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I was blessed to attend a meeting with like minded dentists who are placing and restoring ceramic dental implants. The ceramic dental implants are made of zirconium oxide which is a non metal ceramic material. One of the biggest benefits to this type of implant is they are non allergenic and compatible with the body. They are white rather than the silvery titanium color so there is not dark grey shadow as is often seen with titanium.

I have been doing 98 percent metal free dentistry in my practice for many years, so I believe that ceramic implants can be a great choice to replace missing teeth. These implants are not for every situation though, and for the implant to succeed, there are two keys to consider: Is there enough bone, and is the bone good enough in quality? There are also certain health issues that can cause implants to be a poor choice to replace a missing tooth.

The speakers at this meeting traveled long distances to deliver their message. The furthest speakers came from Italy and Germany and the other two were from Virginia and Utah. Each was passionate about these ceramic implants and their use in dentistry. All of them presented cases and techniques developed over years of use. Learning from each other creates quantum improvements in the care we can deliver to our patients. In Europe, ceramic implants have been in use for many years and in the US just over seven years. Some other dentists claim that they break and they tell their patients this, but research has shown that they are strong and breakage is not much of an issue.

The take home message is that we now have a good long term alternative to cutting into healthy adjacent teeth to make a bridge. Removable dentures are also an alternative to replace a missing tooth but few people tolerate the bulk, looseness and discomfort associated with wearing partial dentures. I love helping my patients to an increased level of dental and overall wellness.

 

Be well,Richard Stickney DDS PS

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