Discovered in Cornwall, Great Britain, by William Gregor in 1791 and named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth after the Titans of Greek mythology titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a silver colour, low density, and high strength and is resistant to corrosion in seawater and chlorine.
Titanium can be combined with iron, aluminium, vanadium, and molybdenum, among other elements, to produce strong, lightweight alloys. Such allows are used widely in jet engines, automotive technology military and industrial processes and for medical prostheses including orthopaedic and dental implants.
Grades 1 to 4
Described the level of trace impurities with grade 1 the highest impurity level.
Grade 5 or Ti-6Al-4V is an alloy containing 6% aluminium, 4% vanadium, 0.25% iron, 0.2% oxygen + titanium.
Grade 5 is more than 65% stronger than Grade 4 making it the material of choice for many orthopaedic and dental implant applications.
Grade 23 (Ti 6AL-4V ELI)
Ti 6AL-4V ELI or Grade 23 Titanium Alloy is described as the ultimate dental and medical titanium providing the best combination of high strength, lightweight, good corrosion resistance, and high toughness. Use of Grade 23 Titanium Alloy in Dental Implants reduces the potential for fractures – especially around the implant collar whilst allowing narrower diameter implants with uniform internal connections for simplified restoration.
In the Rough
Manufacturers enhance osseointegration by employing various processes to create a macro, micro and nano surface structure enlarging the Bone to Implant Contact (BIC). The use of Ti 6AL-4V ELI (Grade 23) with sandblasting and acid etching generates a stable titanium oxide layer that chemically stabilizes the implant surface enhancing osseointegration. However, impurities from implant machining and processing are reported to be a significant factor in slow healing and can sometimes be associated with implant failure.
In the Clean
Implant manufacturer PALTOP decided to clean their products with ultrapure water (rather than the usual distilled type).
This option employed by the semiconductor industry removes sulphur, silicon, zinc, chlorine, and any inorganic impurities found on the surfaces of other untreated SLA roughened systems.
Spanish manufacturer Bioner patented its Biotech process for textured implant surfaces without sandblasting, eliminating the problem of surface contamination altogether.
The treatment is reported to stimulate osseointegration and shorten load time.
Bioner and Paltop Implants can be purchased from the Implant Store along with complimentary Surgical Tools and Regenerative Products.