Dental Implant Materials
Roslyn Heights & Manhattan NY
Dental implants are a unique treatment that replaces missing teeth, providing you with an alternative to bridges and dentures. Unlike traditional treatments, which sit above the gums, dental implants involve the surgical placement of small titanium posts into your jawbone. As you heal, your bone fuses to the posts. This process, called osseointegration, occurs gradually and stabilizes the posts within your jaw. Edward I. Jutkowitz, D.M.D., P.C. - Periodontics and Implantology provides dental implants as a solution to meet many different needs. Most dental implants are made from a titanium alloy. This material, however, is not for everyone. Research has led to the discovery of alternative materials to make implants more widely available.
Titanium Alloy Implants
Titanium is the original material of modern-day dental implants. Its use began with the accidental discovery of osseointegration in the 1950s. While the first dental implants were made of pure titanium, today we use a titanium alloy. Pure titanium was too soft. The addition of other metals has helped to increase the strength and stability of dental implants. Other developments have been made over the years to help improve stability and reliability and make the treatment more widely available. A vast majority of dental implants placed today are made from titanium alloy, and they have a success rate of 98%.
While titanium implants have a high success rate, the use of metal is not for everyone. Some patients have allergies to metal. Others are not fond of the idea of having metal in their mouths. These concerns have led to research and development of alternative materials.
One such material that has been found is zirconia. Zirconia implants are often called ceramic implants because, unlike titanium implants, they are white in color. They are also considered to be metal-free, although they do contain trace amounts of metal. These trace amounts are essential for the strength of the implants. Just like with titanium implants, your jawbone can fuse to zirconia implants, creating strong, secure replacement roots that can support your replacement teeth.
Which Is the Best Material?
Titanium and zirconia both provide stability for your replacement teeth and hold them securely in place. This is possible because your bone can fuse with both types of posts, turning them into strong, secure roots. So, which material is best?
Both titanium and zirconia have their advantages and disadvantages. Titanium has been in use for several decades. There is a substantial amount of research behind the material, making it well-understood and predictable. The material is practically indestructible and can withstand a significant amount of daily wear and tear. Titanium implants are also incredibly versatile. They are available in one-piece or two-piece posts. Two-piece posts allow us to place the post slightly off-center while still placing the crown in proper alignment. Because of this, we can maximize osseointegration.
While titanium has many benefits, it does have a few major drawbacks. One of the biggest concerns about titanium is that it contains metal. This means those with metal allergies may not be candidates. Patients who do not want metal in their body may also not want these types of implants. Titanium implants are also silver. This means that if you have thin gum tissue or you suffer gum recession, the post becomes quite obvious.
Zirconia implants are still fairly recent and do not have the same research and understanding to back them up. They are also only currently available in one-piece posts. This means that they need to be placed precisely within your jawbone. However, these posts are considered metal-free and are naturally tooth colored. This means that even if your gums are thin or you suffer a bit of gum recession, the post will blend in with the crown and look exactly like the rest of a natural tooth.
Dental implants can help to meet many different tooth replacement needs. Moreover, with research into alternative materials, this incredible treatment is becoming available to more and more patients. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you, call Edward I. Jutkowitz, D.M.D., P.C. - Periodontics and Implantology today at (516) 740-1848.