Living with one or more missing teeth is possible, but this change in your smile can negatively affect your appearance, self-esteem, and ability to chew properly. Thankfully, implant dentistry offers a solution to restore your smile with ease. If you are considering dental implants, you may be overwhelmed by your choices. While titanium implants are most common, zirconia is an option you should consider. This guide will help you understand zirconia implants and if they are the right implant option for you.
The 411 on Zirconia Implants
Again, titanium is the most common material used for dental implants. It is a strong and durable metal that fuses well with bone, ensuring your implants are a somewhat permanent part of your jaw and mouth.
Zirconia, on the other hand, is more of a crystal-like, ceramic material. These implants do not contain any metal, but they still fuse well with the jaw bone.
Although both are good options for restoring your smile, zirconia can be beneficial for many patients.
The Benefits of Zirconia Implants
One of the most common and most important benefits of zirconia implants is that there is no risk of metal sensitivities. Today, an estimated 10 to 15 percent of the population have sensitivities to metal. If you experience one or more of the following after having some contact with metal, you most likely have an allergy or sensitivity:
- Skin blistering
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Muscle aches
- Cognitive impairments
Since zirconia does not contain metal, these implants are an excellent option for anyone who needs to restore their smile without dealing with their metal sensitivities. Metal sensitivity prevention is not the only benefit of choosing zirconia implants over traditional titanium implants, though. The overall placement of zirconia implants is more efficient, as well, so the actual surgery and the recovery will be easier for most patients.
Traditional titanium implants consist of multiple components – one is placed into the jaw and the other abutment is placed above the gumline. These components are secured together with a screw. Zirconia implants consist of one piece that is placed. With fewer components, there is less chance of movement over time. This means your one-piece zirconia implants are more secure and durable without unnecessary pressure and stress on the gum tissue and jaw bone.
You may be surprised to learn that zirconia is also a biocompatible material that is resistant to rust and corrosion. Not only will you not experience metal sensitivities, but your zirconia implant will not rust and corrode over time, increasing the lifespan of your implants.
Finally, zirconia implants look better, especially when compared to traditional titanium implants. Zirconia's ceramic material closely resembles the natural color of your existing teeth, so the implants will not stand out or be noticeable when you smile.
This natural appearance may not seem like a priority, since the implants are in the jaw bone/gum tissue. However, as you age or if you experience gum disease or recession, the gum tissue becomes thinner, making implants more noticeable. Since the zirconia is naturally appealing, you do not need to worry about the effects these implants will have on your appearance.
Is Zirconia Right For You?
Now that you understand the differences between titanium and zirconia implants and the benefits of zirconia, you may be wondering which is right for you. Although more expensive, zirconia is a much better investment for your health, appearance, and wellness, especially if you have a metal sensitivity. From improved comfort and durability to ease of placement and a natural look, the benefits of zirconia are easy to see.
For more information about zirconia dental implants or other methods of restoring your smile, talk to your dentist today.