Dental implants as we know them today got their start in the 1950s and 1960s, when Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark stumbled upon the discovery that titanium could fuse with the bone. This eventually led to the placement of the first dental implant in 1965. The treatment has been refined since that time, but titanium is still the material of choice for making implant posts. Why do dentists continue to prefer titanium dental implants? In this post, you’ll discover 3 important reasons why.
There have been previous attempts to make dental implants out of metals and alloys besides titanium, but they all ultimately failed. Despite their durability, these other materials were rejected by the body and were never integrated with the jawbone. The properties of titanium allow it to fuse with the bone structure and essentially become part of the jaw itself. Because of this, titanium implants are able to mimic the natural functions of tooth roots as closely as possible. Implants that do not successfully join with the jaw might last for a few years but will ultimately fail.
It should be noted that stainless steel also has some degree of biocompatibility. However, there is higher a chance of the body rejecting stainless steel compared to titanium, so the latter material is still generally preferred.
2. High Success Rate
As the old saying goes, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Titanium dental implants have a success rate that’s as high as 95 to 98 percent, and they have many decades of research behind them to demonstrate their long-term reliability in supporting strong smiles while also preventing bone loss. Complications are still possible, of course – an unavoidable truth of any surgical procedure – but thanks to the well-understood properties of titanium, such risks can be kept to an absolute minimum, especially when placed by an expert.
Since titanium is such a strong metal, it can easily withstand many years of biting and chewing without breaking. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for dental implants to last well over 30 years, and there are even many examples of patients who went on to keep their dental implants for the rest of their lives. You won’t have to worry about your new teeth wearing down anytime soon from simple everyday use – so long as you’re vigilant about taking care of your mouth after surgery and keeping up with your regular dental visits, of course.
Are titanium implants the solution for your tooth loss? Your dentist can go over the pros and cons of the treatment with you during an implant consultation; this will also be your chance to learn more about the process and what you can look forward to. Rest assured that titanium implants are part of a longstanding dental tradition of creating new smiles that you can count on.
About the Author
Dr. John Hackbarth earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1976. He has studied many different fields of dentistry and is always seeking to improve his skills; he has even assisted surgeons so as to refine his own surgical techniques for procedures such as dental implant placement. If you have questions about titanium dental implants, set up an appointment with him at the Dental Cosmetic Center — Bay Area by visiting his website or calling (409) 935-2111.