Biomaterial Properties of Titanium in Dentistry
Journal of Oral Biosciences
Among various dental materials and their successful restorative uses, titanium provides an excellent example of integrating science and technology involving multiple disciplines of dentistry including biomaterials, prosthodontics and surgical sciences. Titanium and its alloys have emerged as a material of choice for dental implants fulfilling all requirements biologically, chemically and mechanically. Several excellent reviews have discussed the properties of titanium and its surface characteristics that render it biocompatible. However, in most patients, titanium implants are used alongside several other metals. Presence of different metals in the same oral environment can alter the properties of titanium. Other influencing factors include intra-oral pH, salivary content, and effect of fluorides.
This review discusses the effect of the above-mentioned conditions on the properties of titanium and its alloys. An extensive literature search encompassing the properties of titanium in an altered oral environment and its interaction with other restorative materials is presented. Specific conditions that could cause titanium to corrode, specifically due to interaction with other dental materials used in oral rehabilitation, as well as methods that can be employed for passivation of titanium are discussed.
This review presents an overview of the properties of titanium that are vital for its use in implant dentistry. From a restorative perspective, interaction between implant restoration metals, intra-oral fluorides and pH may cause titanium to corrode. Therefore, in order to avoid the resulting deleterious effects, an understanding of these interactions is important for long-term prognosis of implant restorations.