Titanium – The Secret Behind Dental Implants
If you know anything about dental implants, you know that the implant itself is made of titanium. But what is titanium, and what makes it so unique?
The simple fact is that titanium is one of the strongest, most durable, and longest lasting metals used in medicine today, including modern dentistry. These qualities make titanium a desirable material for everything from knee replacements to dental implants.
Quick Dental Implants Primer
Before we talk about titanium’s amazing qualities, let’s do a quick review of dental implants and how they work. There are three pieces that make up the prosthetic that we call a dental implant:
- Implant – A titanium replacement root that is embedded in your jawbone.
- Abutment – A small piece attached to the implant.
- Dental Restoration – A crown, denture, or bridge that is attached to the abutment and becomes the visible, functional part of the artificial tooth.
What Makes Titanium so Unique?
Dental implants in one form or another have been around for centuries. In earlier days, dental implants were crafted from a number of materials, including silver, gold, and even ivory.
But it wasn’t until the late 1960’s that a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark discovered osseointegration, a process where bone fuses to a foreign material. Since titanium actually absorbs into bone and surrounding tissue, it makes a stable base for the dental restoration that is attached to it.
Titanium is also incredibly durable and has been known to last for 20 years or more. It is completely safe for use in dental implants because it is judged to be immune to corrosion by all body fluids and tissue, making it completely bio-compatible.
Why Dental Implants are so Effective
Dental implants not only replace the tooth—they actually help you maintain your ideal dental health. They eliminate the shifting and movement of surrounding natural teeth. Since the titanium implant is firmly secured in the jawbone, it prevents deterioration of the jawbone, a common result of tooth loss.
And, unlike bridges, dental implants are easier on adjacent teeth. Since the implant is freestanding, it doesn’t require the support of your natural teeth, reducing excessive wear and tear.
A dental implant is long lasting, and looks and acts just like a natural tooth. It restores your ability to eat and chew, and since it is a dental prosthetic, it will not decay. But it is important to keep up with regular dental cleanings because you can still develop periodontal disease.
Are you interested in learning more about amazing dental implants? If you’re missing teeth and have been considering replacement options, we would be happy to talk to you about dental implants and how they work. Please contact our Gasport dental office to arrange a complimentary consultation