Dental implants are the greatest marvel of modern dentistry. We are essentially able to give you a third set of teeth. The implants are firmly rooted in your jawbone, allowing them to look and function just like natural teeth.
This marvel is due to the amazing properties of titanium. Titanium has the ability to fully integrate with your bones, becoming actually connected to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. And, of course, titanium has many other properties that make it ideal for dental implants. This includes corrosion resistance, light weight, and tremendous strength so it can stand up to the stresses of constant biting and chewing.
These other properties make titanium a popular material for other applications.
Light on the Links
Titanium first became popular on golf courses in the 1990s. Since then, many people have switched to titanium clubs because of the benefits they offer. Because titanium can be lighter while retaining strength, the head can be larger while the overall club still retains its lightness. Lighter clubs mean a faster swing, which can mean greater distance. Some golfers see as much as a 20% increase in distance when using titanium.
But titanium clubs are also more forgiving, allowing amateur golfers to spend more time in the fairway and less time hunting in the rough.
The downside of titanium clubs, though, is their characteristic sound. Some golfers find this disruptive, and it’s recommended that people who use titanium clubs should wear ear protection to avoid damage.
The Apple of Your Eye
Titanium also shines in a much different application when employed by Apple. Apple used titanium to make the tremendous leap to the PowerBook G4. Although the case would later be replaced by aluminum, it was this titanium that helped the new design really make waves, with its light, sturdy case that housed a true workhorse of a machine that was nonetheless almost half the size of its predecessor.
And people who appreciate industrial design can still see how revolutionary it was, and how it laid the groundwork for today’s laptops. In some ways, it actually looks better than the modern MacBooks.
A Supercar That Sizzles
Although titanium has long been used for some automotive parts, there’s only one car that’s ever been built with a titanium and carbon fiber body: the Icona Vulcano. The Icona Vulcano is literally a piece of art, a one-of-a-kind piece of craftsmanship that was hand-tooled and assembled by a company that doesn’t normally make cars--it’s a marketing company that works for carmakers and wanted to establish that they really know what makes a supercar super by building their own.
This $3 million car has the potential to sizzle in other ways. They named it the Vulcano because they had to work the parts in a special vacuum chamber to keep them from exploding with the heat of crafting. Using a supercharged V8 from the record-beating ZR1, the Vulcano can go from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds, and 0 to 120 in 8.8 seconds, and enjoys a top speed of 220 mph..
The Fastest Jet in History
But as fast and fluid in appearance as the Vulcano is, it takes its inspiration from a true speed demon: the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet ever flown.
This plane was built in the mid-60s to give the US unequalled spy capability over Soviet territory while avoiding the problem of the U-2. This was a plane designed to never be shot down, and it never was. With the ability to fly over Mach 3, with an official record speed of Mach 3.3, and anecdotal reports as high as Mach 3.5. The SR-71 was also the plane to fly the highest of any operating aircraft, reaching an altitude of over 85,000 feet.
Titanium was necessary for the body of the SR-71 because of its lightness and its ability to withstand high temperatures. The body of the SR-71 was friction-heated and often in excess of 600 ° F during flight and 300 ° F at landing. The SR-71 was made of 85% titanium, with most of the rest of the aircraft being plastic. Fun fact: most of the titanium used in the SR-71 was bought from the Soviet Union using various subterfuges to conceal its purpose.
Modern Marvels in Your Mouth
So if you’re considering dental implants, don’t forget to think about the esteemed company you’ll be joining. From the hard-hitting golf club to the pioneering laptop, the supercar to its superjet inspiration, titanium makes some of the most wondrous modern applications possible. Including a new set of teeth that with proper care can last you the rest of your life.