Metal Free Implant Dentistry
What You Should Know About Metal Free Implant Dentistry
Titanium implants were a revolution back in the 1950's and they have saved many a person's jaw health. But technology continues its march forward, and new options continue to be made.
So what are your best options?
Why might you opt for metal free implant dentistry instead of titanium?
The Flaws of Titanium Implants
Oftentimes titanium implants require constructions of two coupled parts, with two different alloys.
This can cause problems in the mouth's wet environment. The two metals that form the implant can start to exchange electricity between each other.
The implant starts to oxidize and release ions. This can cause problems for patients, ranging from mild to serious.
These include: exacerbated allergies, rashes and worse, they might start to display metal toxicity symptoms such as nausea and general loss of energy.
This, of course, is dependent on having a titanium allergy. While this gets very little press, some studies suggest that the pervasiveness of titanium allergy can be as high as 4 percent.
Titanium allergy, and all the metal toxicity symptoms that occur, is the result of the binding of ions to proteins in the body. This causes an immune response within the body, leading to the usual host of problems: inflammation, nausea and loss of energy.
So What's the Alternative?
Ceramic implants, meanwhile, do not share these problems. Made of zirconia, a powerful, stable, and inert material used for many functional applications, these ceramic implants not only forego the many problems of titanium implants, but they're also more aesthetically pleasing!
Ceramic implants do not corrode, do not conduct electricity, and do not release harmful materials into the body.
All these benefits together comprise what is known as biocompatibility: the degree to which a material is compatible with the workings of your body. Ultimately, the best advantage of zirconia is that it does not trigger harmful physiological responses.
Most practitioners, unfortunately, have still not jumped onto ceramic implants simply because the knowledge has not spread yet.
Other Benefits to Ceramic Dental Implants
Ceramic implants made of Zirconia have one other fascinating advantage: they're made of one piece! This stops bacteria and plaque from accumulating the same way they would around a titanium implant.
For those of you slightly squeamish about dentistry in general, you might be pleasantly surprised to know that ceramic implants also insert at a shallower level than titanium implants.
They can be implanted into your gums immediately following tooth extraction, and in one surgical swoop. The surgery is less invasive in general.
The shallower implant level even makes them easier to clean.
In general, actually, ceramic implants are cleaner. Because of this, they avoid the inflammatory problems that metals can sometimes cause--which is a wonder for your oral health.
It also can't be impressed upon enough that zirconia is a stronger material. Zirconia, being that material actually used to augment the strength of drills, makes for wonderfully strong teeth.
Are There Any Drawbacks
It all sounds too good to be true, right?
While ceramic implants offer a host of advantages, there are at least a few things to watch out for.
Although ceramic implants are extremely strong, there are certain forces which can disturb them. Essentially, extremely elastic forces can cause these implants to be brittle.
Thus, zirconia can be susceptible to micro-fracturing from forces the mouth may not usually face--such as from dental burs at the dentist. This only occurs in implants with a small diameter however.
There are many advantages to be had by using ceramic implants, but it's important to find out if you're a good candidate for them.