Titanium nitride and/or nitrogen ion implanted coated dental materials have been investigated since the mid-1980s and considered in various applications in dentistry such as implants, abutments, orthodontic wires, endodontic files, periodontal/oral hygiene instruments, and casting alloys for fixed restorations. Multiple methodologies have been employed to create the coatings, but detailed structural analysis of the coatings is generally lacking in the dental literature. Depending on application, the purpose of the coating is to provide increased surface hardness, abrasion/wear resistance, esthetics, and corrosion resistance, lower friction, as well as greater beneficial interaction with adjacent biological and material substrates. While many studies have reported on the achievement of these properties, a consensus is not always clear. Additionally, few studies have been conducted to assess the efficacy of the coatings in a clinical setting. Overall, titanium nitride and/or nitrogen ion implanted coated dental materials potentially offer advantages over uncoated counterparts, but more investigation is needed to document the structure of the coatings and their clinical effectiveness.
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