Implants are another option for replacing a missing tooth/teeth. They are made by surgically implanting a small rod of titanium in the jaw bone and then attaching a crown to the tip of the rod making it look like a tooth is coming out of the gum just like a real one. Implants have the advantage of being free standing as opposed to being attached to other teeth like bridges. They are anchored in very strongly as the jaw bone actually knits around the implant to hold it firmly. The surgery required is very minor often being done with local anaesthetic to numb the gum only and the success rate for the surgery is in excess of 95% which is extremely high for a medical procedure. It is usually the best option for putting a tooth in a gap.
Depending on the circumstances, anything ranging from a single artificial tooth to a bridge to a denture can be attached to the implant.
The problems of gum shrinkage due to the loss of a tooth/teeth, irritation from unstable dentures and changes in speech are eliminated with the use of dental implants.