Zirconia Dental Implants
A dental implant is a combination of devices that are installed into the gap left where a tooth has been lost or removed. When creating this implant either titanium or zirconia is used to build the post, which creates the root of the tooth, and then a crown made of ceramic, porcelain, or a combination of materials is added to the top to form the tooth portion that shows above the gums.
Zirconia is a material that is made from a ceramic material that is composed of zirconium and oxygen. Due to it’s make it up it is usually accepted by the body, keeping rejection rates low and complications to a minimum. Although it has metal atoms within its make up it is not considered to be a metal, offering an alternative to the metal titanium. As electricity and static electricity are transferred through metal, often a non-metal alternative is better for those with other metal fillings, among other situations. When metals of different types come in contact it can creates complications within the mouth and teeth, so a zirconia implant may be the preferred material for many.
When considering the colour of the implant zirconia is often the preferred material as it is white and will not show a metal colour near the gums. This becomes more important in cases of thinning gums where the colour may show through or in the case of receding gums. Many will find it preferable to have the full implant and crown a closer shade to the natural teeth then the grey metal of titanium. This allows for a more natural appearance and may help to boost confidence as well.
Other advantages to the use of zirconia for dental implants include that it will not corrode as a metal can eventually but will maintain it’s colour and shape for it’s entire lifespan. As a non-metal it is not susceptible to damage from being wet or from the bacteria in the saliva that can damage metals. There are also studies to show that zirconia implants will form less plaque and build up around them then a titanium one may, which can lead to fewer gum concerns and fewer cavities in the surrounding teeth.
While there is a risk of infection as the gums must be opened to implant the post, following proper aftercare and taking any antibiotics provided will keep that risk low and manageable. The dental implant will last a lifetime and should not require replacement, although the crown that tops it may require repair or replacement. Once the implant post is fused to the jawbone it becomes permanent and will support the regular use of the tooth.
As a dental implant is a permanent addition in the mouth it is important to know all of the options, the benefits, and the risks before proceeding. Our dentist is available for your consultation in Vancouver, and our professional staff will present all options and help to decide what is the best choice for you and your circumstances.