When you need to replace teeth, implants are ideal. They serve as artificial tooth roots, whether supporting single crowns or providing sturdy anchors for partials or even full dentures. They integrate with the jawbone, and look and function just like your natural teeth.
Why Metal Implants Are Less Than Ideal
Most dentists today still use titanium implants, but this material has many shortcomings.
The titanium used for dental implants typically isn’t pure titanium but an alloy (a mix of metals). Some of the alloys can contain highly toxic metals, such as nickel, while some metal implants are coated in aluminum, which is also toxic.
Metal implants also tend to corrode, releasing metals into the body and triggering inflammation that raises the risk of peri-implantitis (an infection similar to gum disease). That, in turn, raises the risk of the implants failing. If other metals are present in the mouth, the risk of creating galvanic currents – electrical charges – goes way up, as well, and thus, the likelihood of health problems linked with oral galvanism.
For crowns, Dr. Smith uses a state-of-the-art processing method called e.max Press, which creates highly aesthetic and accurately fitting crowns from biocompatible lithium disilicate glass-ceramic ingots. The process gives them improved flexural strength, so they stand up well to a lot of stress, just like your natural teeth. They also look as natural, fitting in perfectly with the rest of your teeth.
Ceramic/Zirconia Implants: The Healthier Choice
Titanium’s troubles are all non-issues for ceramic (zirconia) dental implants. Ceramic implants are truly biocompatible. They’re also the better choice aesthetically.
With metal implants, there’s always the chance that gray lines will start to appear if the gum tissue thins or recedes. Ceramic will continue to look natural even if there’s some loss of gum tissue.
Dental implants can be placed most any time once a tooth is lost – even immediately after extraction in many cases, eliminating the need to schedule an extra surgery.