As a Los Angeles dentist, I know that dental implants have only been recently perfected, a revolutionary development. If you have lost teeth for any reason—knocked out in sports, removed because of decay, due to an aging jaw—dental implants can give you back not only your original smile but the ability to eat comfortably and speak clearly.
Replacing teeth is important because, without them, the other teeth will begin to turn to fill the gap and become loose, while the jaw underneath begins to lose bone. Unless this process is stopped with an implant (or shorter-term and less effective alternatives), bone grafts and full reconstruction surgery may be required to recover your complete oral health.
After an initial consultation to determine your dental health and a customized solution, a titanium rod would be placed where the tooth was, which would integrate with the jawbone to provide stability. After healing, a crown will be placed on top that looks like a natural tooth, so that no one knows you have an implant (the ability to create a perfect match that is comfortable depends on the skills of the dentist taking the mold of the tooth and the dental lab; unfortunately, as a Los Angeles dentist I know that many practices do not have the exacting standards of Wilshire Smile Studio).
If you have multiple missing teeth, even the loss of all of them in the upper and lower jaw, implants are a better answer than either bridges (which have a limited life) or dentures (full or partial, which need refitting from time to time). While implants are very durable, like natural teeth they can have normal wear and tear, but are the closest to a permanent replacement.