Why Does The Body Handle Dental Implants So Well?

You would think that sticking a piece of metal into your body, and then leaving it there, would have some negative consequences, right? In most cases, your assumptions here are correct. But when it comes to dental implants, it's somewhat surprising how well the body reacts. Most people are able to keep their implants for life with few to no issues. So, what is it about dental implants that cause the body to react to them so well? There are a few factors at play, actually.

Dental implants are made from titanium

You can't just stick any old metal into your body and expect your tissues to tolerate it. Anything containing iron will rust. Even aluminum will corrode. Your body doesn't tend to react well to nickel, which you probably know if you've ever put in a pair of cheap earrings. One metal the body does not seem to mind, however, is titanium. This metal is said to be "non-bioreactive" or "biocompatible." Both terms really mean the same thing. Bodily fluid and tissues do not cause titanium to corrode, and your body does not recognize titanium as being harmful, so it does not cause an immune response. So, when titanium dental implants are placed in your jaw bone, the surrounding tissues basically keep doing their own thing without reacting to or rejecting the implant.

Dental implants become osseointegrated into your jaw bone

Another reason why implants tend to last so long and face so few issues is that they become fused to your jaw bone over time. They're not just stuck into your jaw bone. Your jaw bone grows into them. The process by which this occurs is called osseointegration. It takes about 6 months, give or take, for osseointegration to occur after a dental implant is put in place. But once the process is complete, the implant is at least as stable in your jaw as a natural tooth.

Dental implants are only put in place if your dentist believes you can handle them

The final reason why dental implants are successful is that dentists will only insert them if they're confident they will be successful. If you have a shallow jaw bone, suffer from osteoporosis, or have poor healing, then there's a good chance dental implants won't work for you — so a dentist won't put them in place. If your dentist does recommend implants, it is because they are very sure you'll respond well to them in the long run.

Knowing the information above, it's not quite as surprising that dental implants are such an excellent tooth replacement option. Talk to a local dentist to learn more about dental implants.