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Why Nanotechnology Is Improving Dental Implants

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Dental implants are the best way that you can permanently replace a missing tooth. Some patients are hesitant about getting dental implants because they believe that it takes too long to complete the procedure. However, nanotechnology is making it possible for dental implants to be embedded in the jaw much more quickly.

About Titanium Nanotubes

Dental implants are often made using titanium. Titanium is an ideal material because it is resistant to corrosion, is very light and is well-suited for serving as a building material, allowing the titanium to be formed into the most suitable shape. Researchers, however, are developing new types of implants that are still made with titanium, but are also coated with titanium dioxide nanotubes, commonly referred to as  TiO2 nanotubes.

Better at Adhering

Nanomaterial can speed up the dental implant process because bone cells adhere better to and grow more quickly with TiO2 nanotubes. Since nanotubes better adhere to the bone, the dental implants are less likely to fall out or develop problems that lead to them needing to be removed. Then, the dental implant needs to be replaced and this can be more expensive than the original dental implant. The nanotubes have been found to not kill cells and to also encourage growth.

Can Prevent Infections

The nanotubes could also be used in the dental implant surgery to deliver drugs that can speed-up recovery after the surgery. Because the nanotubes are microscopic hollow tubes, they can be filled with drugs. Releasing anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the risk of infection, which can reduce the risk that the dental implants will be rejected. By fighting infections, patients are able to heal much more quickly. The nanotubes can also be filled with antibiotics to further reduce the risk of an infection. 

Much Better Looking

The nanotubes are transparent. As a result, they come with cosmetic benefits that cause many patients to be more willing to choose them over other dental implant options. Dental implants always look better if they are transparent. However, they look especially good if they are made with zirconia, which is preferred by many patients because it is completely white. The nanotubes are essentially a denser version of the pigment that is found in food, cosmetics and toothpaste. While this technology is relatively new, many dentists are already beginning to implement it. Therefore, if you're interested, you should ask your dentist about whether he or she will be using nanotubes with your dental implants.

To learn more about dental implants, contact a dentist like Dr. Andres Maeso