March 23, 2022
Medically Reviewed By Matthew T. Streelman, DDS, MD

blogimagesdentalimplants | mercer island oral & maxillofacial surgeryDental implants are one of the most popular options for replacing lost or extracted teeth. They are durable and robust, replicating the look and feel of natural teeth while providing long-lasting results.

Dental implants are effective because they are made from high-quality materials. To better understand the composition of dental implants, it is worth looking at the three basic elements: the implant itself, the connecting piece (also known as an abutment), and the replacement tooth.

What Are the Actual Implants Made Of?

The implant itself is a tiny post, which is surgically inserted into the jawbone. Over several weeks, the post fuses with the surrounding bone, becoming sturdy and secure. The post can then function as an artificial tooth root and a solid foundation for dental prostheses.

Most dental implants are made from a titanium alloy. This material is the same one used in many hip, shoulder, and knee implants. Titanium is a good choice for implants not just because it is highly durable, but also because allergic reactions to titanium are exceedingly rare. Titanium is a biocompatible material, which means your body should not have any adverse reaction to it.

What Is the Abutment Made Of?

Once the titanium post has fused with the surrounding bone, an abutment is placed. This abutment is essentially a connector piece, allowing the replacement tooth to be securely attached to the implant.

When it comes to abutments, there are a few options. Historically, many dentists have favored titanium for the same reasons mentioned above. Titanium is still a common choice, but some dentists may also use gold. Another choice is zirconium, which is becoming more and more popular since it better matches the natural color of your teeth and may be less noticeable than titanium or gold.

In rare cases, dentists may recommend other materials, including stainless steel, but primarily titanium, gold, and zirconium are the most viable options. All three materials are durable, safe, and effective.

What Are Dental Prostheses Made From?

Once the implant and abutment are in place, the final step in the process is attaching the replacement tooth. Depending on the number of teeth you need to have replaced, among other factors, your dentist may recommend a single crown, a bridge, or even a full dental arch.

The replacement teeth themselves may be made from acrylic, nylon, metal, porcelain, or ceramic. In some cases, they can even be made from lightweight titanium. No matter which material you choose, your doctor will work to create replacement teeth that look and behave just like your natural growing teeth and match the other teeth that you have in your mouth.

How Long Do They Last?

Dental implants themselves may last up to a lifetime. While artificial teeth may require replacement after 15 to 20 years.

Feel Confident in Your Dental Implants

Dental implants are made with high-quality materials and designed with cutting-edge technology to ensure they look right, fit comfortably, and last for a long time.

If you have additional questions about the composition and design of dental implants, we would love to answer them. Reach out to our oral surgery practice on Mercer Island to schedule a consultation with us.