A dental implant (also known as an endosseous implant or fixture ) is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis. The basis for modern dental implants is a biologic process called osseointegration where materials, such as titanium, form an intimate bond to bone. The implant fixture is first placed, so that it is likely to osseointegrate, then a dental prosthetic is added. A variable amount of healing time is required for osseointegration before either the dental prosthetic (a tooth, bridge or denture) is attached to the implant or an abutment is placed which will hold a dental prosthetic.
The prerequisites to long-term success of osseointegrated dental implants are healthy bone and gingiva. Sinus lifts or gingival grafts are sometimes required to recreate ideal bone and gingiva.