Dental Implant Materials
Dental implants are a treatment designed to replace missing teeth. They are a revolutionary solution, using small posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to provide support for your replacement teeth. During the recovery phase, your jawbone fuses to the posts, stabilizing them in your jaw. This process, called osseointegration, integrates the posts into your jaw and essentially turns them into artificial tooth roots that are then able to provide secure, stable support for your new teeth.
Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry can provide dental implants to meet many different needs. Typically, implant posts are made from a titanium alloy. While this material has an incredibly high success rate, it is not right for everyone. Today, research is being done to find alternative materials to make implants available to more patients.
Titanium is the original implant material. Its use was accidentally discovered in the 1950s when a Swedish orthopedic surgeon was researching bone healing and regeneration. The first dental implants were made entirely from titanium. However, this material proved to be too strong. Today, titanium implants are a titanium alloy. They contain additional metals that help to provide it with incredible strength and stability.
Along with the addition of other metals, several improvements have been made to titanium implants over the years, increasing their success. For instance, the first titanium implants were smooth. Today, they have a rough texture that helps improve osseointegration. This and other developments have increased the stability of dental implants, increased their reliability, and have made them available to more individuals faced with tooth loss.
Titanium implants have a very high success rate of around 98%. Even so, they are not right for everyone. Patients with metal allergies are not good candidates for titanium implants. Patients opposed to having metal implanted into their bodies may also not want dental implants. These concerns have led to the search for alternative materials, and the discovery of zirconia.
Zirconia implants are often referred to as ceramic implants. This is because they are tooth colored. They are also considered to be metal-free, although they do contain very trace amounts of metal. This metal is crucial for the strength and success of these implants. Your jawbone fuses to zirconia implants just like it fuses to titanium, providing you with strong, stable replacement roots that can hold your new teeth securely in place.
Which Material is Right for Me?
While both titanium and zirconia provide strong, stable support for replacement teeth, there are a few significant differences between the two. Titanium implants have the benefit of decades of research and development behind them. This makes them better understood and more predictable.
Additionally, titanium is very versatile. It is available in one-piece and two-piece implants. Two-piece implants allow us to place the post at an angle while the tooth can still be placed in proper alignment. Because of this, we can maximize contact between the post and your jawbone for optimal osseointegration.
Zirconia implants have the benefit of being tooth colored. They match the color of the ceramic crowns placed on top of them. If you experience gum recession, or you have naturally thin gums, the post will look exactly like the root of a natural tooth, rather than standing out as a silver titanium post would. However, they are currently only available as one-piece implants. This means they have to be placed precisely within the jaw.
Dental implants can meet a wide variety of different tooth replacement needs. Also, with the addition of alternative materials, this treatment is becoming available to patients who typically would not be able to get them due to allergies or other issues. Call Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry today at (818) 748-9998 for more information and to find out if dental implants are the right solution for you.
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