Why Are Dental Implants Made of Titanium?

Serving Patients in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Lawton, and Norman, OK

Dental implants are a tremendous innovation in dental restorations, allowing the replacement of your tooth with a fully functional and highly aesthetic prosthetic. This can only be accomplished with materials that:
  •  Are strong
  • Are non-toxic
  • Are capable of integrating into bone
  • Are durable
    With this list of demands, there are very few materials that are up to the challenge. Currently, the leading contender is titanium, which has a relatively high strength, about 40% stronger than "high-strength" steel, though not as high as some high-performing alloys. Generally, most implants aren't made of pure titanium, but of a titanium alloy with small amounts of other metals that improve the strength even more.
    Titanium is also non-toxic, unlike many heavy metals, such as chromium. Instead, the only real concern about toxicity is in the small number of people with titanium allergies, which is estimated to be about 0.6% of the population.
    Titanium has been shown to integrate very well into the bone. Actually, it is not the titanium that integrates, but the titanium oxide (the equivalent of titanium rust) that forms quickly on the outside of the implant.
    Titanium oxide is important because it not only integrates with bone, but also creates a protective seal on the implant that prevents oxidation of most of the implant and prevents the trace elements from oxidizing. This helps titanium implants retain their original strength over time, making them highly durable.
    Currently, there is only one other material being commonly used in dental implants, zirconia, which is technically a ceramic, and has been approved for use in dental implants since 2007.
    During your consultation, we will discuss your dental implant options and which one is right for you. To schedule a consultation, please contact Dr. Terry Bass today.