The dental implant replaces the missing tooth root, leaving the healthy neighboring teeth intact. The implant also acts as a support for the implant crown by transmitting chewing forces to the jaw and averting bone resorption.
If you must decide between a conventional and an implant-borne restoration for a single tooth gap, there is also a monetary aspect to consider. According to a study1 on long-term costs, a single dental implant is regarded as a cost-effective option in comparison to a traditional three-unit fixed dental prosthesis. The cost differential on the latter is equalized in about seven years.
1 Vogel R1, Smith-Palmer J, Valentine W. Evaluating the health economic implications and cost-effectiveness of dental implants: a literature review.
With conventional methods, the two healthy neighboring teeth must be ground down to fix a bridge in place. This results in a loss of natural tooth surface. Also, bone deterioration may occur as the bridge does not transmit chewing forces to the jaw.