Zirconia Dental Implants
vs Titanium Implants
Discerning patients are becoming increasingly aware of materials encountering their bodies and the impact this can have on their health and wellbeing. When placing dental implants, it is also ideal to use the least reactive and least toxic material possible. It is also important to evaluate the strength, clinical success, and other relevant factors of the materials.
Over the years, the growing trend towards avoiding putting metals in our body has become more prevalent. Due to this increasing interest in holistic medicine and the concern for what we are putting in our bodies, more and more patients are asking questions about the makeup of dental implants. Traditionally titanium has been the most popular and effective option when it comes to dental implants. Today, an alternative material to titanium exists that is completely metal free in the form of zirconia.
Zirconia metal free implants are relatively new in the implant scene with Dr Licenblat being one of the pioneers introducing it to his patients in his Sydney CBD dental practice, Sydney Dental Aesthetics and Implants (SDAI). Abroad, qualified and experienced dentists in the US, have been using Zirconia implants since 2007 and in Europe since the late 1980’s. Materials used are biocompatible offering high acceptance rates with the body promoting osseointegration, which means bone can grow around the implant material just as it does around our natural tooth roots.
Health conscious patients frequently ask, “Are zirconia dental implants better than titanium?” The answer to this question is not however a simple yes or no, as it is important to consider all the integral factors and requirements that are suitable for the individual patient and their personal needs.
Are Zirconia implants metal free?
Zirconia is known for its likeness to diamonds. It is a crystal material that is altered slightly when used in implant dentistry to give it a tooth colour and appearance. Zirconia is the crystal form of the transitional metal Zirconium and Zirconia implants are thus considered “metal free”. Due to the rise of concerns over Mercury used in dental fillings, many patients are more comfortable with the idea of keeping metal completely out of their mouths and Zirconia Implants enable them to do this.
How strong are zirconia implants?
Zirconia has been used for decades in hip replacement surgery. The load bearing and biocompatible qualities of this material have proven to be exceptionally strong with superior bone integration properties. Zirconia has been nicknamed ‘ceramic steel’ due to its superior strength and mechanical properties. Zirconia implants are not only strong; they do not react with saliva and other chemicals in the mouth. There is no corrosion with ceramic materials making them ideal for holistic oral surgery procedures.
Are both Titanium and Zirconia safe?
Both options of implant materials are biocompatible, TGA approved and considered safe. This means that they interact favorably with the human body and are non-toxic.
Are Zirconia implants better than titanium implants?
There are benefits to each type of material and our highly experienced and qualified dentist can recommend a certain type of implant after listening to each individual patient’s concerns and goals.
Some benefits of choosing zirconia and deemed as important to patients include the fact that zirconia is a ceramic material which is biologically inert and does not conduct electricity. Being ceramic it also does not corrode, and patients find they can eat and drink without experiencing any pain from heat or cold. Cosmetically, zirconia implants are white in color and look aesthetically natural.
Patients with allergies or autoimmune diseases can be confident that zirconia will not trigger adverse reactions or further deteriorate any health issues as the zirconia material interacts with bone and gum tissue in a more natural way than titanium.
Whatever dental implant you choose it is vital to choose the right dentist to perform the procedure.