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What are Titanium Screws?

An illustration of a dental implant with a titanium abutment or screw.
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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
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Titanium screws are made from the metal of the same name and have unique properties that make them ideal to use in construction work as well as in certain types of surgery. Titanium is a low-density metal which does not corrode, meaning that screws made from it tend to be reliable. With the strength of steel but half the density, titanium screws offer durability, but this comes at a price.

As titanium is known not to corrode, construction companies generally use titanium screws in the knowledge that they will not rust and cause the collapse of a structure. When screws from other metals are used in construction, it is common for them to lose their strength and stability due to inclement weather conditions. Performing extra renovations caused by the failure of regular screws is a costly business so the use of titanium is recommended. Their reliability means that these screws are suitable for important construction projects, particularly outside structures.

There are a variety of titanium screws available including hex bolts, flange bolts, and fender washers. Titanium is also proving to be popular when it comes to choosing motorcycle axles. Regular screws made from steel, brass, and bronze are slowly being replaced by their titanium counterpart.

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Titanium screws are also used for plastic and reconstructive surgery. They are also particularly sought after by orthodontists who seek to find ways in which they can make dental implants more rigid. This is because implants are set in bone and are not dependent on the patient keeping it in place. Some clinical studies have shown that when titanium screws can be used to keep the implants in place, the orthodontic treatment is successful in over 97% of cases.

As titanium has the ability to osseointegrate, dental implants can stay in place for 30 years or more. Titanium is also used for a variety of other surgical means because it is non-toxic and is therefore accepted by the body. This metal has a modulus of elasticity similar to that of bone which means that adjacent bone will not deteriorate. If a titanium alloy is used, however, the stiffness becomes twice that of bone and could lead to deterioration.

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tlcJPC
Post 1

I think it is absolutely amazing how medical physicians can take something like a screw and repair someone’s life. I will forever be thankful to the orthopedic surgeon who worked on my ankle.

I was in college, and it was two weeks after nine-eleven. My aunt, whom I was very close to, also passed away from cancer the week before and I was beginning student teaching. The stress and fatigue apparently brought back an early childhood phenomenon of sleep walking.

Unfortunately, I sleep walked right off the top bunk of a bunk bed. When I woke up on the floor, and tried to stand up, I literally fell over in agony.

I had broken my right ankle (all three bones) and had dislocated it. The doctor was able to put in eight titanium screws and a plate.

It took months for me to walk, and over a year to walk without a limp – but I can walk. It scares me to think what would have happened if medical professionals couldn’t do these things.

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