When you have a missing tooth/teeth, one thing for sure... it should be replaced. Should you place an implant or a bridge.
With a dental implant, a titanium cylinder is placed in the jaw bone at the site of the missing tooth. The cylinder bonds with the bone to create an artificial root on top of which an abutment and later an artificial tooth is placed.
Implants look better and naturally mimics the feel and function of a real tooth. They typically last longer with an average life span of 25+ years to a lifetime. They are easy to take care of, requiring little maintenance. Implant protects your jawbone and preserves and stimulates natural bone growth.
The only drawback, it requires surgery and takes longer to get the finished product, and some insurance will not cover the expenses.
With a dental bridge, a pair of crowns are installed onto your natural teeth on either side of the gap. Those crowns are then used to create a bridge that holds an artificial tooth. The gap is covered, but the artificial tooth is not actually fixed to the jawbone.
With the bridge, the procedure is quick, easy, and safe. In most cases, it can be completed in two(2) visits, as compared to three(3) or more or an implant. A dental bridge is also more economical and most insurance will cover the expenses.
The disadvantage of this option is a shorter lifespan of 7-10 years, that will need to be replaced. This process can also weaken the adjacent teeth and makes them more vulnerable to decay.