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Dental Implants: Why Titanium is the Key to Success

Does a missing tooth make you hide your smile? You’re not alone! Millions of Australians just like you want a complete smile again. The good news?

Dental implants can be your answer!

  • Imagine a smile that looks and feels just like your natural teeth.
  • Visualise enjoying a sizzling snag at a summer BBQ with confidence.
  • Imagine feeling fantastic on a night out, smiling brightly in photos without worry.

Dental implants are tiny screws made from a unique material that bonds with your jawbone. This creates a strong foundation for a new tooth that looks and functions just like a natural one.

But what makes dental implants so successful? A big part of it is the material! Dentists overwhelmingly choose titanium for its unique properties and exceptional ability to achieve osseointegration. It is a fancy word for the process where the implant fuses directly with your jawbone for long-term success.

Osseointegration: The Marvelous Marriage Between Implant and Jawbone

Osseointegration, a term that might sound complex at first, is the cornerstone of dental implants’ remarkable success rate. It describes the fascinating biological phenomenon where a dental implant, typically crafted from biocompatible titanium, features a microscopically rough surface specifically designed to encourage bone growth.

Imagine a tiny screw, similar in function to a tooth root, gradually forming a strong and lasting bond with your jawbone over time. This occurs because the implant’s surface mimics the natural texture of bone, prompting bone cells to grow directly onto it, creating a unique osseointegrated interface – a direct connection between the implant and your jawbone.

This rock-solid foundation for the artificial tooth (crown) securely attached on top mimics a natural tooth in both functionality and stability.

The Stages of Osseointegration: A Three-Act Play:

The journey of osseointegration can be broken down into three key stages:

  • Blood Clot Formation: Immediately after the implant placement surgery, a blood clot forms around the implant surface. This clot plays a vital role in initiating the healing process and setting the stage for bone growth.
  • Healing and Bone Growth: Over several weeks to months, your body goes into healing mode. New bone cells begin to grow around the implant surface, thanks in part to the biocompatible properties of titanium. This biocompatibility essentially means the titanium implant is well-tolerated by your body, minimising the risk of rejection and allowing for this crucial bone growth.
  • Direct Bone Bonding: The culmination of the process is the formation of a strong and stable connection between the implant and the jawbone. Over time, the new bone cells that have grown around the implant surface actually bond directly with the titanium implant surface. This direct bonding is the essence of osseointegration. It’s like a marvellous marriage between the implant and your jawbone, creating a foundation that’s almost indistinguishable from a natural tooth root.

Why Titanium is the Gold Standard for Dental Implants

Tiny screws, gently placed in your jawbone, become solid foundations for natural-looking teeth. The secret to their success? Titanium is the undisputed leader in dental implants. Here’s why:

  • Biocompatible Champion: Unlike some materials that trigger rejection, titanium boasts exceptional biocompatibility. Think of it as biocompatible with human tissue, readily accepted by your body. This allows osseointegration, a process where the implant fuses with your jawbone, to occur smoothly.
  • Minimises Discomfort: Titanium minimises significant inflammation, a common culprit behind post-surgical discomfort. This translates to a smoother healing process after your implant placement.
  • A Legacy of Success: For decades, titanium has been a trusted material in various medical implants, from artificial joints to bone plates, demonstrating a long history of success within the body and its safety and biocompatibility.
  • The Osseointegration Ally: Remember how osseointegration requires bone cells to grow directly onto the implant surface? Titanium’s biocompatibility makes this possible. Because your body tolerates it well, those bone cells can create a strong and stable connection with the implant over time, which is crucial for the implant’s long-term success.
  • Built to Last: The human mouth is a harsh environment. Titanium’s exceptional strength and corrosion resistance ensure your implants can withstand the forces of biting and chewing for years to come.

Beyond Biocompatibility: Strength and Convenience

While biocompatibility is paramount, dental implants also need to be solid and durable. Titanium excels in these areas as well:

  • Unmatched Strength (or Exceptional Durability): Dental implants need to be tough enough to withstand the forces of everyday use. Titanium offers exceptional strength, ensuring your implants can handle anything you throw at them (figuratively speaking, of course!).
  • Lightweight Yet Sturdy: Despite its impressive strength, titanium is surprisingly lightweight. This makes it ideal for patients with limited jawbone density, minimising strain on the bone.
  • X-ray Friendly: During implant placement and follow-up procedures, X-rays are crucial for monitoring the implant’s position and health. Titanium allows dentists to easily assess the implant through X-rays, eliminating the need for additional procedures and minimising discomfort for the patient.
  • Reduced Risk of Peri-Implantitis: Peri-implantitis is an inflammation around the dental implant that can lead to bone loss and implant failure. Studies suggest that titanium implants have a lower risk of peri-implantitis compared to other implant materials.

Enhancing Osseointegration with Surface Treatment

Researchers are constantly seeking ways to improve the success rate of dental implants. One area of focus is surface treatment, which modifies the implant’s surface characteristics. A smooth surface offers less area for bone cells to attach to. By creating a rougher texture that mimics natural bone, surface treatment techniques like sandblasting or acid etching can significantly increase the surface area of the implant. This increased surface area allows bone cells to attach and grow around the implant more readily, promoting a more vigorous and faster osseointegration process.

Why Titanium Matters for Surface Treatment

But why is titanium the preferred material for dental implants, especially when considering surface treatment?

  • Biocompatible Canvas: Titanium’s biocompatibility lets the body handle surface mods, minimising rejection and enabling bone cell growth on the implant surface.
  • Strength Under Pressure: Surface treatment can be harsh, but titanium’s inherent strength ensures it can handle these modifications without compromising stability for osseointegration.
  • Sticky Situation: The modified surface needs to attract bone cells. Luckily, treated titanium provides a perfect base for them to adhere to and grow on, creating a strong bond during osseointegration.

Campbelltown Dental Implants: A Lasting Solution Made with Titanium

Missing teeth got you down? Bradbury Dental Surgery, your trusted dentist in Campbelltown, can help! We use only top-tier materials, including titanium implants, which are known for their long-lasting results and biocompatibility.

Our experienced Campbelltown dentists will assess your needs and determine if dental implants are right for you. We’ll answer all your questions and guide you through the entire dental implants Campbelltown process, ensuring a healthy, confident smile you can be proud of.

Call us at (02) 4628 2151 to book your consultation and learn more about how dental implants can transform your life.

Reference List

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Dental & oral health [Overview]. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/dental-oral-health/oral-health-and-dental-care-in-australia/contents/summary

Javed, F., Al-Munassir, H., & Al-Mobarak, F. A. (2019). A root to success: A guide to implant osseointegration [Review]. Dental Nursing, 58(1), 23-29.

Wennerberg, A., Albrektsson, T., & Johansson, C. (2001). Titanium–Tissue Interface Reaction and Its Control with Surface Treatment [Review]. Frontiers in Oral Biology, 6, 18-32.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2020, September 29). Titanium and titanium alloys in dentistry: current trends, recent developments, and future prospects. National Institutes of Health (.gov).

Zhao, G., Schwartz, Z., Wieland, M., Zingerman, Y., & Moshe, B. (2017). Titanium Dental Implants: An Overview of Applied Nanobiotechnology to Improve Biocompatibility and Prevent Infections – PMC (nih.gov). International Journal of Nanomedicine, Volume 12, 8683–8694.