These devices provide a great option for missing teeth. Not too long ago the only practical way to replace a missing tooth was with a removable appliance or a fixed bridge. These procedures provide a reasonable service and in some cases they still may be the best option. Removable partial or full dentures often are hard to get used to. Some patients never get used to them. Fixed bridges work well except they require the adjacent teeth to be prepared for a crown covering them and the missing tooth and the adjacent crowns are made in one piece. The disadvantage of this is that if something happens to any part of the bridge the whole thing may need to be replaced or reworked to solve a problem. An implant enables the missing tooth to be replaced without disturbing the other teeth. It is like getting a new tooth. As long as there is enough bone to receive the implant they work great. The pain involved is usually less than the extraction of the original tooth. Occasionally a bone or gum graft is needed to get enough bone to hold the implant or to have adequate gum tissue to look good in the esthetic areas of the mouth. In recent years great improvements have been made with the implants themselves as well as the component involved in the restoration. This has simplified the process and helped to get better results as well as reducing the cost. Three dimensional x rays have also been an incredible advance enabling the clinician to very accurately evaluate the available bone and and to precisely place the implants into the bone. Today replacing a missing tooth with an implant is the treatment of choice.