You might be thinking to go for dental implant treatment and might be curious to know, “are dental implants secured” that too using titanium alloy implant material? Even though dental implant has been among the most highly predictable procedures with success rates of over 90%, but the question remains: are these implants safe enough? Or can they be looked into in further detail? What materials are implants made from, and how do they behave in our mouths after being implanted into the jawbone?
Most implants used in dentistry today are made of commercially pure titanium or titanium alloys. Zirconia variants do exist, however their use in dentistry is less common.
Why Are Dental Implants Used
Dental implants are used to replace missing or damaged natural teeth. Through implant procedure, your natural tooth root is replaced, and it helps to crowns, bridges, support, or stabilize removable dentures. The advantage of undergoing dental implants is that after completion, you get a new tooth feel and look similar to natural teeth.
The actual surgery can be carried out under local anesthetic or IV sedation (for anxious patients). The implant is then left in the jawbone for about 4-6 months while healing takes place. This fusion between the bone tissue and the titanium is known as osseo-integration. The replaced teeth are personalized and colored to suit as per each patient’s demands and dental requirements.
Unlike crowns made from metal powders for additive manufacturing, dental implants cannot harm adjacent teeth during procedure of fixed bridgework. Dental implants prevent you from further loss of bone that happens after losing organic teeth. If properly maintained implants can last up to 15-20 years. It was initially thought that bone would shrink about 0.5mm-1mm around implants per year however newer designs are kinder to surrounding bone and are showing very little bone loss at all.
What About Allergies To Metals? Are Dental Implants Safe?
Titanium is the most commonly used material. Although other metals have the potential to corrode and release harmful ions, which could induce allergic responses, titanium is known for its exceptional resistance to corrosion. It has high biocompatibility in the mouth too.
As per some studies carried out regarding titanium implants, symptoms of allergies arising from titanium led to skin rashes and sometimes implant failure. The incidence of allergic reactions to titanium has not been well documented and is extremely rare.
According to the MELISA foundation, titanium allergy is barely recognized in mainstream medicine. However, laboratories are using the MELISA® technology and have reported that nearly 4% of all patients tested will be allergic to it.
It is quite possible that zirconia might become, in the future, a popular choice of implant material. The material has been used in other areas of the body with promising results however its use is still limited and further studies are being carried out.
Factors to Consider Before Implant Treatment
- The ability and capacity of the clinic or surgeon carrying out the prosthetic and surgery treatment. An experienced surgeon is more likely to be better prepared for possible complications which may arise during treatment.
- Has the surgeon carried out in depth planning prior to implant surgery? Use of radiographs and CT scans will reduce possible serious complications, errors of incorrect implant placement, and reduce chances of implant failure.
- Thorough understanding of the treatment plan, how many appointments are needed and what are the possible risks and complications of treatment.
- Understanding of consequences if not going ahead with treatment. As discussed above, missing teeth will lead to further bone loss. This additional bone loss could make treatment in future more complex due to limited bone.
Choose a clinic which is convenient to visit. Implant treatment can be a lengthy process and traveling abroad would be inconvenient, especially after the rise of complications.