Dental implants that heal faster and fight infection

Michigan Technological University researchers have developed a way to use self-assembled titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanotubes to lower the rate of dental-implant failures.
Dental implants are posts, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed into the jawbone and topped with artificial teeth. While most dental implants are successful, a small percentage fail and either fall out or must be removed.
“There are two main issues that concern dentists: infection and separation from the bone,” said Tolou Shokuhfar, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
The mouth is a dirty place, so bacterial infections are a risk after implant surgery, and sometimes bone fails to heal securely around the device.
Because jawbones are somewhat thin and delicate, replacing a failed implant can be difficult, not to mention expensive. Generally, dentists charge between $2,000 and $4,000 to install a single implant, and the procedure is rarely covered by insurance.