Dental Implant Overview PART 1

What are dental implants ?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used in dentistry  to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth.

Virtually all dental implants placed today are root-form endosseous implants. In other words, virtually all dental implants placed in the 21st century appear similar to an actual tooth root (and thus possess a “root-form”) and are placed within the bone (end- being the Greek prefix for “in” and osseous referring to “bone”).

Prior to the advent of root-form endosseous implants, most implants were either blade endosseous implants, in that the shape of the metal piece placed within the bone resembled a flat blade, or subperiosteal implants, in which a framework was constructed to lie upon and was attached with screws to the exposed bone of the jaws.

Component Parts Of An Implant

A typical implant consists of a titanium screw (resembling a tooth root) with a roughened or smooth surface.

The majority of dental implants are made out of commercially pure titanium, which is available in 4 grades depending upon the amount of carbon and iron contained.

More recently grade 5 titanium has increased in use. Grade 5 titanium, Titanium 6AL-4V, (signifying the Titanium alloy containing 6% Aluminium and 4% Vanadium alloy) is believed to offer similar osseointegration levels as commercially pure titanium.

Ti-6Al-4V alloy offers better tensile strength and fracture resistance. Today most implants are still made out of commercially pure titanium (grades 1 to 4) but some implant systems (Endopore and NanoTite) are fabricated out of the Ti-6Al-4V alloy.

Implant surfaces may be modified by plasma spraying, anodizing,etching or sandblasting to increase the surface area and the integration potential of the implant.

Rest of the article is continued in the next post .

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