Dental Implant Materials
Replacing missing teeth is essential for restoring many essential functions and your quality of life. Dental implants are a modern alternative to traditional bridges and dentures that provide numerous incredible benefits, and one that we provide at Florida Prosthodontics to meet many different needs. This treatment uses small posts that are surgically implanted into your jawbone to provide support for your dental restorations. A majority of dental implants placed today are made from titanium. While an incredibly effective material with an incredibly high rate of success, titanium is not right for everyone. This has led to the development of alternative materials to make implants more widely available.
Titanium Dental Implants
Titanium is the original implant material. After performing research on bone healing and regeneration, Swedish orthopedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Brånemark discovered that bone fused to titanium. This led to his development of dental implants, which he placed successfully for the first time in 1965.
Over the years, numerous developments have been made on dental implants, all designed to improve their success and reliability. Where original implants were made of pure titanium, newer implants are made of a titanium alloy. Pure titanium was too soft. The addition of extra metals has helped to greatly increase the strength of the implant posts. Today, titanium implants boast a 98% success rate.
While incredibly successful, titanium implants are not ideal for everyone. Some individuals are allergic to metal. Other patients are not very fond of the idea of having metal implanted into their bodies. This has led to research into alternative materials. The most successful alternative material so far has been zirconium oxide or just zirconia. These implants are often called ceramic implants, due to the white color of the posts. While considered a metal-free option, these implants do have trace amounts of metal, which are integral to their strength. Your jawbone fuses to zirconia just like it fuses to titanium, turning these posts into stable roots to hold your dental restorations in place.
Which Option is Best?
Both titanium and zirconia implants support dental restorations. They are surgically placed into your jawbone. Your bone gradually fuses to them, stabilizing them within your jaw so that they can hold your dental restorations securely in place. They are biocompatible materials, meaning they are generally well tolerated by your jawbone and your gum tissue. However, which option is best?
Titanium implants have been in use for over 50 years. There is a substantial amount of research and development behind them, making them very well understood. The material is incredibly strong and can stand up to a significant amount of biting and chewing forces. They are also available in one-piece and two-piece posts. Two-piece posts allow us to place the post at an angle or off center while still keeping your replacement teeth in perfect alignment.
Zirconia implants are considered to be a metal-free option, making them ideal for patients allergic to metal or who are concerned about metal in their bodies. They are also tooth colored, where titanium posts are silver. This means that even in the event of gum recession or thin gum tissue, your posts will not be obvious. They look just like the roots of your natural teeth. However, zirconia implants are currently only available in one-piece posts. This means that they have to be placed precisely within your jaw. They cannot be placed off-center or at an angle. During your initial consultation for dental implants, we will go over your options and help you to determine the best solution for you.
If you are interested in learning more about the different materials used for dental implants, and to find out if dental implants are the right solution for you, call Florida Prosthodontics today at (321) 252-9950.
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