Ceramic (Zirconia) Dental Implants
Dental implants, weather titanium or ceramic, are best described as anchors that permanently support crowns or dentures, providing the most natural reconstruction after tooth loss. Dental implants are preferred over traditional bridges because the procedure essentially preserves the adjacent teeth from damage, where a bridge would cause modification to the surrounding teeth. Once in place, they are quite durable and can be cleaned and cared for just like your natural teeth.
Ceramic Dental Implants vs Titanium Dental Implants
An all-ceramic dental crown over an all-ceramic dental implant looks and functions very much like ordinary teeth. Titanium and zirconium are the only two elements that have proven to successfully integrate into bone. Ceramic implants provide metal-free restoration, reducing concerns of allergies and biocompatibility issues, thereby lessening concerns for damage to the immune system. These metal-free dental implants are more biocompatible, more esthetically pleasing, and work just as well as the more traditional titanium implants.
The term ‘ceramics’ applies to a wide range of materials that, when compared to metal implants, are actually harder and have higher resistance to temperature changes, excellent strength, lower density and resistance to corrosion. These properties make ceramics invaluable for use in the oral environment where high temperature, corrosion and constant abrasion is ever present.
Titanium has been regarded as the first option for dental implant materials with high success rates in a variety of different medical applications. One disadvantage to using Titanium for dental implants is that it is not as aesthetically appealing as the natural tooth, especially when placed in front of in the mouth due to the material’s inherent grayish color. It’s also a metal (although inert) and can lead to galvanism and allergies (yes, we have had patients who are clinically allergic to titanium. We also have had many patients who are biocompatibly sensitive to titanium).
Why We Recommend Zirconia Dental Implants
Zirconium is very resistant to corrosion and for this reason is most commonly used in combination with other materials in the manufacture of dental implants. Zirconium implants have an obvious aesthetic advantage over Titanium implants since they most closely resemble natural teeth. The high corrosion resistance of the material means that there is virtually no danger of corrosion with Zirconia tooth implants.
The zirconium dental implant is of the highest quality material and the best choice for dental implantation, and the preference of holistic dentists everywhere. These qualities include:
- Biocompatibility: zirconium is an inert material that seldom cause allergic reactions
- Metal-free: no corrosion, no galvanism effect, no metallic taste, no electronic disturbances
- Color: Because the ceramic implants are white, you don’t have to worry about a gray or dark line forming along your gums
- Strength: Zirconia dental implants are exceptionally strong… stronger even that titanium.
- Gum Growth: Ceramic dental implants are so biocompatible that soft tissue actually grows up around the abutment. This means that your gums continue to grow without the concerns of receding gums that accompany titanium implants.
Studies have shown that ceramic dental implants make it possible for the bone to grow right up to the implant surface, allowing the implant to be anchored in place by the bone. This process typically takes four to six months to completely heal before additional restoration can be finished.
Biocompatible Implants Improve Your Smile
Dental implants are generally recommended to patients as a way to replace teeth which have been removed for reasons of disease or trauma. In our practice here in San Diego, most of the implants we place are done after an infected root canal has been removed. Permanent implants are fitted securely into the jaw; a procedure that is effective for patients who have good bone structure and have no serious health issues that could interfere with the healing process. A dental implant is essentially an artificially placed substitute for the natural root of the tooth.
How It Works
The implant procedure requires the artificial ceramic root to be fitted directly into the jaw to replace the natural root. The placement of a single implant can take as little as 30 minutes while a number of hours may be required for surgeries involving several teeth.
The natural look of Zirconium is preferred to the metallic appearance of Titanium implants, which tend to leave an unsightly dark line around the gums. Ceramic implants and crowns also retain less plaque and calculus than metal implants, therefore promoting healthier gums.
Clinical Results – Personal Choice
Since ceramic dental implants naturally resist dental plaque, there are seldom after-surgery issues of inflammation in the gums, and so with improved gum health the risk of losing an implant is minimized. We recommend ceramic dental implants to patients for a variety of reasons including:
- Comfort, fit and durability because they are well secured and integrated with the bone and gums
- Improved comfort over the use of dentures which may irritate gums and impede speech
- Convenience, because you can’t lose or misplace a dental implant
- Improved health of the neighboring teeth when compared to bridges
- Dental Implants have a good reputation for providing reliable and long-standing service, providing 20 years or more with few, if any complications
Dr. Marvin has been placing dental implants for over nine years. Currently our San Diego dental practice places Z-Systems ceramic implants using a guided surgery process that eliminates many of the traditional risks associated with implant placement. Using state of the art equipment (Sirona Galileos 3D Cone Beam Scanner, Sirona CEREC machine, computer generated surgical guides, and an entirely metal-free implant placement system), we are able to precisely place biocompatible dental implants that will look amazing.
Today, Titanium is not the only material manufactured for tooth implants and so it is important to be aware of all the options available to you. No matter what you are considering for dental implants, we can provide you with a comprehensive range of information. As natural dentists, our goal is to provide absolute metal-free restorative dentistry which not only includes zirconium implants but crowns and bridges, pressed all-ceramic crowns, porcelain veneers as well as invisible tooth-colored fillings.
Ceramic options are proven holistic, aesthetic and hygienic over other their metal counterparts.
If you are missing a tooth or have had a root canal in the past, give us a call to find out more about Z-Systems ceramic dental implants and to find out if they are right for you.