Dental Implant Materials
It is estimated that about 3 million people in the United States have dental implants and that the figure is increasing by half a million every year. This upward trend can be attributed to the many benefits of dental implants. We, at Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery, carry out implant procedures for patients with a few missing teeth or even those who have lost their natural teeth completely. The most distinct feature of dental implant is that it looks, fits, and functions the same way as natural teeth. Essentially, people with implants feel like they have natural teeth.
Ideal Dental Implant Material
A dental implant procedure essentially consists of planting the implant to the jawbone so that it will eventually fuse with the natural bone, thereby, serving as a strong foundation or root, for the replacement teeth. Considering that it will be combined with the natural jaw bone, it is critical that the dental implant material has the right physical and chemical properties to help prevent any type of problems during or after the procedure.
The best material for dental implants should, first and foremost, be biocompatible. This means that it is non-toxic and will not cause any harm or damage to the person. Apart from biocompatibility, the dental implant material should also be strong, corrosion resistant, fracture resistant, and wear resistant.
We usually suggest dental implants to our patients not only for their natural teeth like feel but because it can last for decades with proper care and maintenance routines. Currently, the top two materials used for dental implants are zirconia and titanium as both easily meet the guidelines mentioned above.
Titanium Dental Implants
Titanium is still considered the gold standard when it comes to dental implant material primarily because of the outstanding biocompatibility that is attributed to the formation of a stable oxide layer on its surface. Apart from being tough and corrosion resistant, titanium has also been found to limit or avoid causing any inflammatory effects in peri-implant tissues and can repair itself when damaged through re-oxidation.
Zirconia Dental Implants
While titanium dental implants are highly recommended, the development of new dental implant materials continued to help find additional solutions for those patients that have a sensitivity or allergy to titanium. This eventually led to the introduction of Zirconia implants as an alternative to titanium dental implants. While it is possible to have an allergy to zirconia, the odds of a patient have an allergy or sensitivity to both is extremely slim.
Zirconia is found to be a suitable material because of its biocompatibility. In fact, there are studies that suggest that healing is faster with Zirconia dental implants. This material also accumulates less plaque and is more tooth-like in color compared to pure titanium. However, since the use of Zirconia as a dental implant material is relatively new, more trials and studies are needed to ascertain if it is truly as good as titanium.
If you have missing teeth and are considering getting dental implants, call Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery for more information about dental implant procedures and to schedule a consultation at (734) 455-0710.