A dental implant is a titanium screw fixed into the jaw done. They are typically around 8-12mm long and 3-5mm wide. Usually the implant will need around 3 months to 'take' in the jaw bone before a tooth is fixed on top.This means the bone needs to grow into the screw threads so the implant is stable enough to support a tooth used in the bite. After 3 months, moulds of the teeth are taken and a tooth is made in the laboratory to fit on top of the implant. Often a 3D scan will be done first to make sure there is enough bone in 3 dimensions to place the implant. If not, some bone grafting may be required.
Dental implants are the most expensive option for replacing a missing tooth but have enormous advantages. They are fixed so you don't have to worry about taking it in and out. They do not require the teeth either side to be drilled, nor do they rely on the health and longevity of the teeth either side. They are a single tooth solution for a single tooth problem.