Materials for Dental Implants: A Closer Look at Zirconia and Titanium

Titanium dental implants have long been the first choice of dentists when it comes to replacing a patient’s natural teeth. After all, titanium is very strong and biocompatible. The bone of the jaw fuses well to a titanium post when it is implanted, which makes the crown stable.

However, more and more dentists are looking into using zirconia as a material for dental implants, and it’s not that hard to see why.

Zirconia or Titanium?

Both titanium and zirconia are metals, but zirconia has a crystalline structure. Because of this, it doesn’t behave like a metal when it’s used as an implant.

For instance, titanium can corrode, though it takes a long time to do so. Zirconia, on the other hand, doesn’t corrode, and it’s as strong and biocompatible as titanium. Some medical experts also claims that it fights infection. Zirconia is a bit more brittle than titanium, but this is remedied by the inclusion of a nut to the zirconia post and making the post itself a bit thicker than a titanium post.

What’s Great about Zirconia

Some dentists also recommend zirconia implants because they don’t cause a metallic taste in the mouth and resist electronic disturbance and galvanic current. These implants also distribute stress evenly.

Even the color of zirconia is preferable to the gray color of titanium. Zirconia is white and so the patient never sees a band of gray around their gum line. Zirconia even encourages the growth of healthy gum tissue. This prevents the problem of receding gums that often happens with titanium implants.

Since most dentists still rely on titanium posts, a patient may need to do some searching before they find a dentist who uses zirconia implants. The dentist can explain the pros and cons of using these implants to the patient.

Sources:

Why are dentists saying that Zirconia dental implants are better than Titanium implants? Is this true?
realself.com

Clinical Implantology
dental-tribune.com

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