Tooth loss might be common, but it is a situation that should not be ignored. When you lose a tooth, it is always important to consider how you will replace it, and often the best method is to use dental implants. If you have already looked at using dental implants, you might have discovered that the most common material for implants is titanium alloy and zirconia.
Zirconia dental implants are becoming more popular as they gradually become more widely available in dental offices. While it can be slightly more expensive than titanium, Zirconia implants are strong, biocompatible so it is extremely unlikely that your body will reject them, and aesthetically pleasing.
Titanium dental implants are strong, lightweight, and highly biocompatible. While it can be visible through the gums, titanium used for implants is medical grade and resistant to corrosion, ensuring the implants integrate well with your body and provide good support for the replacement tooth.
For some people, titanium dental implants will provide the best treatment outcome, while for others, zirconia could be their preferred choice of material.
What Are Zirconia Implants?
Zirconia is a special material that is as strong as metal but looks like a ceramic. Zirconia, also called zirconium dioxide, is a mix of oxygen and zirconium. Although zirconium is a metal, when oxidized, it is a ceramic material and is what’s called a transitional metal.
Zirconia is bioinert, so there is no risk of it corroding or causing metal allergies or sensitivities. It is also a naturally white color which is appealing when aesthetics are especially important.
Is Zirconia Better Than Titanium?
Titanium dental implants have been widely used for decades and have a high success rate.
The material has been extensively studied, so we know it can last for years and is a very good material. Most dental offices provide titanium dental implants, whereas relatively few provide zirconia implants.
Zirconia is a much newer material that is less widely studied, so there is less information about the longevity of zirconia implants. It’s difficult to say if one material is better than the other, and ultimately it can come down to personal preference and the recommendations of your dental implant dentist. However, zirconia implants do provide certain advantages in specific cases.
Whether you are considering single, full-mouth dental implants or implant-supported dentures, Zirconia and Titanium are excellent materials but have different advantages and disadvantages. Talk to your dentist about each material’s pros and cons to decide which is right for you.
What Are the Benefits of Zirconia Dental Implants?
The benefits of using zirconia implants are largely down to the properties of this material.
Zirconia is hypoallergenic, so it’s extremely unlikely that you would experience any negative effects after implant surgery.
However, an allergy or sensitivity to titanium would be extremely rare, and while many people do have mental sensitivities, they are usually fine to have titanium dental implants. But if metal allergies are a concern, zirconia may seem a safer choice that will give you peace of mind.
Zirconia is corrosion resistant, whereas, on very rare occasions, titanium can corrode when exposed to a damp atmosphere. Not surprisingly, the mouth is a very damp environment. But corrosion in titanium dental implants is very unusual. It is usually due to something else having gone wrong with the implant surgery or with a dental implant afterward, and where the implant has somehow become exposed.
Zirconia is a very strong and durable material, making it a great choice for dental implants. You may not have considered that your teeth come under terrific force every day whenever you bite or chew, and any material used for dental implants must be able to withstand these forces. While zirconia is strong, it hasn’t been as extensively studied as titanium.
Therefore, zirconia material may be a better choice for restoring implant front teeth where the biting and chewing forces are less extreme than replacing back teeth. If you need back teeth replaced, titanium could still be the better choice, especially as there have been far more long-term studies into how well it can withstand chewing and biting forces.
Both titanium and zirconia dental implants have a good track record with jawbone integration, called Osseointegration. Both will fuse extremely well with the jawbone, creating a strong anchorage point to support a new implant tooth.
However, the gum tissue around a zirconia implant can be healthier than the gum around a titanium implant. Also, zirconia is a very smooth ceramic material, so it’s harder for plaque to adhere to this smooth surface. This could mean that gum health is better in the longer term and that it’s easier for patients to keep a cleaner mouth.
Some people have naturally thinner gum tissue than others; this is where zirconia implants can be a real advantage. If you have thinner gum tissue, there could be a risk of titanium implants shining through, especially when replacing front teeth. Because zirconia is naturally white, there is no risk of this effect, and it can help achieve excellent aesthetic results.
Are There Any Disadvantages in Choosing Zirconia Dental Implants?
Availability. Zirconia dental implants are not as widely available as titanium implants, so you may struggle to find a dental office offering them.
Zirconia implant specialist. If you are interested in zirconia, looking for a true implant specialist like an oral surgeon at Riverside Oral Surgery, a dentist with advanced training in planning and placing dental implants is best. Their dental office will most likely offer a much wider choice of dental implant treatments and almost certainly include zirconia implants.
Cost. The potential cost is another factor, as zirconia implants can cost more than titanium due to the higher manufacturing costs.
How to Choose Which Implant Is Best for Your Needs?
The choice of dental implant treatments may seem bewildering, so you need a good dental professional to help inform you and guide your choice. Ideally, seeing an oral surgeon or periodontist for your dental implant treatment is far better. They can assess your oral health, review your medical health and discuss your goals for implant treatment.
Once armed with this information, your implant dentist can provide a suitable treatment plan showing all the options available to help you achieve your aims. They will explain each implant treatment in detail, ensuring you understand the advantages and potential disadvantages of each, and the predicted treatment costs.
Often the cost is a huge factor for people when deciding how best to replace missing teeth; some options are more immediately affordable than others.
However, remember that dental implant treatment is meant to be a long-term solution for tooth loss that can even last for life with the proper aftercare. Therefore, it can be worth paying a bit more upfront now to get the desired results so you can be sure of having a smile you are happy to show others.
All dental implant treatments provide certain benefits, such as helping to preserve and protect your jawbone, giving your teeth that feel strong, stable, and look and feel good, and restoring your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Riverside is the only place to go. Dr Aubacher and his Phenomenal staff make you feel like family. His Touch is painless and magical hands. This is first-hand experience, 21 extractions 17 Zirconia implants, all painless. Thanks shout out to Dee, the best and one of the original surgical assistants. Then LISA, words just can’t describe all she does in a day. Thanks, Howard M
If you have questions about Zirconia dental implants, to learn more, or to schedule a consultation with the implant specialist who offers Zirconia implants at Riverside Oral Surgery, call our center at (551) 287-2322 or visit any of our New Jersey locations.