My dentist has been talking to me about getting a dental implant, and I went out online and read about them. It seems like a very good solution for my one missing tooth because all my other teeth are really healthy and solid. But I’m confused now about whether I should get a titanium implant or a ceramic one. I know it’s not going to show, but I have it in my head that the newer zirconia implants are better. Can you let me know what you think?
Sometimes it is easy to think that the most recent developments must be the best. In many cases, advances in dental procedures, methods, and technology have, indeed, made things better for patients and dentists alike. But it is still always better to know the full story before proceeding, especially in the case of something as important as a dental implant. In the long run, it is much more important to choose a fully qualified and experienced dentist who will not take shortcuts or try to work with cheaper materials than it is to choose your own favorite implant material.
We offer both the traditional titanium dental implants and the newer ceramic metal-free dental implants, which are also called zirconia implants. Both of them are very biocompatible, meaning that they are less likely to trigger allergic reactions.
Titanium implants have been used in dental applications for 20 years, and during that time, it has been studied extensively and found to have a good record of success. Titanium root forms also usually come in two pieces: the root form that is implanted into the jaw and the abutment, to which a crown is attached. This is important because the angle of the implanted root form often needs to be different from the angle of the crown. The drawbacks of titanium are that it is a dark metal, which can sometimes cause esthetic problems, and there are a very few people who have been found to have allergic reactions to the metal.
Zirconia, or ceramic steel, as it is sometimes called, has so much tensile strength that it has applications in the aerospace and other high-tech industries. It has been used successfully in knee replacements, and it is increasingly being used in dental applications. Zirconia implants are completely white, and they can offer esthetic benefits. However, zirconia has not been as thoroughly studied and doesn’t have as long a track record of success. And finally, zirconia implants are just one piece of ceramic, so the angle of the implant has to match the angle of the crown. This is important in some cases, where the implant angle needs to differ from the angle of the crown.
This Blog is brought to you by Dr. David Pumphrey of Pumphrey Periodontics in Atlanta.