Why Use Ceramic Dental Implants?

Dental implants have been one of the biggest advancements in dentistry in the past few decades.  Dental implants permanently replace one or multiple missing teeth with the look and feel of natural teeth.  In the case of replacing just one tooth, implants are now viewed as one of the most conservative forms of treatment.  Implants do not require healthy tooth structure to be removed from neighboring teeth, unlike a bridge, which must be securely bonded to adjacent teeth.  Implants also have an amazing long-term outcome and rarely fail.  Most patients are candidates with dental implants, with few exceptions.

The next phase of dental implant technology, already popular in Europe is beginning to make its way to the states.  Ceramic implants, made of zirconia, differ from metal implants, made of titanium.  Dentists familiar with ceramic implants will be able to determine if ceramic is better than titanium for your particular case.  Here are some reasons why your dental professional may choose ceramic implants over titanium

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Whether you are seeking to replace one tooth, multiple missing teeth, or an entire arch, Dr. Zane will provide treatment options that will restore your ability to eat the foods you love, maintain a healthy mouth, and most of all look brilliant.

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Ceramic Implants vs. Titanium Implants

Metal Sensitivity and Allergies Both ceramic and titanium implants are biocompatible, meaning they will safely integrate with bone and tissue in the body. However, some patients are particularly sensitive or allergic to metals.  Since zirconia implants are hypoallergenic, they may be a great choice for those with metal sensitivity.  Though not common, sometimes metal allergies and sensitivity develop over time.  Zirconia implants will not lead to patients developing this type of allergy.

Esthetic considerations sometimes can call for ceramic implants.  Titanium implants are silver or metal in color.  Typically, the crown that sits on top of the implant hides the metal coloring.  However, if gums are thin and translucent, the silver may show, usually as a small collar around the tooth at the gum line.   Also, ceramic implants tend produce better esthetic results around the soft tissue or gum of the tooth.

Note the titanium metal collar showing through the translucent gumCeramic implants appear more natural

Ceramic implants have a single piece design.  A titanium implant, by contrast is composed of two or more pieces.  Typically, titanium has the implant itself, and an abutment that is screwed onto the implant, which will ultimately hold the crown.  Though not common, in some patients that exhibit heavy chewing pressure, micro movement occurs between the parts of the titanium implant.  This means that bacteria can seep into area, and set the stage for later implant failure.  Because the ceramic implant and abutment are a single component, ceramic implants will not exhibit any movement or loosening between parts.

Ceramic implants also have the advantage of single stage implant placement.  This means that implants and patient leave with a tooth in just one visit.  Titanium implants typically have a healing abutment placed on top of the implant.  In a few months after placement of the titanium implant, the patient returns, and the implant must be uncovered, which requires a small incisition in the gum tissue.  The final abutment and restoration is then screwed onto the implant.