Dental implants are replacement, or substitute tooth roots, used to replace natural tooth roots in areas of the mouth where teeth are missing.
It is important to replace the tooth root and not just the visible part of the tooth (crown) because natural tooth roots actually preserve the bone.
When teeth are missing, the bone that previously supported those teeth melts away, or deteriorates. This process is called bone resorption. However, the bone can be preserved by replacing missing tooth roots with dental implants.
Since the bone actually forms a strong bond to the implants, they can serve virtually the same functions as natural tooth roots: a strong foundation for biting and chewing, and stimulation for the bone to hold it in place.
Dental implants have an overall success rate of about 95%, as well as over 50 years of clinical research. Dental implant treatment has the best long-term prognosis of any method of tooth replacement.