What are dental implants made of?
Currently, dental implants are mainly made of two materials: Titanium and Zirconia.
Titanium is the most commonly used material whereas zirconia is considered to be a recent finding.
Titanium is a preferred material of choice for a dental implant by most dentists due to its non- corrosive, strong and biocompatible properties. It is well accepted by the body and non-toxic to the surrounding oral tissues preventing its inflammation. It also helps with the process of osseointegration whereby it encourages bone growth around dental implants. Zirconia has similar properties and advised to patients who are allergic to metals.
What are the parts of a dental implant?
Dental implant is made of 4 parts: a fixture, abutment and prosthesis.
A fixture is a screw-like post (implant itself) that is placed surgically into the bone, initiating bone deposition around itself.
An abutment is the connection between the fixture and the prosthesis. Since the fixture lies within the bone, the prosthesis can only be attached to it with the help of an extension, i.e. an abutment.
A prosthesis is that part of the dental implant that can be seen in the oral cavity either as a crown, bridge or denture.
The success rate of dental implants is considered to be almost 98%.
However, certain factors do contribute to implant failure (smoking, tobacco chewing, severe diabetes etc).
In case of an implant failure, bone will not be formed adequately around the implant which leads to implant mobility. In such cases, the implant is removed, the area is allowed to heal for a period of 3 to 4 months and then the implant can be placed again.
Looking at the advantages and the success rate that the dental implant provides, it is now considered a standard of care.