Many patients who are missing teeth opt for a conventional bridge which attaches to adjacent teeth. However, this may require cutting down the healthy adjacent teeth to make room to attach a bridge. But this can be destructive and detrimental to the teeth they attach to.
Other people opt for dentures. And although a very versatile option that can be much less damaging to the surrounding teeth than bridges, dentures still allow the gums to continue shrinking over time. The gums and bone will unfortunately shrink gradually over time as soon as a tooth is lost or extracted.
So why implants?
Dental implants overcome each of these issues. There is no damage to any adjacent teeth needed to place an implant, and wherever a dental implant is placed in bone, as long as the implant remains healthy, the bone will remain around the implant preventing the jaws from becoming extremely thin and unsupportive over time.