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Tooth autotransplantation part 4: Alternative treatment options

From Volume 13, Issue 2, April 2020 | Pages 78-86


Sophy Barber

BDS, MJDF RSC(Eng), MSc, MOrth RCS(Ed), Post-CCST

Registrar in Orthodontics, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, St James's University Hospital, Beckett Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7TF, UK

Articles by Sophy Barber

Ahmed Al-Khayatt

BChD, MFDS(RCS Ed), FDS(Rest Dent) RCPS(Glasgow), FDS RCS(Rest Dent)

Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and Oral/Facial Rehabilitation

Articles by Ahmed Al-Khayatt


Tooth autotransplantation is a versatile and successful technique if used in suitable cases; however, it is not always the optimal treatment choice. This article will explore alternative treatment strategies for managing failing or missing teeth, including methods for managing the bone, orthodontic options and techniques for tooth replacement. These methods may be considered as an adjunct to tooth transplantation, or an alternative, if transplantation is not deemed appropriate. Indications for alternative treatments are discussed with illustrations from treated cases.

CPD/Clinical Relevance: A number of approaches are available for managing failing or missing teeth and are dependent on the clinical situation. It is important for dental specialists to understand these options and to work collaboratively to determine the best option for patients on an individual basis.


The advantages of tooth autotransplantation and the broad applications for which the technique can be used have been outlined in the previous reports in this series. While tooth autotransplantation is a highly versatile and successful technique, it is not suitable for all cases with failing or missing teeth, and other management strategies may be preferable (Table 1). These alternative treatment options are described with an explanation of the purpose of the treatment and indications for use, with illustrations from clinical cases.

Reduction in alveolar bone volume has been recognized as an undesirable sequelae to tooth loss for more than four decades.1 A lack of alveolar bone is problematic as it limits the options available for tooth replacement,2 and the associated gingival recession can cause additional problems for prosthodontic rehabilitation in the aesthetic zone.3 One of the greatest advantages of tooth autotransplantation is the ability of the donor tooth to preserve the height and volume of the alveolar bone in the recipient site.4 However, in cases where tooth transplantation is not a suitable treatment option, other methods of bone management may be considered. These methods include decoronation, dento-osseous osteotomy and alveolar ridge preservation techniques.

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