Dental implant alternatives include permanently fixed bridges, removable partial or full dentures, or not replacing the tooth at all.
Depending on your priorities any of these choices could work very well.
Before dental implants we had ways to replace teeth.
Due to popularity and extreme marketing of implants you may get the idea that traditional methods are no longer used.
The truth is the old style ways of replacing teeth are still frequently recommended and continue to provide satisfactory results for many.
Implants are by far the best way to replace a tooth.
If I lost a tooth today I would get an implant. I wouldn't even have to think about it.
You may feel the way I do or you may feel completely overwhelmed by the cost, time and effort involved in getting one or more implant.
Cost is the biggest deal breaker for most but money and time aside, some would simply prefer a non surgical method of replacing one or more tooth.
This discussion of dental implant vs bridge may help you decide.
Bridge ~ A bridge is permanently attached to adjacent teeth and works well to replace one or two teeth. Bridges are most ideal for replacing one tooth.
Longer bridges put more stress on the anchor teeth and are more prone to problems but are still made with good results. This article explains dental bridges in more detail and includes pictures.
Partial or denture ~ A denture replaces an entire arch (all your upper teeth or all your lower teeth).
A partial replaces some teeth and attaches to your own teeth. Both partials and dentures are removable and are not anyone's first choice yet they work very well for some.
Potential problems include sore gum tissue and inadequate chewing ability. A partial denture is much easier to wear than a full denture because there are teeth to anchor it. Partials have a much higher success rate than full dentures.
Do nothing ~ Teeth are optional and you can always choose to not replace missing teeth. I have seen many who are missing one or more back teeth decide to do nothing. Though it's better to have teeth, we tend to adapt when we need to.