What are dental implant alternatives?

After a tooth is lost, modern dental implants sometimes offer significant advantages over other forms of tooth replacement. Because well-integrated dental implants fit permanently and securely. Crowns or bridges placed on the implant look functionally and optically like real teeth. They do not look like foreign bodies.

Possible reasons for deciding against dental implant

There are some underlying diseases that oppose implant treatment in a patient. Many of these diseases are now so well treatable with medication that although dental implants are an option despite the previous illness, in some cases the risk for the patient can be very high.

The surgical procedure in which the implant is placed is always associated with a certain physical strain that a debilitated patient should not be expected to bear. Also, for example, impaired wound healing in diabetes or drug therapy with blood thinners, psychotropic drugs or immunosuppressants may speak against implant therapy. Fortunately, there are many good options for quality fixed or removable dentures for these patients as well.

Fixed dentures: crowns and bridges

Basically, an artificial crown without a dental implant is an option only if the root is still intact and tooth loss is limited to the natural crown. A common cause of extensive damage to the dental crown is severe caries. The dentist molds the damaged tooth crown into a conical or cylindrical shape. Then, the personalized artificial tooth coating is adhered to the tooth stump prepared in this way.

In the event of a complete loss of a tooth, including the root, the resulting gap should be closed if an implant is not an option. A dental bridge consists of a bridge body that replaces one or more missing natural teeth, and abutments (fixing elements) at the ends that are attached to adjacent natural teeth.

One downside to wearing natural teeth is that the dentist sometimes has to grind these supporting teeth very hard – even if they are perfectly healthy. On the other hand, this procedure has an advantage, because dental bridges fixed with special adhesive usually last for many years and are significantly cheaper for the patient than dental implants.

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