Non Implant Missing Tooth Replacement Options

Because dental implants are the closest option for restoring a missing natural tooth, the optimal solution would be to replace each tooth with a dental implant. This solution, however, is not an option for all patients as implants are quite expensive. The following are solutions for replacing a missing tooth which does not involve the use of an implant.

Tooth-supported Fixed Bridge

The most common alternative which is used other than dental implants for a single missing tooth is a fixed dental bridge in greenville south carolina. The procedure involves grinding down the healthy adjacent teeth which are used to attach and anchor the bridge. Bone growth is not stimulated by the tooth-supported bridge, meaning the bone may begin to deteriorate over time. In most cases, bridges last about 5-10 years. Because the bridge can be challenging to clean, the root surfaces near the bridgework are quite susceptible to decay. The bridge can be created from various materials such as gold, precious metal alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.



  • Cost effective method for replacing a missing tooth
  • Maintenance includes regular brushing and flossing
  • Feel and function like natural teeth
  • Low risk treatment option
  • Straightforward procedure which takes about two or three weeks to complete



  • Higher cost than a removable denture
  • Healthy tooth structure is removed for preparation to support the bridge
  • Increased risk of future decay and infection
  • Cleaning below the bridge is critical but can be challenging
  • No bone stimulation is provided below the bridge
  • Shorter life expectancy compared to an implant-supported bridge

Removable Partial Dentures

While this solution does not require the adjacent teeth to be ground down, removal partial dentures are also not as stable or comfortable compared to implants. They can also impact the patient’s speech and ability to eat. This solution is less expensive, but does not appear as natural or function as well as an implant-supported crowns. It is possible for the bone below the removable partial denture to deteriorate over time.



  • Less expensive solution than fixed bridges or implants
  • Effective solution
  • Removable denture can be modified as needed
  • Non-invasive and quick procedure


  • Less stable and comfortable
  • Does not have the function or appearance of natural teeth
  • Daily removal is required for cleaning
  • Frequent adjustments necessary
  • Fragile and easy to break or lose


Removable Complete Denture

This type of denture is placed on top of the gums of the missing teeth. Removal dentures can be uncomfortable and have poor function. While the cost for this treatment is relatively low, the dentures do not last long and are expensive to replace. Regular removal is required or cleaning. Similar to a partial denture, the natural bone below the denture can deteriorate, which has the potential to change your facial appearance.



  • Affordable and quick treatment
  • Can aid in properly speaking and eating
  • Improve appearance for missing or damaged teeth
  • May be adjusted as needed
  • Natural appearance


  • As the jaw changes, the denture no longer fits securely
  • Certain hard and sticky foods cannot be eaten as they will cause damage to the denture
  • Must be removed for cleaning daily
  • Bone loss can be accelerated from the pressure of the denture
  • Does not always fit securely, can make clicking sound or rub on the gums and create sore spots
  • Messy and inconvenient denture adhesives are required

Schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss the various treatment options for replacing missing teeth.


What is a Dental Bridge?