Are there any less invasive alternatives to dental implants? (YES, THERE ARE!)
Placement of dental implants is one of the most common dental procedures in the world. Since the 1950s, when it was discovered that titanium has the capacity to fuse with bone, the field of dental implantology has greatly advanced and now offers a safe and effective way of permanently restoring missing teeth. The biggest advantage of implants is that they stay fixed in place long term. On the other hand, it is wrong to think that once you have your implants you can simply forget about them. In fact, the number one problem with implants is peri-implantitis (inflammation around the implant which can lead to bone loss and implant failure). Prophylaxis of peri-implantitis involves regular visits to the dentist for professional cleaning and maintaining impeccable dental hygiene. Putting these issues aside, many people are reluctant to undergo the procedure simply out of fear, it is after all a surgical operation. Luckily, implants are one of MANY ways of replacing missing teeth so, if you are looking for a much less invasive alternative to dental implants, our expert dentist sheds light on all available options.
Permanent (fixed) appliances
1. Classic Bridge
A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthesis used to replace one tooth or even an almost entire arch of teeth by attaching artificial teeth to existing teeth on either side of the gap. The procedure involves preparing the adjacent teeth for crown placement, taking an impression and sending it to a specialist dental lab. The expert technician then
produces a single structure containing the new artificial teeth with a crown on either end. To fit it, the entire structure is fixed in place with a very strong dental glue and, as the name suggests, the final prosthesis seamlessly bridges the gap. This is a great solution for people who are afraid of undergoing surgery but still want a fixed prosthesis. Moreover, the bridge can usually be made and fitted in just 5 days from the initial consultation! We provide a 10 year written warranty on all crowns and bridges so if anything happens to your bridge in that time, we will fix it free of charge.
2. Maryland Bridge
In a Maryland bridge, instead of preparing adjacent teeth for crowns, the new artificial tooth is made with small ''wings''. These wings are bonded to the backs of adjacent
teeth with a very strong glue and this keeps the new tooth in place. The benefit of this bridge is that an anaesthetic injection is not usually necessary because the structure of the adjacent teeth is left intact. Just as with a classic bridge, it takes about 5 days from your first appointment to getting your Maryland bridge fitted.
1. Full-arch Bridge on Conus (Telescopic) Crowns
This method is used in people who lack most of the natural teeth and it is done in two steps. Firstly, your remaining natural teeth will be prepared for placement of crowns. The dental technician will then produce a full-arch bridge that fits over the crowns so perfectly that together they will form a tight lock, fixing the full-arch bridge in place. This is very similar to the All-On-4 denture on implants but it does not require surgery. This type of bridge can still be removed by the patient, but unlike a normal denture, it requires a bit of force to remove it which means that it will stay in place while you go about your day.
2. Denture with locks/attachment
The last two options are much more similar to classic dentures however, they have additional components that hold them in place better. A denture with locks requires crowns being placed over the adjacent teeth. The denture and the crowns contain special locking mechanisms on the sides which lock together, clicking the denture in place.
3. Denture with magnets
Much like the denture with locks, a magnetic denture requires the presence of some natural teeth. Special magnets are placed within the canals of the teeth or on their surface and they hold the denture in place by attracting the magnets on the underside of the denture.