Findings About Titanium Durability Lead to More Questions, Research

Posted on January 23, 2014

Patients faced with the decision of whether dental implants are right for them may have a few more things to consider, following a study conducted by one periodontic faculty member’s interprofessional research team, according to Texas A&M Health Science Center.

“We always thought that implants were the perfect solution for patients — that they wouldn’t get cavities and that once the titanium was in the bone nothing could happen,” says Dr. Pilar Valderrama, assistant professor in periodontics at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. “We started this retrieval study and learned that implants are also susceptible to peri-implant disease, a condition similar to periodontal disease.”

The findings about titanium durability are prompting research into the dynamics of this popular dental restorative material. The research team’s findings, published in the Nov. 15 Materials Science Journal, reveal the factors that cause implant corrosion, which is considered a trigger for peri-implantitis and implant failure. The findings show an acidic environment — most likely brought on by bacteria and inflammatory processes — caused the titanium’s surface to oxidize. The end result: severe implant discoloration, pitting and cracking.

To read the full Texas A&M Health Science Center article, click here.

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