Dental Implants and Osseointegration
Here at Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry in Burbank, CA patient education is one of our constant goals. We know that when our patients understand their oral health and how it works, they will be more able and likely to take great care of it. Tooth loss always has a huge impact on your quality of life, which is why dental implants are so fantastic! Dental implants give you back the ability to eat, speak, and smile as you did before experiencing tooth loss. The reason dental implants offer such amazing results is because of a process is known as osseointegration.
What is Osseointegration?
Osseointegration describes the healing process that takes place between bone and foreign material in your body. Similar to the way that a broken limb will mend itself when a cast immobilizes it, it will seek to heal around and integrate with certain foreign materials that are known to be biocompatible. When we call something biocompatible, it means that the human body won’t try to reject it. Instead, it will accept it, growing around it and making a strong bond that you can rely on for chewing your food.
For the most part, the human body will try to reject all foreign materials that end up within it. A good example of this is a splinter. When you get a splinter, your body sets to work trying to get rid of it. The area around the splint will become red, swollen and irritated. Eventually, if the splinter is large, the body will even respond with pus in an attempt to break down the foreign material.
Osseointegration and Biocompatible Materials
As discussed above, biocompatibility is the key to osseointegration, and some materials for implants are biocompatible and some aren't.
Not only is titanium readily accepted by the body, but it also meets all the criteria that a dental implant must meet to serve as a dental implant. Titanium is:
Titanium was first found to be a biocompatible material in the 1950’s and since then has been incorporated into all kinds of implants. Titanium is a commonly used material for joint and bone replacements. When we place a titanium post into the bone of your jaw, we will allow it some time to heal. Healing times vary from person to person and case to case. During this healing time, the bone in your jaw will begin to heal around the implant post and will eventually create a strong bond with it.
While titanium is definitely the most popular option for dental implant posts, it is not the only one. Zirconia can be used in place of titanium because it is also biocompatible. The big difference between titanium and zirconia is aesthetic in nature. Titanium is metallic and will show up in the smile in certain situations where the patient does not have enough healthy gum tissue. Zirconia is white and therefore looks more natural in these rare circumstances that require an aesthetic touch.
Schedule Your Implant Consultation
Do you still have questions about dental implant materials and their biocompatibilty? Give us a call today at (818) 748-9998 to discuss your tooth replacement options.