People wearing dental implants can enjoy the full function of their jaw and can smile, talk, and chew like usual. So what are dental implants made of?
The Most Common Types of Dental Implant Materials
The basic requirement of a dental implant material is durability. The material has to be corrosion-resistant, fracture-proof, and long-lasting. After advancements in technology, zirconia and titanium have been found to have these unique properties.
Why are Dental Implants Made of Zirconia and Titanium?
|•||Zirconia: Zirconia is the latest material used for dental implants and has shown great potential. This material may very well be suitable for people with a metal allergy. Zirconia’s one-piece design, as opposed to titanium’s two or three parts, may also make the surgical process easier.
|•||Titanium: Titanium is the most sought-after material for dental implants due to its ability to form a lasting bond with the bone. Because of its durability and potential to provide long-lasting results at a reasonable price, it is widely accepted as the best option for dental implant materials.|
Even though researchers continue to study alternative materials, titanium is considered the “gold standard” for implant materials, making it the ideal tooth replacement solution.
What are the Major Differences Between Zirconia and Titanium?
Titanium implants are typically composed of two parts: the implant screw, which replaces the tooth root, and an abutment, which connects the screw to the crown. Because each portion of this two-piece system can be implanted individually, titanium implants can be inserted deeper into the bone. These parts are often installed at different stages.
Zirconia implants usually have a single piece - meaning the treatment can be finished in a single session. Zirconia implants, however, are trickier to install.
Both of these dental implant materials offer distinct advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Mitchell Harper, DDS will help you choose the best material based on your requirements and preferences.
Are There Any Alternative Materials for Dental Implants?
While zirconia and titanium are the commonly used implant materials, some other materials can also be used to make dental implants. These options are not as common right now, but they are interesting to note if you are researching all available options for dental implant materials.
|•||Polymers: Polymers, like polymethacrylate, are biodegradable and may be appropriate for tooth replacement since their constitution is easily adjusted, enabling a better aesthetic appearance. Their disadvantage is that they are not a durable choice due to their low quality.
|•||Ceramics: Dental implants can be made of Carbon-silicon ceramics. They are durable and have a stable structure, making them potentially suitable for implants. However, because of their brittle nature, they are not a long-term replacement solution; hence they have limited implant usage.
|•||Alternative Options: Other possible metal choices include gold, stainless steel, and cobalt-chromium. Even though these metals have several advantages, such as durability and corrosion resistance, they have poorer success rates than other preferable metals, such as zirconia and titanium.|
While there are alternative material options for dental implants, most have poorer success rates than zirconia and titanium; therefore, dental specialists will not use them as frequently.
How is a Dental Implant Installed?
Functional dental implants operate similarly to natural roots in holding the artificial tooth in place. Implants require a sturdy foundation and should be strong enough to withstand activities like eating and brushing. The construction of a dental implant is often divided into three stages.
|•||Step 1: Surgical Placement: The dentist starts the implant procedure by surgically placing the implant in the jaw. After that, the implant will be a strong foundation for the replacement tooth.
|•||Step 2:Integration: The implant will require some time to fuse with the jawbone. That is why titanium is a popular material: it quickly integrates with the bone. The bone surrounding the implant will recover and grow, strengthening and keeping it in place. This is also known as osseointegration.
|•||Step 3:Dental Crown: Lastly, the dentist will attach a dental crown, an artificial tooth that blends in with your existing teeth. To keep the implant in place, the crown is placed on top of it. Dental implant crowns can be made of porcelain, composite, or other metals.
Dental implant construction is a long process that takes several months. It largely depends on the speed of the jawbone’s healing and the time taken to make a customized dental crown. However, at the end of the treatment, the patient will have a perfect substitute for their missing tooth.
Am I the Right Candidate for Dental Implants?
A complete dental checkup will determine if you’re a suitable candidate for this procedure, but people with good oral health can easily get dental implants without any issues. An x-ray informs your dentist of your bone’s ability to withstand the procedure.
What’s New for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are among the most popular tooth replacement solutions. As their popularity grows, experts continue to look into dental implant materials and techniques to refine the process for future patients.
Furthermore, as technology progresses, dental professionals may improve implant methods to shorten the process while enhancing patient comfort and implant durability.
While dental implants have evolved a great deal in development and usage, the future must include alternative approaches to enhance dental implants further. It seems likely that stem cells could be used in the implementation phase for further benefits. To summarize, we can anticipate innovations in this procedure in the coming years.
Schedule your Next Dental Appointment!
No matter what material is used in constructing your dental implants, choosing a knowledgeable and experienced implant dentist is critical to their success. Give us a call at (479) 431-0280 to book an appointment with Dr. Mitchell Harper, DDS to check if you’re a candidate for a dental implant procedure and which material will suit you best.