Dentures and partial dentures--often called "partials"--used to be the only alternative to replacing missing teeth. Thanks to the modern medical marvels of dental implants, one tooth or a few teeth can be easily implanted without needing the large and often cumbersome dentures. Dental implants are small synthetics, usually metal or ceramic, placed in the gums where the root would normally be. The dentist anchors the implant to the jawbone itself or to metal framework on the jawbone, which creates a foundation for placing an artificial tooth or a dental bridge. Implants can even anchor dentures in some cases. Due to the nature and design of the implants, they look and feel like natural teeth. Only a dentist can distinguish the difference between the implants and your other teeth.