Dental implants are incredible. They really are. However, what do you do if you are allergic to certain metals and are concerned about having titanium implants placed? There’s no other solution, right? WRONG!
Zirconia implants, also called ceramic implants, are an incredible alternative. In fact, they are good enough now to be first choice! They integrate the same way titanium implants do, so the process is predictable. The greatest benefits are the fact they do not interact with your allergies the same way titanium implants do, so if you have metal allergies or are concerned about this at all, these are an amazing solution.
Quite simply, zirconia implants haven’t been around as long as titanium implants have been. The process of making zirconia/ceramic implants has become more refined over time and the technology is now at a point where they are manufactured predictably.
Another issue in the ‘early days’ was that zirconia implants were very difficult to restore and place a crown due to the nature of the material. There were all sorts of weird and whacky ways to place a crown, and it just wasn’t good enough.
Firstly, allow me to make it very clear; many people will try to scare you away from titanium implants, making all sorts of outrageous claims. The bottom line is titanium implants are EXTREMELY safe.
One of the major benefits of zirconia is your gums and soft tissue really like the material! And I mean your body REALLY likes it. There are no other materials which give as healthy a result to your gums as zirconia does. In fact, even when titanium implants are placed, many dentists are now using zirconia crowns to secure to the implant and restore the missing tooth. Purely because the gum health is THAT good.
Another benefit of zirconia is because the material is white, it gives a better cosmetic result. Sometimes people have thin bone and gum, and titanium implants can shine through causing a ‘dulling’ effect.
No, not at all. In fact, they were originally manufactured to help those patients who respond badly to titanium implants.
Again, I must reiterate that all implants, including titanium implants, are extremely safe for the vast majority of patients – 99% of patients. Very occasionally patients can react to titanium alloys, and this is why my premium implants are PURE titanium and not an alloy. If you have numerous allergies you may consider zirconia implants, or if you’d just prefer to have zirconia implants that’s also fine.
I really dislike when people try to scare patients into having zirconia implants instead of titanium ones. Occasionally you need them for medical reasons, however, usually it’s preference!
Zirconia is an extremely strong material. This is one of the reasons it works so well as a dental implant material. All materials can wear and tear over time, but zirconia is not more prone to this than titanium so you can expect similar lifespans between zirconia and titanium implants.