Dental Implant Materials
Dental implants are a modern treatment for replacing missing teeth, providing you with a unique alternative to bridges and dentures. This treatment is incredibly versatile, and Beyond Dental and Implant Center provides many different implants to meet just about every tooth replacement need. A vast majority of dental implants are made from titanium alloy, a material that has been developed from the original titanium implants first placed. This material has a very high rate of success and is very effective. However, this metal material is not the ideal solution for everyone. For this reason, research is constantly being done to find new implant materials.
A majority of implants placed are made from titanium. The use of this material was the result of an accidental discovery made in the 1950s by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon. Per-Ingvar Brånemark was researching bone healing and regeneration when he found that bone fused to titanium. This discovery led him to eventually develop dental implants.
The original implants were made from pure titanium. However, this material was too soft. Over the years, a significant amount of research and development has been done involving titanium implants, and many changes have been made to improve their strength and reliability, including the addition of extra metals. The titanium alloy implants we use today boast a 98% success rate.
While titanium implants have an incredibly high rate of success, they are not ideal for all patients requiring tooth replacement. Some patients have metal allergies. Some are not comfortable with the idea of having metal implanted into their bodies. These concerns have led to the search for alternative materials.
Today, there are zirconia implants. These implants are sometimes called ceramic implants, due to the white color of the posts. They are considered to be a metal-free option, although they do contain trace metals which are necessary for strength. Your jawbone can fuse to zirconia implant posts just like it fuses to titanium, allowing these implants to provide your new teeth with secure support.
Which Material is Best?
Both titanium and zirconia implants provide support for your replacement teeth, holding your new crowns securely in place. Your bone fuses to each type of post and both materials are biocompatible. So, how do you know which option is right for you?
Titanium implants have been in use for just over 50 years. There are decades of research and development behind the material. It is very well understood. Titanium is very strong and can withstand a significant amount of daily wear and tear. The material is also versatile. They are available in one-piece and two-piece implants. Two-piece implants enable us to place the posts off center while the teeth can be placed in proper alignment.
Zirconia implants provide a metal-free option, making them a good solution for those with metal allergies or those concerned about metal in their bodies. The posts are also white, matching the color of the crowns. In the event of thin gums or gum recession, titanium posts, which are silver, would be noticeable.
With zirconia posts, however, the posts look like natural tooth roots, and would not be noticeable. Zirconia implants are not as versatile as titanium, available only as single piece implants. This means they have to be placed specifically within your jaw. During your initial consultation, we will go over your options and help to determine the best solution for your needs.
While titanium implant posts are still the most frequently used, we are finding that other materials made without metal can provide similar results. For more information on dental implant materials, and discover which material is best for you, call Beyond Dental and Implant Center at (972) 591-7520 to schedule your appointment today.