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Alternatives to Dental Implants

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Last Reviewed 02 July 2024

Medically reviewed by Dr. Peter Doherty, Bachelor Dent. Sc. (Trinity College Dublin) 2003, MFDS (RCSI), PG Cert Implant Dentistry (Newcastle), Implant Dentist

Table of Contents

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are often the go-to solution due to their durability and ability to replicate natural teeth.

However, if you have an underlying condition that might impact your recovery from the procedure or would prefer a removable option, you might consider an alternative to dental implants.

We'll cover them here so you can decide which treatment is best for your needs.

What Are the Alternatives To Dental Implants?

The Alternatives to dental implants are:

  1. Dentures: Removable appliances that fit into your mouth.
  2. Bridges: A false tooth that bonds to adjacent teeth, filling in any gaps.
Implant retained Denture - 3dental

Implant Retained Denture


Dentures used to be the go-to treatment for missing teeth, but technological advances have made them less popular today. As removable appliances, they replace missing teeth by fitting over the gums, offering a natural aesthetic.

Dr. Peter Doherty

If most teeth are missing, your dentist might recommend full dentures. However, people with a few missing teeth can explore partial dentures.

Convenience: Some people prefer dentures because they're the simplest way to replace missing teeth. You won't need to undergo any surgery.Stability: Dentures aren't cemented or bonded to other teeth, so they often move around.
Cost: Dentures can be more affordable than other treatments, making them accessible for people on low budgets.Restrictions: Because dentures can move around, eating certain foods is harder. Some people find them too restrictive.
Maintenance: As dentures move around, food often gets stuck underneath them. You'll need to clean them regularly and remove all food particles.
Speech Issues: Dentures fitted on the upper gums can cause speech issues.
Taste: Dentures cover the palate on the upper jaw and affect the taste of foods you eat.
bridge before pic - 3dental
bridge after pic - 3dental

Daniel Wilson - Before And After (Click to enlarge)

- Bridges

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a long-lasting solution for damaged or missing teeth.

Dr. Peter Doherty

It's made to fit your needs and match natural teeth sitting in gaps between them. The artificial tooth or teeth are cemented to adjacent teeth, ensuring stability.

Bridges are a good alternative if you:

  • Don't want to undergo a surgical procedure or
  • You aren't a suitable candidate for dental implants due to an underlying medical condition.
Convenience: Dental bridges are convenient solutions as you won't require a surgical procedure.Alterations: To fit bridges, your dentist will need to adjust adjacent teeth and file them down a little bit, which means removing some of the enamel.
Aesthetics: The bridge matches your existing teeth, ensuring a natural aesthetic.Maintenance: Cleaning around and in between the bridge can be challenging. Failing to follow a strict oral hygiene routine could increase your risk of plaque buildup and subsequent decay.
Oral Health: Replacing a single missing tooth or multiple teeth stops food from getting into the gaps, boosting your oral health.Fractures: In general, bridges are highly durable. However, excessive bite forces can lead to artificial tooth fractures.

Dentures And Bridges Compared To Implants

When patients want to replace missing teeth and upgrade their smiles, we usually recommend dental implants. Why? Because dental implants:

  1. Are highly durable
  2. Match your natural teeth
  3. Can last for years with proper care

While you will need a procedure for a dental implant, the long-term benefits outweigh the initial work we need to perform.

Next, we'll compare the procedure of dentures and bridges to implants.


Traditional dentures are the least invasive procedure, while bridges require alterations to adjacent teeth.

When performing a dental implant procedure (titanium dental implant), we insert a small titanium screw into the jawbone that sits underneath the gum. The adjacent teeth are untouched by the implant.

Over a couple of months, the titanium screw and jawbone will bond, enabling us to fit artificial teeth.


Dental implants typically cost more than bridges and dentures, but the trade-off is years of stress-free dental functionality.

Dr. Peter Doherty

3Dental patients can also take advantage of convenient payment plans that split the costs of dental implants into monthly instalments.

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Dentures are the least durable of the three options, as they can slip around the mouth and limit your ability to enjoy certain foods.

A dental bridge can last between 5 and 15 years, depending on how well you care for it and whether you maintain proper oral hygiene.

Implants are the longest-lasting solution, and they can last over 15 years with ongoing care. So, while they might cost more initially, you're investing in longevity.

Can I Combine Dental Implants With Other Treatments?

Depending on your dentist's advice, you'll usually choose between dentures, implants, or bridges.

However, if you have multiple missing teeth, you can explore implant retained dentures, which install titanium screws underneath the gums, with the dentures attached to the implant. The dentures are able to stay in place, offering more stability - but you can also remove them as and when needed.

Explore Your Treatment Options With 3Dental

When you're missing one or more teeth, it can impact your confidence and place stress on the remaining natural teeth.

Opting for the right treatment plan can restore your smile and boost your self-esteem!

We can restore your smile using a varierty of treatments including dental implants, bridges, and implant-retained dentures in our Dublin, Limerick and Galway clinics.

Our dental team will assess your needs and develop a bespoke treatment plan.

With financing available, we ensure nothing stops you from transforming your smile. Book your free consultation today!

Our Locations

The Red Cow Complex, Naas Rd, Fox-And-Geese, Dublin, D22 KV24

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