Why is Titanium the Best Implant Material?
At Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery, we offer dental implants as a solution for your tooth replacement needs. Dental implants are a modern, unique treatment that requires the surgical implantation of posts in your jawbone. These posts provide the support for the ceramic crowns that replace the visible portions of your missing teeth. The posts of dental implants are most frequently made from titanium. What makes titanium the best material?
Years of Research
The use of titanium for dental implants was the result of an accidental discovery in the 1950s. A Swedish orthopedic surgeon was studying bone healing and regeneration when he placed a titanium cylinder in the femur of a rabbit. When he went to remove it, he discovered that the bone had begun to fuse to the cylinder. This discovery started years of research and development. In 1965, he placed the first successful dental implants. Research and development did not stop there. Even today, research is being conducted to further improve their success and their stability.
The first titanium implants were made of pure titanium. This material proved too weak, so the titanium implants of today are made up of a titanium alloy. These implants are incredibly strong and have high flexural properties that make them resistant to fractures. Zirconia, a newer alternative for implant posts, is still strong, but it does not have the same elasticity, which means that it is more likely to fracture. If the implant fractures, the entire thing needs to be replaced. Because titanium is much less likely to fracture, there is much less of a chance that you will ever have to replace the entire post.
Titanium posts have been the standard for dental implants for over 50 years now. They have quickly become the most popular option for replacing teeth, with most tooth loss patients turning to implants than dentures or bridges. Because of the years of research and because of how common the treatment is, titanium posts are considered an easy treatment. Titanium posts are also a versatile treatment that can be used in a variety of different situations. They are available as a single piece or two-piece implants. Two-piece implants enable the posts to be placed in the jaw at an angle while keeping the crowns in perfect alignment. This means that implants can be placed to take maximum advantage of the bone mass you do have in your jaw. Zirconia implants, on the other hand, are only available as single piece implants. This means that they need to be placed precisely, and cannot be placed at an angle, for your replacement teeth to be placed in perfect alignment.
When compared to zirconia implants, titanium implants cost less. The cost of zirconia implants ranges between $500 and $600. Titanium implants, on the other hand, cost between $300 and $500. This is the cost of the parts and does not include consultations, imaging, surgery, and aftercare visits. With titanium, however, your total cost of getting dental implants is generally less than with zirconia. Titanium implants have been used for decades to support the crowns of your dental implants. The material is well understood and has a proven track record. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, and the materials used, call Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery at (734) 455-0710 for more information.