interfere with speech and eating as these removable partial denture may slip as you speak, eat, or laugh. This type of restoration is less expensive but doesn’t look as natural or function as well as implant-supported teeth. As noted above for removable partial dentures for a single tooth, the bone underneath a removable partial denture may deteriorate over time. This may change the appearance of your natural smile and face, so the issues are quite serious. Before choosing this option, check with a credentialed dentist because the bone loss can be serious and affect how you look.
Non-Implant Option for Replacing All Teeth
A removable complete denture, an appliance that sits on top of the gums where the missing teeth were, is a low-cost alternative to dental implant restoration. It can be uncomfortable, affect the ability to experience the full taste of food, cause sore gums, and shift and click in the mouth when one speaks, eats, smiles, yawns or coughs. The replacement costs of a complete denture can be significant over the long term. Similar to a partial denture, the natural bone underneath a complete denture may deteriorate over time changing the appearance of your smile and face. Before choosing this option, check with a dentist because the bone loss span a large area, causing a significant change in how you look.
Dental implants are the best, longest-lasting options to restoring missing teeth because they look and feel like your natural teeth, and they will keep your jaw bone in its proper state so you look like yourself.
Consult with a dental expert before proceeding to find the treatment option for a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth that is best for you.