Dental implants are made of a biocompatible material, such as titanium or a titanium alloy, which allows them to fuse with the bone tissue in the jaw. This process, known as osseointegration, creates a strong and stable foundation for the replacement tooth or teeth.
The use of titanium for dental implants was first introduced in the 1950s, and since then it has become the most widely used material for this purpose. This is because titanium has a number of unique properties that make it ideal for use in the mouth.
First, titanium is highly biocompatible, which means that it is not rejected by the body's immune system. This is important because it allows the implant to fuse with the bone tissue without causing any adverse reactions.
Second, titanium is strong and durable, which is crucial for supporting the replacement tooth or teeth. It can withstand the forces of chewing and biting without breaking or failing.
Third, titanium is also corrosion-resistant, which means that it does not rust or corrode when exposed to the oral environment. This helps to ensure that the implant remains stable and functional for many years.
In addition to these properties, titanium is also relatively lightweight and easy to work with. This makes it possible for dental professionals to create implants that are custom-fit to each patient's mouth, ensuring a comfortable and natural-looking result.
The process of placing a dental implant typically involves several steps. First, the dentist will create a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the underlying bone. Then, using a specialized drill, they will create a hole in the bone to receive the implant.
Next, the implant itself is placed into the hole and a protective cap is placed over the top of it. This cap, known as a healing abutment, allows the gum tissue to heal and grow around the implant, creating a strong and stable foundation for the replacement tooth.
After the implant has been placed and the gum tissue has healed, the dentist will attach the replacement tooth, or teeth, to the implant. This is typically done using a connector called an abutment, which connects the implant to the replacement tooth.
The replacement tooth, or teeth, are typically made of porcelain or a similar material that closely resembles natural tooth enamel. This helps to ensure that the final result looks and feels like a natural tooth.
Overall, dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth. The use of biocompatible materials, such as titanium, allows the implant to fuse with the bone tissue and provide a strong and stable foundation for the replacement tooth or teeth. This can help to restore a person's smile and improve their oral health.