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Glossary

Materials and Shapes for Dental Implants


Types of Implant Materials

Pure titanium: High bonding ability with the bone
Titanium alloy: High bonding ability with the bone similar to pure titanium
Titanium-Nickel alloy: This alloy has lower bonding ability with bone in comparison to pure titanium, but has excellent formability and shape memory.
Artificial sapphire: Artificial sapphire made of Al2O3 was used historically in Japan, but is not used at present because of the lack of bonding between the implant body and the bone.

Types of Surface Treatments

Combination of different surface treatments: The surface of dental implants is prepared by combining the following four surface treatments: sandblasting, acid-etching, oxidation, and mechanical polishing.

  • Sandblasting treatment removes the oxide film on the inner surface of the casting and roughens the implant surface to enhance bonding force with the bone.
  • Acid-etching treatment removes the abrasive grains used for sandblasting.
  • Oxidation treatment laminates a titanium oxide on the titanium implant surface to form an irregular implant surface.
  • Mechanical polishing treatment smoothes the implant surface to increase the contact area with the bone.

Hydroxyapatite coating on the implant surface: The hydroxyapatite-coated implant placed in the jawbone bonds easily with the bone, but is associated with a high risk of infection.

 

Screw-type implants

The screw-type implants, which are a major type of the dental implant, include “tapered root-form implants” and “straight (parallel-walled) implants” (as of 2009).
These can be placed in smaller sockets and transmit biting force efficiently to the bone compared with blade implants used up to a decade ago.

Cylinder-form implants

The cylinder-form implants are also a major type of the dental implant (as of 2009).
These implants have a cylindrical shape without screw threads and can be placed easily in the jawbone. However, they do not show sufficient primary stability because the surface area is smaller than that of screw-type implants. Therefore, these are suitable for the two-stage method.

Hollow implants

These implants resemble screw-type implants in their shape. However, they are hollow and the lateral surface has multiple holes. As bone tissue can penetrate into the implant through these holes, the contact area with the bone is increased, and therefore, a high bonding force can be obtained. However, these implants have weak strength characteristics and have a risk of breakage.

Blade implants

Blade implants in the form of plates, which had been used previously, are narrow in width and thin, and can be used in cases with relatively narrow bone width. They have the disadvantage of frequent breakage or bone resorption (reduction in bone volume by destruction or dissolution of bone) because some part of the implant body is subjected to external force compared with the mainstream screw-type implants.