Dental Implant Alternatives

By Rafael Mercado, DDS on September 15, 2020

There may be times when patients do not qualify for dental implant treatment. For example, they may not have sufficient jawbone density or they may have certain health conditions that make surgery a risk. Others may simply wish to explore alternative options because of cost, timeframes, or other issues.

Dr. Rafael Mercado offers a wide range of restorative treatments at our Castle Hills, TX, practice. In this article, we explore some of the most common dental implant alternatives.

Traditional Dental Bridges

Before dental implants were invented, bridges were the most common tooth replacement method. Bridges are an excellent solution for individuals with one to three missing teeth in a row.

To place a dental bridge, your dentist must remove small amounts of enamel from the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Once the teeth are prepared, the bridge is bonded into place to complete your smile.

Full or Partial Dentures

Those with significant or complete tooth loss can benefit from traditional dentures. While partial appliances replace several teeth in multiple locations, full dentures replace an entire arch of missing teeth.

To create your dentures, your dentist takes impressions of your gums and any remaining teeth. Then, a skilled technician crafts your new appliance according to your unique anatomy.

Dentures are designed to be removed at night. They should be soaked regularly in a cleansing solution to keep them in good condition.

Full-Arch Bridge with Conus Crowns

If you have a few strong teeth remaining, then conus crowns could be an option for you. Your dentist can place conus – or telescopic – crowns on the natural teeth to support a full-arch restoration. This resembles an implant-supported fixed hybrid, but no surgery is required.

To qualify for this treatment, the remaining teeth must be in excellent condition and they must be spaced appropriately. Not everyone is a candidate for this solution. During a consultation at our Castle Hills, TX, practice, Dr. Mercado can help you explore your options.

Alternative Dental Implant Solutions

In some cases, patients may not qualify for standard dental implants due to bone loss. In these cases, there are other dental implant solutions available.

All-on-4 Treatment

If you are missing most or all of your teeth and have been told you are not a candidate for implants due to bone loss, All-on-4® could be an option. This method uses regular dental implants, but places them in a strategic fashion. 

Two implants are placed vertically toward the front of the jaw, and two are placed at an angle near the back. Your dentist can then secure a fixed, non-removable restoration to the implants – in many cases on the same day.

Mini Dental Implants

Some patients may have a narrow bone ridge due to atrophy. In these cases, standard implants will not be appropriate. Mini implants can be used in some instances. These devices are available in the same lengths as standard implants, but they have smaller diameters. As a result, those who have not been eligible for implants in the past may qualify for them now.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you are looking for a tooth replacement option but you have been told you do not qualify for implants, schedule a consultation at our Castle Hills, TX, office. Dr. Mercado can perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine your treatment options. Contact us online or call our practice at (210) 405-1257.