If I were to put a dental implant and a tooth in the palm of your hand they would obviously look very different from one another. Most dental implants are made of the metal titanium. Teeth are formed by living cells, some of which reside in the center of the tooth. For the most part teeth are intricately formed calcium phosphate crystals. At a higher level of analysis the bulk of the tooth, being made of a substance called dentin, is 70% inorganic (mineral), 20% organic and 10% water and the thin outer shell of enamel is over 95% inorganic with the rest consisting of a few proteins.

On the other hand, if I showed you a picture of someone’s teeth in their mouth, you could very easily be looking at dental implants in action. And that’s the point. Obviously teeth and dental implants are very different from one another in appearance, outside the body, but it is when they are placed into function that the strengths and weaknesses of each are best compared.

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