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  • Lisa Jevens

The material holding up this famous tower could also hold your new tooth

Titanium. It’s nature’s super-metal, named after the Titans of Greek mythology — a race of all-powerful deities — because of its superior strength and otherworldly characteristics, that benefit us mortals of the 21st century every day.

With the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all the metals, it is as strong as steel but 45% lighter. (Take that, Superman.) It is also immune to earthly forces like erosion and corrosion.

Titanium made the world’s fastest warplane, the SR-71 Blackbird, possible. It created a whole new universe of high-end performance bicycles. It was even used to prop up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The medical profession has considered titanium a gift from the gods for decades because it is extremely compatible with our bodies. It is literally used from head to toe in biomedical implants because the human body can handle it in large doses with no impact. That is why titanium dental implants are the state-of-the-art replacement for any and all missing teeth. They may also be used to hold a denture in place.

Part of the magic of titanium is that its density is very similar to human bone, which will readily grow around it and actually adhere to it. These qualities make titanium perfect for use in dental implants, where the bone and implant must become one. The small screw that anchors the tooth into your jawbone is the titanium part. The visible tooth that sits on the end of that is made of white ceramic material.

Here’s a simplified explanation of the implant process for someone missing multiple teeth. The titanium implants, which look like small screws, are inserted into your jawbone where the previous teeth’s roots once were. Then there is a waiting period for the bone to grow around the implants, from three to six months. During the integration time you will have a dental appliance in place so that you may look and feel your best.

After the implants have bonded to the jawbone, your dentist will attach a small healing collar to each implant. Meanwhile, your new teeth are made. An abutment is attached to the tip of the titanium implant, which serves as the base for your new permanent teeth. After six to eight months, voila! Your mouth looks and feels as natural as it did before you were missing any teeth.

Dental implants are expected to last decades with everyday wear and tear, so you can Smile with Confidence for years to come thanks to some help from titanium, the super-metal.

The renowned dentists at Herald Square Dental & The Denture Center help thousands of people each year restore their healthy smile. They are among the leaders in dental implants and are well known for their warmth and caring, in addition to the quality and precision care that is their hallmark. Herald Square Dental & The Denture Center have been helping patients Smile with Confidence for more than 40 years. An experienced dental team matters.  

Originally published in the New York Daily News on October 1, 2019.

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