Cementum is a specialized bone-like tissue that covers the root surfaces of our natural teeth. Like bone, cementum is avascular (without blood vessels) and is slowly replaced throughout our lives. It is much thinner than bone and its primary purpose is to attach the fibers of the periodontal ligament to the tooth.
The periodontal ligament is a group of specialized connective tissue fibers that attaches the tooth to the bone and allows for movement (such as biting and chewing). Cementum also plays an important role in dental implants. Unlike our natural teeth, dental implants are made of titanium and do not have any root surfaces for cementum to attach to.
Instead, a layer of cementum is created on top of the implant surface through a process called osseointegration. Osseointegration is when bone and titanium fuse together to create a strong, stable bond. This bond between the implant and the surrounding bone is what makes dental implants so successful.
Types of Cementum in dental implants:
There are two main types of cementum that can be used in dental implants: acellular and cellular.
1. Acellular Cementum is made up of collagen fibers and minerals, but does not contain any living cells. This type of cementum is typically used in people who have healthy bones and gums. Cellular cementum, on the other hand, contains living cells and is typically used in people who have bone or gum problems.
2. Cellular Cementum is made up of collagen fibers, minerals, and living cells. The most common type of cell found in cellular cementum is called an osteocyte. Osteocytes are cells that help to form and maintain bone. They are important for keeping our bones strong and healthy.
In some cases, a layer of acellular cementum may be placed on top of the cellular cementum to help protect it. This is called a cell-free zone. The cell-free zone helps to prevent cells from migrating into the surrounding bone, which can cause problems.
Cellular cementum is typically used in people who have bone or gum problems. It is important to talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about which type of cementum is right for you.
Functions of Cementum:
Cementum has a number of functions, including:
- Attaching the periodontal ligament to the tooth
- Protecting the root surfaces of the tooth
- Helping to keep the tooth in place
- Playing a role in osseointegration (the fusion of bone and titanium)
- Cementum is a vital part of our teeth and helps to keep them in place. Without cementum, our teeth would be loose and could eventually fall out.
The success of dental implants depends on a number of factors, including the type of cementum used. Acellular cementum is the most common type of cementum used in dental implants, but cellular cementum may be used in certain cases. Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about which type of cementum is right for you.
If you are considering dental implants, it is important to have healthy gums and sufficient bone to support the implant. Your dentist or oral surgeon will be able to evaluate your mouth and determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.