Dental implants are made out of titanium because the metal is biocompatible, meaning that your jawbone can grow on and incorporate it. However, researchers are looking for different methods to improve dental implant technology so patients can get a shorter recovery and better long-term results.
One of the newest materials available for dental implants is the titanium dioxide nanotube, which promises to improve the recovery time and bacterial resistance of dental implants.
How Titanium Nanotubes Might Help
There are many different approaches to changing the surface of the dental implant to improve osseointegration, the fusion of the dental implant into the bone. Some of the many surface approaches that have been tried include:
- Smooth machined surface
- Machine-roughed surfaces
- Acid-etched surfaces
- Sandblasted surfaces
- Surfaces coated with artificial bonelike material, such as hydroxycalcium apatite
Titanium nanotubes hope to achieve the same effect, by creating a surface that bone material can adhere to and grow into to improve the healing of the jawbone around the dental implant.
However, it is also thought that the nanotubes might also be able to deliver medication directly to the implant site at a gradual pace for better effectiveness. It has been proposed that the nanotubes might be infused with anti-inflammatory drugs or silver, which has antimicrobial properties. This would be very useful because it would prevent the formation of biofilms, or collections of bacteria, on the surface of the implant, which can interfere with implant fixation and can be hard to treat.
Implants Already Have a High Success Rate
The attempt to find better surfaces and approaches to dental implants represents a drive to perfection in dental technology. Dental implants are already one of the most medical technologies available, with success rates that range from 95-98% for nonsmoking patients, depending on the study you look at.
If you have lost teeth or are facing the loss of teeth and want to learn whether dental implants can be used to restore your smile, please contact Dental Excellence of Blue Bell in Philadelphia, today for an appointment.