Know The New Alternatives For Dental Implants This Year

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Dental implants have become incredibly popular in recent years as an effective and long-lasting solution to missing or damaged teeth. As alternatives for dental implants continue to emerge, it is worth exploring the newer options in 2023.

Why are dental implants so popular?

Non-Surgical Dental Implants

Dental implants essentially fuse with the jawbone like a natural tooth root, providing stability and preserving bone structure. This makes them a versatile solution for everything from single tooth gaps to full mouth restorations. Their durability and similarity in feel to natural teeth explain much of their widespread appeal. However, dental implants may not be suitable for everyone. 

Why might I need dental implants?

Tooth loss from severe decay, traumatic injury, or advanced periodontal disease can leave gaps in one's smile. Beyond aesthetics, missing teeth impact chewing efficiency, bite force, and speech clarity. So, you may be a candidate if you have one or more missing teeth, are in overall good health, and have adequate bone density to support the implants.

Who is not suitable for dental implants?

Those with chronic illnesses may be advised to avoid implant surgery depending on their condition severity. Uncontrolled diabetes poses complications with healing and infection risk.

Cancer patients, especially those undergoing radiation therapy around the jaw, need sufficient time for bone and soft tissue recovery first. Autoimmune disorders also hamper the body's ability to heal and integrate implants.

Lastly, those with untreated periodontal disease run a greater risk of implant failure. Gum infection and inflammation need to be resolved before surgery for the best prognosis. People who grind or clench their teeth intensely may also want to improve this habit first. The excessive biting forces placed on implants increase the chances they loosen or fracture prematurely. So, it will be more appropriate to choose one of the alternatives to dental implants.

Non-Surgical Dental Implants: Alternatives to dental implants

Non-surgical dental implants are new alternatives to dental implants that don't require incisions or sutures. Rather than drilling into the jawbone, mini-implants are simply screwed into place via small openings in the gums. This breakthrough approach greatly reduces healing time and discomfort compared to traditional implants. With no need to graft bone, non-surgical options open up implants to those lacking sufficient jawbone density.

Zirconia Implants

Zirconia implants are one of the alternatives to dental implants, that have also grown in popularity due to their tooth-colored appearance and biocompatibility. More durable than acrylic resin and metal alloys, zirconium oxide integrates well with gum tissues and bone. Bacteria accumulation is minimized for better long-term health. The white color, while not an exact tooth replica, improves aesthetics around the implant site.

Dental Crowns 

Dental crowns serve as non-invasive prosthetic alternatives to dental implants for damaged or decayed teeth. They are custom-designed and precision-milled to match the shape and color of surrounding teeth. These durable caps are made of ceramic, and porcelain fused to metal alloys or composite resins. 

They can restore form, function, and aesthetics without drilling into the jawbone. Cemented permanently in place onto trimmed natural tooth structure, crowns withstand biting forces similar to that of dental implants.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges offer non-invasive prosthetic alternatives to dental implants for replacing several missing contiguous teeth. By cementing full coverage crowns onto the intact neighboring teeth on each end, custom-milled bridges integrate one or more artificial replacement teeth in between. 

Avoiding screws into the jawbone, bridges provide a fixed solution to fill gaps utilizing the patient's anchored natural teeth for support. With proper oral care, bridges can serve as a durable restoration similar to non-removable implant-supported teeth.

Removable Partial Dentures

Removable partial dentures are one of the alternatives to dental implants that supply a non-surgical option to replace one or more missing teeth. Comprised of replacement teeth bonded to pink plastic gums, partials insert and remove as needed with metal clasps that wrap around neighboring teeth. This style of alternative grants the convenience of easy removal for cleaning and periodic adjustment by the dentist.

Sum Up

Dental implants stand strong as the leader in permanent tooth replacement, but the landscape now accommodates more options and alternatives to dental implants than ever.

Zirconia compositions enable metal-free, gum-friendly implant and prosthetic solutions to balance strength with natural white beauty. Advancements in 3D imaging and printing allow each solution to be mass-customized to the patient’s clinical picture. Regenerative techniques may someday trump drilling, grafting, and placement procedures with the ability to regrow new pearly whites as needed.

As research continues lifting limitations of traditional implants, what options prove most viable for near-term adoption? Alleviating drawbacks of surgery, healing, and discomfort poses the greatest opportunity to expand candidates for tooth replacement relief. Non-invasive optics eliminating incisions and sutures would revolutionize implant integration significantly this year if brought fully to fruition.

In the end, no solution can perfectly replicate or outlast one’s natural set of teeth. This underscores the importance of prevention and vigilant oral care from an early age. But where damage or decay leaves gaps beyond repair or saving, today’s alternatives to dental implants offer more accessible and versatile solutions than ever before.

References

  • Rios HF, Borgnakke WS, Benavides E. The Use of Cone-Beam Computed Tomography in Management of Patients Requiring Dental Implants: An American Academy of Periodontology Best Evidence Review. J Periodontol. 2017 Oct;88(10):946-959. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28967330
  • Jin T, Wang Y, Li S, Cai Q, Huang Z. Removal of the Dental Implant Displaced Into the Maxillary Sinus Through the Inferior Nasal Meatus via Transnasal Endoscopy. J Craniofac Surg. 2019 Jun;30(4):1178-1179. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30839458

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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