Lost your tooth and choosing between a bridge which requires you to possibly cut down and crown two perfectly good teeth to fill the space of your missing tooth or an implant- hands down an implant is your best option provided you have enough bone to hold the titanium screw.
An implant is the state of the art procedure where a titanium hollow screw is placed into your jaw bone, your bone then fills in around the screw making it very strong. An implant screw is then placed into the hollow screw sticking up out of the tissue for a custom crown to be placed onto it. This is the next closest thing to a natural tooth and can last you a lifetime if taken care of properly. Implants also help you maintain you jaw bone quality where lost teeth actually cause deterioration of your jaw bone. Loss of jaw bone is one of the major consequences of losing your teeth. Implant placement and services typically only require local anesthesia and are considered quite minor and mostly comfortable.
Dental implants can replace single teeth as described above and are considered the treatment with the highest success rate, making them the best long term investment. Even with the initial cost being slightly higher. They do not decay or need root canals and feel just like a natural tooth.
Multiple implants are a wonder alternative to a fixed bridge and still allowing you not to have to cut perfectly good teeth to fill in missing teeth. If you have 3 missing teeth in an area 2 implants can act as supports for the 3 tooth bridge. This allows you to keep the natural teeth undisturbed and healthy.
Replacing all the teeth in an upper or lower jaw can be done with as few as 4 implants or as many as 5or 6 in a single arch. Acting like the legs of a table supporting the entire table. This is an alternative to a full upper or lower denture.
Implants can also be placed to support and lock tight full dentures. Traditional Dentures rest on the lower jaw bone and upper dentures rest on the upper pallet and gums. This accelerates bone loss causing the jaw to shrink and dentures to become loose particularly on the lower denture. Using an implant allows the pressure to be safely placed on the bone structure and not the bone surface. This helps preserve the bone directly beneath them and helps with slipping during speaking and eating.
Implant care does still require good home oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist to see your dental hygienist. There are two ways implants can fail and poor dental hygiene or excessive clinching and grinding of your teeth putting undue stress on the implants. Your dentist could have you wear a night guard to help protect your natural teeth as well as the implants.