I’ve had tons of x-rays over the years and want to get a dental implant on an upper tooth. I’ve had consultations with two of them. One wants to do a CT scan and the other says it isn’t necessary and will save me money. Is there any reason to go ahead with the CT scan? A follow-up question has to do with the metal in the dental implants. Would it be better to get the non-metal ones?
I would absolutely get the CT scan. Placing dental implants is a 3-dimensional procedure and really requires 3-dimensional x-rays. Especially on an upper tooth, the dentist risks perforating your sinus cavity, which happens way too often. Some dentists try to get around that by using shorter implants. However, those do not hold up over the long term. You’ll want a dental implant that will last.
You can always find dentists willing to cut corners in order to keep their prices lower and draw in more customers, but that isn’t what is best for a long-term successful outcome.
Metal-Free or Titanium Dental Implants
As to whether or not metal-free dental implants are better than titanium, there isn’t enough data on that yet. We have decades of data with titanium implants. We know they’re very biocompatible and have a long lifespan.
Metal-free dental implants are made from zirconia. That is a very strong substance and is sometimes called ceramic steel. The only downside, if there is one, is that they haven’t been in use for very long. We don’t have any studies on their longevity. That doesn’t mean they aren’t going to last.
Not all dentists are using the zirconia implants yet, but you can certainly find a great dentist who is if that is what you want.
This blog is brought to you by Atlanta Periodontist Dr. David Pumphrey.