Titanium is definitely the industry standard when it comes to dental implants. Titanium is a pretty cool metal – it’s extremely biocompatible, it’s virtually indestructible, and your bone is completely fine with growing and fusing around it. Pretty cool, right? Well, there’s a newer type of dental implant on the market: zirconia dental implants (sometimes mistakenly referred to as zirconium dental implants). They’re ceramic, and they’re taking holistic tooth replacement to a new level.
Let’s throw around some quick pros and cons of zirconia dental implants so that when you talk to your oral surgeon about your dental implant procedure, you’ll know the right types of questions to ask him about your upcoming tooth replacement.
Advantages of Zirconia Dental Implants
- Zirconia dental implants are not metal, making them a more holistic option and perfect for people with metal sensitivities or allergies.
- Zirconia is natural, so it’s an inert substance, allowing it to osseointegrate with the jaw as well or if not better than standard titanium dental implants.
- Zirconia dental implants are less vulnerable to plaque buildup than titanium.
- Aesthetically, there’s no danger of a dark ring at the gum line that can sometimes occur with titanium dental implants.
Disadvantages of Zirconia Dental Implants
This isn’t to say zirconia dental implants are objectively better than their titanium counterparts. A good dental implant dentist will tell you the good and the bad:
- There are no long-term studies on two-piece zirconia dental implants that can ensure they stand up to time and use as long as titanium dental implants.
- Zirconia does poorly in low temperature and/or humid environments, and will slowly loosen over time with temperature degradation.
- Zirconia dental implants are more expensive.
- While zirconia is a strong material, it’s not as strong as titanium; there is a possibility of cracking a zirconia dental implant. In response to this, dental implant dentists install larger implants when they’re made of zirconia. That means there’s more of a chance you’ll need dental bone grafting to prep your mouth to take the implant.
These are just some of the things to think about when you’re speaking to your oral surgeon or dental implant dentist about your options for implants. Dental implants of either material are the gold standard when it comes to holistic tooth replacement; so whatever you choose, there really isn’t a wrong decision.