When replacing missing teeth the two non-removable options are bridges or implants.
In order to secure a bridge the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth must be prepared, sacrificing some tooth structure. Crowns are then placed on these teeth with a fake tooth attached and suspended between them.
Bridges can be put in place very quickly and if the teeth next to the missing tooth are very broken down or require crowns, this procedure can be very efficient at taking care of multiple problems.
There are some side effects of having a bridge. Sometimes a root canal of one or more of the adjacent teeth is required. Sometimes the teeth next to the missing tooth are healthy and cutting into them is not necessary. Some people find it hard to clean under bridges. Bridges tend to need to be changed over time as well.
A dental implant can also be used to replace the missing tooth.
The implant is placed into the jaw bone and given time to integrate. Then a crown can be attached to the implant and the tooth is fixed in place.
Although the implant process may take longer, there are a number of advantages to it. When an implant is placed it holds the bone in place so there is no bone loss over time. An implant supported crown is considered to be much easier to clean than a bridge. An implant supported crown spares the cutting down of adjacent teeth.
An implant tends to last longer than a bridge.