A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root that is surgically placed into the jawbone. One or more missing teeth can be replaced by attaching a crown, a fixed bridge, or a full set of dentures to the implants. The implant material, which is typically pure titanium, is extremely biocompatible, and the bone treats the implant just as if it were made of bone. The bone cells attach to the implant in a process called osseointegration. After an initial healing period, during which the implant is left undisturbed underneath the gum tissue, it is uncovered and connected to a small post, which will serve as the foundation for the tooth or teeth that the implant will support.