A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, made of titanium metal. It is placed in your jaw by the dentist to hold a replacement crown or bridge, and is a permanent fixture that has outstanding long-term success. Why not just leave the space where there is a missing tooth? When a space is left unfilled, it can lead to drifting and shifting of the adjacent teeth causing an unbalanced bite. Also, adjacent teeth are left with more stress when biting, bone recession most likely will start to occur, and the gap between the adjacent teeth can widen greatly compromising esthetics. Choosing a dental implant over a traditional bridge or removable appliance is the most conservative approach and longest lasting. The space can be filling without affecting the neighboring teeth at all.