Today’s most commonly used dental implant material is titanium, a corrosion-resistant, high strength, biocompatible and silver-colored metal. Although this traditional dental prosthetic has a very high success rate, some patients are concerned about metal sensitivities and metal allergies. Fortunately, there is an alternative – zirconia dental implants.
In this article, we will address some of the frequently asked questions about this type of ceramic dental implant.
A zirconia dental implant is a metal-free, allergy-free, white ceramic material that makes an ideal tooth root replacement and is capped with a ceramic crown. The crown is the replacement tooth and is connected to the implant with an abutment. Zirconia implants are used to replace missing front teeth and molars and for full mouth restorations.
Zirconia is a biocompatible material which means it is accepted by the body and integrates well into the jawbone. Just like titanium implants, zirconia becomes tightly fused with the jaw in a process known as osseointegration. However, zirconia has a smoother surface than titanium, so the osseointegration healing process takes longer.
Zirconia implants were FDA approved in the USA in 2007.
Yes, they are. Typically, zirconia implants are one solid piece where the implant screw and abutment are fused together or a two-piece design where the abutment is cemented to the zirconia implant base.
Titanium implants always come in at least three metal pieces – the implant screw, the titanium implant base and the metal screw that attaches the abutment to the base.
Among the many advantages of zirconia dental implants are:
Despite the many advantages, there are a few drawbacks that are worth considering.
We need to get into a little bit of chemistry here but do not worry; it’s nothing too complex. Zirconia is derived from zirconium oxide, which comes from zirconium, a greyish-white, soft, malleable metal. However, when zirconium is converted into zirconium oxide, it becomes something completely different, a ceramic with all the properties we associate with ceramics. For example, it is hard, tough, has no electrical conductivity and has a high melting temperature.
Ceramics have been used for decades in medicine, mainly for prosthetics, with great success.
Yes, they are. They have been CE (Conformitè Europëenne) approved in Europe for more than 16 years, and FDA approved in the United States for just over 14 years.
The decision to use zirconia or titanium dental implants should be discussed thoroughly with your dental reconstruction surgeon.
Ready to transform your smile with implants? Get in touch with Chesterfield Dentistry today if you want to know more about zirconia or titanium dental implants or if you would like to book a consultation. Our friendly and experienced team will be more than happy to help. Simply call (314) 469 6420 or book online.