A Comparison Between Dental Implants and Other Popular Tooth Replacement Solutions

A Comparison Between Dental Implants and Other Popular Tooth Replacement Solutions

Dental implants are a widely-used solution for missing teeth. Implants are one of the most common procedures in modern dentistry, so naturally, they are one of the first options most people look to when they need a replacement. However, they may not be the right choice for everyone. Sometimes people look for alternative solutions if they don't have a sufficient amount of bone in their jaw or they desire a quicker process.

What are dental implants?

These are the closest option to a natural tooth replacement on the market. Implants use metal posts to anchor customized crowns into the jaw so that the bone will graft naturally around the new foreign root. A lot of people believe that this procedure is too expensive for them, but thanks to advances in technology, this is no longer the case. Most dental implants are an affordable and natural option.

Dental bridges

Bridges are a common alternative to dental implants. Bridges get their name because they utilize a couple of anchor teeth to bridge the gap created by a missing tooth.

The bridge process

A dental bridge requires more than one visit to the dentist. During the initial visit, the anchor teeth will be shaved and contoured in preparation for the bridge crowns. Bridges fit the natural shape of the mouth. The dentist will use a temporary bridge to protect the teeth while waiting for the fabrication of the permanent bridge.

It takes several visits to place the permanent bridge. Once there is a proper fit, the dentist cements the bridge into place and, on average, it will last around a decade. The length of usefulness can be extended or shortened depending upon dental hygiene. Techniques like flossing can help to reduce the likelihood of bacteria and plaque buildup within the mouth.

Advantages and disadvantages of bridges

Bridges are a great way to restore smiles. They spread the force of biting across multiple teeth and maintain the shape of the jaw. They prevent bone loss and new gaps caused by teeth spreading out to fill missing spaces. They do have drawbacks, though.

Bridges are rigid, so when a jaw grows or changes over time, the bridge will not move with it. Bacteria can develop in any spaces that form, which can shorten the lifespan of the bridge from a decade to five years. On top of this, a bridge requires anchor teeth, meaning that two perfectly healthy teeth will be shaved down to attach the bridge properly.


Some people prefer a removable option and choose dentures as an alternative to dental implants. The process with conventional dentures generally takes two to three months in total. Immediate dentures are premade and ready for quick placement but require constant fitting and adjustment over their lifetime. Most people use immediate dentures as a temporary solution while their mouth heals in preparation for conventional dentures.

The process of creating conventional dentures requires multiple appointments to mold and form the dentures to the natural jawline. Constant monitoring and adjustments are necessary to ensure a proper fit. Lastly, dentures should not require the excessive application of an adhesive agent for most people, but people who rely on speech for a living, like musicians and public speakers, may need to utilize it frequently. It can take time to practice speaking with dentures, but eventually, speech will begin to sound normal again.

Consider the options

There are several alternatives to dental implants for people looking to replace a missing tooth. The proper solution is not the same for everyone. It is important to consider longevity, bone structure, muscle strength and overall oral hygiene. A dentist can help you make the right decision for individual needs.