Titanium is a metal that is lightweight, silvery grey-white, resistant to corrosion and strong as
steel. It is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. Because titanium is also biocompatible (that
means not rejected by the body), it is used medically as implants and other surgical implements.
The qualities of titanium have made it a preferred favourite regarding implant material; hence it
is the most widely used and accepted dental implant.
How Are Titanium Implants Made?
Titanium is an abundant element. It can be found in rocks, sediments, living things, in certain
minerals and natural bodies of water.
Hundreds of dental implants are manufactured from a single titanium rod. This rod is about
4metres long and undergoes a process explained below
The single titanium rod is fed through a machine that threads, shapes and cuts each implant on
the outside. It is then transferred from this machine to the next which also threads and shapes the
insides. After several implants have been made from this process, they are grouped in a holding
plate and sent through the different cleaning process. They are then taken out and screwed onto a
new plate which is carried into an acid bath. In the acid bath, the implants undergo a
transformation process as the surface is being made porous. This porous surface makes it easier
for bone-bonding to take place. The final cleaning takes place in a tank of hot purified water,
powered by electrical charges. After this, the implant is ready for use.
Benefits Of Titanium Implants
- Titanium implants are cheaper to manufacture. Hence they cost less for patients use. This
is quite unlike their counterpart Zirconia, which costs more to produce alone.
Titanium implants are durable and long-lasting. One of their outstanding properties is the
high elasticity which translates to strength as these implants can resist fracture much
more than any other dental implant material.
- Titanium implants are beautiful.
These implants don't just give you your smile back but do so most naturally and
beautifully. Although for most patients, their most significant fear of titanium is developing a visible grey line overtime when the gums recede. However, this can be avoided by employing the use of a ceramic abutment.
- Titanium implants are easy to place.
Dentists and specialist enjoy this particular feature of the titanium implants. This is
mostly because titanium implants are commonly used-so naturally one would get more
experienced at each passing operation- and also because titanium implants come in two-
A two-piece implant is much easier to place because it isn't rigid and can be manipulated
to desired angles. This is very important to the dentist because most times, due to bone
density and teeth profile, an implants position is slightly off centred.
- Titanium implants are biocompatible
As a necessity, all dental implant materials must be biocompatible and integrate well with
the bone and the gums. Once an implant is placed a process known as osseointegration
and soft tissue healing begins. This process guarantees that the implant becomes
embedded in the gum as a natural part of the jaw. It takes some time, but titanium is
porous and facilitates this process perfectly.
The disadvantages of Titanium Implant
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10% to 20% of
people in every country are allergic to nickel.
Titanium is an alloy comprising various metals such as nickel, iron, lead, zinc and copper. Most
people never know they are allergic to nickel until they have an attack. This can be avoided by
testing the patient's compatibility with a series of tests such as the MELISA test.
Cost Of Titanium Dental Implants
The cost of the titanium implants (parts only) is about $300 to $500. At the end of the surgical
process, they still cost cheaper than their counterparts at $1000 to $4500.
Titanium implants are currently trending in the dental industry. Their widespread use presents an
opportunity for more developments to be made.