Dental Implant Materials
Zirconia implants have over the past few years been regarded as the future in implant technology. At Gibson & Bartholomew Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry, our dentists are always on hand to help out with all of your questions about these kinds of implants. There are several options for restoring your smile after tooth damage, discoloration, or chipping. Dental implants are not all the same, but they are the best option for replacing missing teeth.
Dental implants are made from a variety of materials and are used to replace natural teeth that have been damaged beyond repair. Though relatively new, zirconia has emerged as one of the more popular options for dental implants over the past few years.
A Brief History of Dental Implants
Over the years, dental implants have been made from a wide range of materials. The original material for dental implants, vitreous carbon, fused well with the jawbone. The inherent brittleness of vitreous carbon implants made them unsuitable for widespread use.
Almost all modern dental implant materials contain metal alloy titanium. Due to their tough construction, titanium alloys are extremely unlikely to cause an allergic reaction or sensitivity. Zirconia implants have been introduced in dental implantology because they have improved properties and are considered metal-free alternatives to regular titanium implants.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Zirconia Implants
Zirconia is superior in strength and durability, to name just two of its many advantages, making it an excellent choice for dental implants. Zirconia dental implants are considered a non-metal alternative to the commonly used titanium implants.
Made of ceramic material, zirconia implants are white in color. To many patients, they are surprised to find that ceramic has both metal and non-metal components. That being said, zirconia implants, because of their structure, are not considered metal. They have the metal oxide structure, whereby the addition of oxide makes the composition, name, and behavior of the material change.
Many dentists and patients choose zirconia because of its tooth-like color. The zirconia material does not cause a dark color to show through the gums. Titanium implants can in some situations cause tissue discoloration whereby the gums look a grayish color.
Besides, patients who worry about metal allergy find zirconia a better choice. Additionally, zirconia implants tend to have lower plaque formation around the implants. They also resist corrosion. The downside with zirconia is that they have not been widely studied and there is concern over the longevity of these implants.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Titanium Implants
The titanium implant failure rate is believed to be significantly lower compared to zirconia implants. They have high corrosion resistance and excellent biocompatibility with gum tissues and bone. However, though rare, titanium implants are likely to fail if you have allergic reactions to metals.
It is possible that for some people, the sensitivity will not manifest itself until years after the implant. Metal sensitivity can cause bone loss and the inability to use dental implants. Zirconia dental implants are safe for patients with hypersensitivity or allergic reactions due to their hypoallergenic composition.
If you are wondering whether to have zirconia implants or titanium ones put in, reach out to us at (336) 283-2593. At Gibson & Bartholomew Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry, we are always ready and willing to help.