Titanium Dental Implants
Whether you lost a tooth to gum disease or trauma, dental implants are the standard way to replace missing teeth and improve the health of your mouth. Dental implants allow you to enjoy your favorite foods, avoid the discomfort of removable dentures and have the natural look of a complete smile. When dental implants are placed, the implant is placed into the jaw and then fuses with the bone. The implant acts as the roots for the replacement tooth. Because it is attached to the jaw like your other natural teeth, dental implants have all the strength of natural teeth. Dental implants can support one replacement tooth or permanent crown or they can support permanent dentures to get you as close to your original teeth as possible.
Dental implants are made from three pieces: screws or posts, abutments or attachments, and permanent crowns or dentures. The screw is typically made from titanium because it bonds with bone effectively. After 1952 when the Swedish scientist Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered the biocompatibility of titanium, titanium has been used in medical and dental applications. Dental implants, joint replacements and prostheses for the head and face are all different way titanium is used in the body today.
Titanium bonds with bone or it osseointegrates without any harmful effects on the body. Titanium is nontoxic and nonallergenic and has been shown to stay in place for 30 years or more in dental implants.
There is a group of corrosion-resistant alloys and titanium belongs in that group. Instead of breaking down, titanium forms a protective layer of titanium dioxide. The layer helps protect the titanium from water and chemicals.
Strong and Sturdy
Titanium continues to be ideal for use in the body because it is both strong and lightweight. Even though steel is known for its strength, titanium is stronger. Another attractive feature of titanium is the fact that after bending, it returns to its original shape.
Titanium vs. Zirconium Implants
Some people show allergic reactions to the alloy components so zirconium has been used in its place with a comparable success rate. Studies have shown that zirconium fuses with bone as well as titanium so it is a good alternative to titanium. Be sure to talk to the dentist about the advantages and disadvantages of each material.
Titanium Implant vs Subperiosteal Implants
When the titanium implants are placed in your jawbone, they fuse with the bone and work like a natural tooth root. Subperiosteal implants are placed above the jawbone so they are not nearly as strong as titanium implants.
Narrow Body Implants
In the past if a dentist has told you that you are not an ideal candidate for dental implants, the newer version called narrow body implants may be the answer you were seeking. Narrow body implants are also called mini dental implants; they are smaller in diameter as compared to traditional implants. If you have areas of thin bone, then you may be able to avoid a bone graft procedure by using a mini dental implant instead.