Dental Implant Alternatives

The list below is not exhaustive.

1. No Treatment



These are obvious and many! Not every missing tooth has to be replaced and sometimes frankly this is the best treatment.


Serious issues are not addressed and patients may come to harm if necessary and desired treatment is not provided.

2. Dentures



• Economical, easy, quick, no surgery, aesthetically good

• Easy to repair and replace

• Easy maintenance


• Are removable and not fixed

• Can be ill fitting and cause problems with speech, function.

• Issues with self confidence and esteem; feeling whole and complete.

• Need regular attention and replacement

• May actually accelerate the rate of bone loss after extractions.

3. Adhesive Bridges


These are often called Maryland bridges. They involve a replacement tooth/teeth carried by metal wings that are glued to adjacent teeth.


• Fixed not removable

• economical, easy, quick, no surgery, aesthetically good.

• Supporting teeth are not harmed.

• Often used as temporary restorations during implant treatment.

• Easy maintenance.


• Usually used to replace single or few missing teeth

• Are better for front teeth and work less well for back teeth.

• Are not designed as long term replacements for teeth.

• May need periodic re-fixing

• Do not prevent continuing bone loss in the site of the missing teeth.

4. Conventional Bridges

These use teeth adjacent to the missing teeth for support. The adjacent teeth are prepared and aligned and then crowned.


• Fixed not removable

• Can replace single and multiple teeth at the front and back of the mouth

• No surgery

• Strong, long term restorations

• Excellent aesthetics

• Maintenance is important but usually straight forward.


• The supporting teeth may be significantly prepared reducing the long term outlook of the teeth. Teeth prepared this way are at risk of requiring root can treatment in the future.

• Can be a significant cost

• Need strong adjacent teeth for support

• Failure of any part of the bridge or any of the supporting teeth may result in failure of the whole bridge. Repair or renewal may be expensive

• Cannot prevent continuing bone loss in the site of the missing teeth.