Bridges and implants are two ways to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Bridges are false teeth anchored in place by neighboring teeth. The bridge consists of two crowns on the anchoring teeth along with the false tooth in the center. Dental implants are artificial roots used to support replacement teeth.
The underlying structure of a tooth is more complicated than most people appreciate. When this structure — which includes bone, ligaments, and nerves — is removed, the neighboring area slowly begins to deteriorate.
A dental implant replaces this structure with a metal post, typically one made of titanium. Over the period of a couple of months, the new bone should grow around the implanted metal. Once the new structure is tested by your dentist and declared secure enough, a crown will then be screwed on top of the implant and sealed into place.