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Acta Odontol Latinoam. 2009;22(1):3-9.

The issue of corrosion in dental implants: a review.

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  • 1Department of Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry, University of Buenos Aires, National Research Council, Argentina.


Pure titanium or titanium alloys, and to a lesser extent, zirconium, are metals that are often used in direct contact with host tissues. These metallic biomaterials are highly reactive, and on exposure to fluid media or air, quickly develop a layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) or zirconium dioxide (ZrO2). This layer of dioxide forms a boundary at the interface between the biological medium and the metal structure, determining the degree of biocompatibility and the biological response of the implant. Corrosion is the deterioration a metal undergoes as a result of the surrounding medium (electrochemical attack), which causes the release of ions into the microenvironment. No metal or alloy is entirely inert in vivo. Corrosion phenomena at the interlace are particularly important in the evolution of both dental and orthopedic implants and one of the possible causes of implant failure after initial success. This paper comprises a review of literature and presents results of our laboratory experiments related to the study of corrosion, with special emphasis on dental implants. In situ degradation of a metallic implant is undesirable because it alters the structural integrity of the implant. The issue of corrosion is not limited to a local problem because the particles pmduced as a result could migrate to distant sites, whose evolution would require further studies.

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