This past month, we’ve seen another increase in the tensions between Russia and the NATO alliance, including the US, with incidents being reported that included plans to store munitions and troops in NATO countries that border Russia, the unsafe intercepts of US jets and buzzing of ships, as well as the announcement by Russia that it plans to add to its nuclear missile fleet. These events are worrisome for the world, but they may be especially so for people considering dental implants in the future because Russia is one of the world’s major suppliers of titanium, the metal that makes up traditional dental implants.
Russia Dominates the Titanium Market
Russian supplier VSMPO is one of the dominant players in the titanium market. It supplies a full 17% of the titanium in the world, including about 40% of the aircraft titanium market. Many people look at those statistics, as well as the fact that the US is 70% import dependent for its titanium and see a potential resource war between the US and Russia as devastating to the US titanium supply, including aircraft supplies, but also dental implants and other consumer uses of titanium.
But there are many reasons why this isn’t as much of a concern as it’s being made out to be.
Most Titanium Isn’t Used for Metal Supply
One thing that gets lost in these statistics is that 95% of titanium used in the US is for titanium dioxide, a white metal that is used for making paints and dyes. Only 5% is used for all other applications. With the US domestic supply accounting for 9% of world production, and a further 22% coming from close US ally Japan, there’s little doubt the US could make up any shortfall.
Titanium Isn’t in Short Supply, at All
Another thing neglected by titanium alarmists is that the titanium supply is currently very good. Too good, in fact, as titanium prices have hit rock bottom. Partly, this is a demonstration of how quickly the various players in the titanium market can quickly ramp up production for a metal that has relatively low demand. It may also be part of the suspected covert resource war being waged by the US against Russia that includes bottoming out oil prices as well.
And, of course, there’s the comfort of knowing that even if the supply of titanium is compromised and prices are impacted, there are other options, including metal-free dental implants.
Put all these things together, and it’s clear that even if the conflict between the US and Russia increases still more, dental implant patients won’t have to worry. But if you want to get dental implants now, just in case, we can help. Please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment with an Orange County implant dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.