When more than one tooth is missing, you may not need an implant for each one of them. Implant teeth can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, your dental professional can place two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath.
Unlike natural-tooth-supported bridgework, dental implants don’t require adjacent healthy teeth to be filed down. Implants don’t lead to an increased risk of gum disease, tooth decay, or a root canal problem, but research shows these can be issues with bridges supported by filed-down natural teeth. Plus, while studies have shown that those bridges may have a failure rate as high as 10% in just 3 years (and up to 30% in 10 years)*, dental implants have been shown in studies to have a long-term success rate of over 95%.
*Tan, K et al, A Systematic review of the survival and complication rates of fixed partial dentures after an observation period of at least 5 years, Oral Implants Research, 2004:Vol 15, Iss 6, pages 654-666