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A dental implant is a metal post that replaces the root of a missing tooth. An artificial tooth (crown) is placed on an extension of the post (abutment) on the dental implant, giving you the look of a real tooth.
Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal, screw-like posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. Dental implant surgery can offer a welcome alternative to dentures or bridgework that doesn't fit well.
How dental implant surgery is performed depends on the type of implant and the condition of your jawbone. But all dental implant surgery occurs in stages and may involve several procedures. The major benefit of implants is solid support for your new teeth — a process that requires the bone to heal tightly around the implant. Because this healing requires time, the process can take many months.
Information obtained from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/implants/article/what-are-dental-implants