An implant is an artificial tooth root placed into jaw bone that holds a crown or bridge to replace a missing tooth. There are usually three parts to what is described as an implant – the implant itself that is inserted within the bone; the abutment – a piece that connects the implant to the third part – the overlying crown, bridge, or denture.
Implants are most commonly made of titanium, a metal that is well accepted by the body and fuses directly to bone.
Implants are the most permanent way to replace a missing tooth or teeth, and often last a lifetime. Their stability depends on good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease or an infection that could cause the implant to loosen.