I need a dental implant on a tooth that is about to fail
(the 2nd on the upper front). But my roots are very short and I'm concerned that I don't have enough bone for the implant to be successful. Because of the roots, I currently have a fixed retainer. Considering this, do you recommend implants or dental bridge?
Without any doubt, the best option for you would be a dental implant.
A three-unit bridge would need to reduce the two adjacent teeth in order to place crowns on them to hold the pontic (missing tooth). If they are not damaged, this is unnecessary, since you have the option of replacing the tooth with an implant.
Another reason why the implant is a better choice is that it will help you keep the bone that you have, rather than allowing the bone to slowly atrophy and disappear as it happens normally after an extraction.
A third reason is that the implant would be the size of a normal root, not short, like you mention your roots are, so that is also an improvement.
Talk to your dentist about it and ask about his experience with dental implants. Dentists that are not very familiar with implants tend not to recommend them.
I hope this helps.
Carlos Boudet, DDS, DICOI