The Best Materials for Dental Implants
At Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry, we offer dental implants as a treatment for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are a revolutionary treatment that involves the surgical placement of small posts into your jawbone. These posts are used to provide support for the ceramic crowns that replace your missing teeth. Dental implants offer several benefits over traditional treatments, including greater comfort, stability, and the preservation of your jawbone. Most dental implants use titanium posts. However, research is being conducted to find alternative materials that provide the same incredible results.
Titanium Dental Implants
Titanium is the original material used for modern dental implants. It has been in use since the accidental discovery of osseointegration in the 1950s. The first dental implants were placed in 1965. Over the years, many improvements have been made, increasing the success and reliability of titanium. Original implants were made of pure titanium, but the material proved too soft. Today, they are made from a titanium alloy. The addition of metals has helped to significantly increase their strength. The posts also have a rough texture when they were once smooth. The addition of the texture has helped facilitate osseointegration and ensured stability. Today, titanium dental implants have a 98% success rate.
Zirconia, or Ceramic, Implants
While titanium implants have proven highly effective, this material is not for everyone. Some patients are not fond of the idea of having metal implanted in their bodies. Others may have metal allergies or sensitivities. Using titanium could cause a reaction. These concerns have spurred research into alternative materials that have led to the discovery of zirconium oxide, or zirconia implants. Zirconia implants are often called ceramic implants. They are considered to be metal free, despite the trace metals they contain that are essential for their strength. Zirconia posts are also white in color, unlike the silver color of titanium. Your jawbone fuses to zirconia just like it fuses to titanium. Research has shown that these implants can be very successful.
The Best Material for Dental Implants
Both titanium and zirconia are biocompatible materials, meaning that they are tolerated by the jawbone. Your bone fuses to both materials, stabilizing the posts within your jaw. As a result, they can both act as strong, secure roots for your new teeth. Titanium implants have decades of research and development behind them. The material is very well understood. It is also very versatile. Titanium implants are available as one-piece and two-piece implants. Two-piece implants allow the post to be placed at an angle, slightly off center, while allowing your replacement teeth to remain perfectly aligned in your mouth. Zirconia implants, on the other hand, are considered ceramic, or metal-free. Additionally, the posts are white in color, just like the color of the crowns. If you have thin gum tissue or you experience gum recession, your implants, which look exactly like the crowns and roots of your natural teeth, will not be noticeable. Zirconia does have some drawbacks, however. For one, there is not as much research behind them, so they are not as well understood as titanium. They are also only available as one-piece implants. They have to be precisely placed in order to achieve the best results. For more information on the dental implant materials, and to find out which material is right for you, call Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry today at (425) 270-1075 to schedule your appointment.