The majority of metal implants used to replace bones in the human body use titanium, a metal with some very unique and valuable properties. These properties are just as valuable when it comes to dental implants, which is why it’s used by so many implant dentists on Long Island.
The main feature of titanium implants is something called osseointegration. What this means is that bone cells have the ability to fuse with the titanium, connecting to the metal so completely that it sometimes becomes easier to break the surrounding bone than to remove the titanium.
Scientists first noticed osseointegration in the 1940s, and the first time doctors made use of this feature was in the 1960s. In fact, the first practical implants were dental implants, although it would take another 20 years for more than just a few pioneers to start using titanium for implants.
Another reason titanium is the go-to metal for implant dentists on Long Island is its very low rejection rate. When you look at a piece of titanium you technically aren’t seeing the metal: what you see is a thin layer of titanium oxide that protects the metal underneath it from corrosion. And while iron oxide flakes off as it turns rusty, titanium oxide sticks to the metal like glue.
The titanium oxide layer keeps the metal implant from dissolving in your body, and it prevents your immune system from rejecting it because the surface collects the organic molecules your cells create. This layer makes your immune system see the implant as part of your body, and it’s also why osseointegration works so well. Even titanium allergies are very rare, and a bad reaction to a titanium implant is more likely thanks to a different metal in the titanium alloy.
The reason dental implants work so well as tooth replacements is because of titanium’s amazing properties like osseointegration, although it’s also thanks to the way an implant’s root and crown work together the same way they do in a natural tooth. But if we didn’t have titanium or didn’t know what it can do, the implants used by implant dentists on Long Island would be much less secure than the ones we use today.