Why Are Dental Implant Roots Made from Titanium?

Posted on: 7 February 2017

If you want a dental implant, then you do have several options available to you. While this is true, your dental professional is likely to recommend a certain type of device that is best. Most often the device contains a titanium root. You may know that steel was once used for implantation. Titanium is now the standard. There are a few reasons why.

Titanium Allows for Better Bone Integration

Certain types of prosthetics, like artificial knees, may be made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is one of the strongest implant materials that can be utilized. When it comes to joint replacements and the placement of screws and plates, stainless steel is almost always used. It is sometimes cemented into place, or the screws keep the prosthetic from shifting. The metal does not typically integrate the bone. In other words, stainless steel implements do not become a part of the body. 

Titanium does integrate quite well into to the body and the metal allows bone cells to attach themselves to the implant. The bone and the implant then become a single solid formation. The integration has a lot to do with the texture of the metal. Titanium can be constructed with a rough surface, and the grooves provide openings where bone cells can multiply and attach to the implant. Stainless steel is too smooth. Texture cannot be created across the surface in the same way. This is ideal if an artificial joint needs to be replaced, but it is not advantageous for a dental implant. 

Titanium Is Highly Biocompatible

There are several different materials that are considered biocompatible. Steel, titanium, titanium alloys, and ceramic are these materials. If one of these substances is placed into the body, it is not attacked or removed. This means that implants and prosthetics can remain in the body forever without being rejected.

There are different degrees of biocompatibility. This means that certain materials are more likely to be accepted by the body than others. Titanium is one of the most biocompatible materials. It has a far lower rejection rate than steel, and this means that your dental implant is more likely to be successful if the root is made from titanium. If you have an autoimmune disorder, certain metal allergies, or an overactive immune system, then this may be something that is important to you. 

Titanium allergies are possible, but they are extremely rare. In the case of this type of allergy, then a ceramic device will be used instead. Ceramics may not be as strong though, so this should be considered only if there is a need.