Before development of dental implants, dentures were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Implants support dental crowns and are titanium structures that are used to replace roots.   

Implants are biocompatible with the jawbone and will integrate into healthy bone to become the foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures to replace multiple teeth or entire arches. 

For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene. 

Surgery is necessary to prepare the area for an implant and place the implant in the mouth. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device. In some cases, metal posts are inserted into the implant during a follow-up procedure to connect the tooth. 

Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time.