Ceramic Implants – What’s the Benefit?
Today lets discuss a trending topic.. Ceramic Implants.
What is an Implant?
First of all, an implant is an artificial tooth root that anchors into the bone and acts as a tooth. Implants have only been around in the dental field for around 25 years or so, and the technology has come a long way since then. For many years we’ve been working with titanium dental implants, but the newest technology is pointing to all-ceramic dental implants.
Titanium vs. Zirconia Dental Implants:
Titanium is a strong metal, but as with most metals, it suffers corrosion. Corrosion is a gradual process of deterioration and happens when the metal reacts with the electrolytic environment in the human body. When the titanium is exposed to fluid or air, it develops a layer of titanium dioxide and forms a boundary between the metal and the body. Over time, the integrity of the titanium becomes weaker and weaker. The titanium implants also have two parts to them and thus have a prosthetic connection, which poses a weak spot for bacterial growth and possible gum irritation. Although titanium allergies are rare, metal sensitivities are not. This can pose a problem to the surrounding gum tissue and cause peri-implantitis, which affects the soft gum tissue as well as the surrounding bone and can cause the implant to fail.
Ceramic (or Zirconia) implants are all white and mimic the actual color of root structure. This is important for aesthetic purposes. If the gums were to recede at all after the implant was placed, there would be no grey line at the gingival margin of the crown. This gives the tooth a more natural look. Ceramic is inert, non-corrosive and non-allergenic and easily accepted by the body. Since zirconia is a poor electrical conductor, it is able to withstand changes in temperature, from hot to cold, without corrosion, so the longevity and durability of ceramic is better than titanium in many cases.
The image below is great at showing how it fits into the anatomy in the mouth and provides a functional and attractive replacement for a missing tooth.
If you are interested in knowing more about ceramic implants and how we are working with them in our office, give us a call at (206)-728-1330.
Richard Stickney DDS PS