When a patient has missing teeth from either an injury or periodontal disease, a dental implant to restore their smile is often the best option. The implant process begins by surgically positioning a metal post to the jaw. Once it is in place and the bones have had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. Implants provide the maximum amount of benefits for the patient because they are stronger than natural teeth and can last up to 20 years, which is why this option also tends to be pricier. Patients with healthy gums, adequate bones, and who are committed to excellent oral hygiene are the best candidates for implants.