Why Titanium is Used for Implants
Replacing missing teeth is essential for restoring the functions of your mouth and the appearance of your smile. Traditionally, missing teeth have been replaced with bridges and dentures. Today, however, the popular option for replacing missing teeth is dental implants. At Beautiful Smiles, we proudly offer this option for your tooth replacement needs, whether you are missing one tooth or you are missing all of your teeth. One of the major components of dental implants is titanium posts.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are one of the most popular options available for replacing missing teeth, providing an alternative to bridges and dentures. They can be used to replace any number of missing teeth, whether you are missing only one tooth, a few teeth, or all of your teeth. They consist of small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. These posts then provide the support necessary for your replacement teeth. They rely on a process known as osseointegration, which is the process in which your jawbone fuses to the posts. Fully integrated, the posts are strong, stable, and unmovable. Dental implants provide several benefits. These benefits include:
|They look, feel and function just like natural teeth.
|They are strong, and your teeth are held securely in place.
|They are a permanent solution.
|The posts imitate the functions of your natural tooth roots and stimulate the jawbone when you chew. This restored stimulation aids in maintaining the strength and integrity of the jawbone.
The posts that are implanted into the jawbone are made of titanium. They are a titanium alloy. The first implants that were placed were made of pure titanium, but this material proved too soft. A titanium alloy is exceptionally strong. However, what makes it ideal for dental implants?
Titanium is a biocompatible material and one that is tolerated well by the jaw. In fact, it has a 98% success rate. As you heal, the bone in your jaw fuses to the titanium posts, integrating them into the jaw, which aids in turning them into stable roots. Titanium is also a versatile material. It can be made in single piece posts as well as two separate pieces. With two separate pieces, the posts can be implanted at an angle, and the replacement teeth will still sit properly aligned in your mouth. This is especially helpful in situations such as the All-on-4 treatment concept, where implants need to be placed at an angle to maximize contact with the jawbone.
Are There Other Materials That Can be Used?
While titanium is a strong material, there is research being done into alternative, nonmetal, options. One of the most promising materials is Zirconia. Zirconia implants are considered ceramic implants, even though they do contain trace amounts of metals in them for strength. This material is ideal for those with metal allergies. Like titanium, it is biocompatible, and the bone fuses with it while you heal. It is also white in color, unlike titanium, so it can look more natural if you have thin gum tissue or experience gum recession. The biggest disadvantage of Zirconia is that it is only available as single pieces, and therefore needs to be placed very precisely.
Dental implants provide a revolutionary treatment for tooth loss, restoring not only the functions of your missing teeth and the appearance of your smile but also maintaining the health and shape of your jawbone. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you, call Beautiful Smiles today at (530) 206-9211.