Parts of dental implant and bridge on light blue background, flat lay. Space for text

Dental Implant Materials: Quality Assurance for Long-Term Success

Dental implants have become a go-to treatment option for patients with one or more missing teeth. Not only do they restore your ability to chew and help preserve the health of surrounding bone and teeth, but implants can also improve your cosmetic appearance and overall quality of life. Best of all, UIC’s College of Dentistry suggests that dental implants can last a lifetime when properly cared for. Of course, this is often dependent on the dental implant materials used.

Dentists have been placing implants since the 1960s. Over time, technology has drastically improved, resulting in procedures that are more affordable and accessible. Today, dental implants are effective, safe, and long-lasting. Let’s explore common implant materials used in dentistry.

Types of Dental Implants Materials

Dental implants must be solid and resilient to function in a high-usage, moist environment. They play a crucial role in eating and speaking. They also help you maintain a beautiful smile that boosts your self-confidence.

When choosing a dental implant material, looking at many factors is essential. You want an implant that’s lightweight and non-corrosive. It must also be biocompatible and highly resistant to fracturing.

The most common dental implant materials include:

1. Titanium

Most dental implants are made of titanium. Titanium dental implants have a high resistance to corrosion and a low failure rate. They are also biocompatible, meaning the body will not reject the material. Titanium is commonly used in medical devices, such as bone screws, heart valves, and artificial hips.

Another reason titanium is the material of choice for dental implants is its low thermal conductivity. Fluctuations in temperature, such as from eating hot or cold foods, will not irritate the implant area. You can also count on the implant being secure, as titanium is known for its ability to effectively ossify. The osseointegration process allows the titanium implant to adhere successfully to the jawbone.

While titanium is an excellent choice for dental implants, they’re not for everyone. There are some drawbacks to using this material, including:

  • Allergic Reactions: Patients allergic to certain metals may find their titanium implant fails. For this reason, it’s essential to undergo a metal allergy assessment if you have a history of allergies.
  • Local Inflammation: Certain medical conditions can cause adverse side effects in people with dental implants. For example, patients with autoimmune conditions like Chron’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes may experience irritation or inflammation due to the metal ions that the implant releases.
  • Poor Aesthetics: While the dental implant is usually hidden in the gums, some patients may discover that the metal shows through the gums, especially those with thin gums. This can lead to an unsightly appearance for some.

2. Zirconia

Introduced in 2011, zirconia is a newer dental implant material. This metal-free alternative is often recommended to patients who have an autoimmune disorder or a metal allergy or are concerned about the effects of metal in their bodies.

Similar to titanium, zirconia is biocompatible and robust. While not as strong as titanium, the extra width of a zirconia implant makes up for it. Zirconia is also an excellent choice for maintaining good oral health as it is less susceptible to plaque buildup than titanium.

If you’re concerned about the appearance of your dental implants, zirconia may be your choice. These implants blend well with your natural tooth color, making them popular for patients with thin gum tissue.

Like titanium, there are some downsides to zirconia as a dental implant material, including:

  • Risk of Fracture: Zirconia is not as strong as titanium, so it is at a higher risk of fracture.
  • Cost: The cost of zirconia dental implants can vary by location and dental practice. However, they tend to be slightly more expensive than titanium.

Contact Our Dentist in Vero Beach, FL

At Vero Implants & Periodontics, we use only the highest-quality dental implants materials for patients looking to restore their smiles. We place a titanium post into the jaw and allow time for healing. We then use guided implant surgery to complete the procedure in just 30 minutes without the need for stitches. To learn more about dental implants in Vero Beach, call 772.569.9700.