Healthy soft tissue surrounding a dental implant is essential for health, function, and esthetics. The development of the tooth includes the formation of a biologic connection between the living tissues that has to be created during the healing process after placement of the implant. The success of dental implants is dependent on the establishment of a soft-tissue barrier that is able to shelter the underlying osseous structures and the osseointegration surrounding the implant body. The esthetics of a dental implant prosthesis depends on the health and stability of the peri-implant mucosa. Understanding of soft-tissue healing and maintenance around dental implants is paramount for implant success. This article discusses the soft-tissue interface, aspects of soft-tissue health, and esthetics during treatment planning and therapy. © 2010.