Whilst the team at Albert Place will do whatever is reasonably possible to save a natural tooth, on occasions, extraction is the only viable option.
Until recently, when a tooth was lost, it could only be replaced by a false tooth supported by the teeth adjacent (a bridge) or on a plate (a denture). Although these solutions are still used extensively, they have limitations and compromises.
There is now another option which is fixed (like a bridge) and self-supporting (like a denture). A dental implant is basically a titanium screw which is screwed into a specially prepared hole in the bone. The procedure feels similar to having a filling done and the level of discomfort following the placement of an implant is comparable with that of a simple extraction.
Titanium is a very biocompatible material which means it is very well tolerated by living tissue. Bone will grow right up to the surface of an implant and into the threads of the screw and microscopic roughness which exists on a modern implant. This locks the implant in position.
The implant has an internal fitting on the end which protrudes from the tooth and gum and this can be used to attach components to the top of the implant. This allows a crown or bridge to be supported or a loose denture to be held firmly in place.