Unfortunately teeth are sometimes lost due to trauma or if too badly decayed or fractured to save and then they have to be extracted. Fortunately today we have the option of implants to replace them. Implant therapy is a very valuable treatment option and can be used to for a variety of treatment needs. In the not so long ago past, in order to replace a missing tooth, we would have to either bridge by crowning the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to prepare a fixed cemented bridge, or the person would have to wear a removable partial denture. While we still bridge today in certain circumstances our treatment of choice is to place a metal root (implant) into the jaw bone and after healing called osseo-integration of a few months we are able to secure the crown, which looks and functions just like the original tooth to the implanted root. We can also use implants to replace more than single teeth (by joining them to together to support a few teeth) and to secure or anchor fixed and removable dentures
This means that for single tooth replacement the crown is free standing, not joined to the teeth on either side (as in a bridge) and are therefore easier to floss and clean between them. The lifespan of a successful implant and crown is much higher on average then a bridge.
And of course you don't have to cut and prepare the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. We use different makes of implants for different applications and implants like natural teeth maintain, the height of the jaw bone, the position of the teeth next to it and the opposing teeth in the mouth. They help to restore lost function, like chewing and to maintain your natural appearance and smile