Zirconia Dental implants are tooth root replacements, capped with a ceramic dental crown. The crown is the replacement tooth, and is connected to the implant with an abutment. Zirconia implants are new, having only been used in the US since 2007. Another type of implant, one made with Titanium, is also used for implant procedures.
Metal-free dental implants: Because zirconia dental implants are made from a one-piece design (the synthetic tooth root and the abutment are connected), there is no shifting that occurs after implantation, thus infection is less of a concern. A recent new feature for the Zirconia dental implants is a two-piece system that is typically used when placement at a slight angle is required. Other material implants designed in two parts might move slightly—when under pressure—which can result in pockets where bacteria can colonize.
Biocompatible: Zirconia, which is a biocompatible material, is resistant to corrosion, chemical reaction, and doesn’t conduct heat or electricity. Zirconia integrates well with bone and natural gum tissue due to its biocompatibility.
Superior aesthetics: The crystal Zirconia material—well known for its likeness to diamonds—is slightly altered when used in implant dentistry. The ‘metal free’ treated zirconium ceramic is a beautifully tooth-like white coloring. The material possesses a ‘low plaque affinity’ that leads to a clean mouth. Because it is not a metal, Zirconium provides a natural look that translates to a healthy and beautiful smile.
Reliable, strong, durable: Long-term wearability is one of the most attractive features of zirconia dental implants. Zirconia can withstand great force, and they’re known for superior strength when put under pressure–great qualities for a dental implant system.
Allergy free: Zirconia dental implants are hypoallergenic. In some patients with allergies, metal implants, though, can be problematic. However, sensitivity issues might not occur until years after the implants have been placed. Implant failure and bone loss may result.
Successful placement: Zirconia implants can be successfully placed in any part of a patient’s mouth. Because of the aesthetic nature of Zirconia dental implants, sometimes they are placed at the front of the mouth while a different less expensive dental implant made of Titanium might be placed further back.
Ease of Zirconia dental implants placement has been reported as more challenging than Titanium implants. This is because Zirconia implants are typically single pieces which are sometimes difficult to place completely under the gums and at an angle. The dentist should be able to place the implant at a slight angle to reflect bone density and teeth profile, requiring an implant’s optimal position to be slightly off center. It has been suggested that placement at the correct angle can be more easily performed with the newer two-piece Zirconia implant styles. Research (2019) suggests any challenges are insignificant.
A final thought: It’s important to note that any dental implant procedure could increase risk of gum infection until the site has healed properly. Some dentists argue that two-piece implants create a higher chance of harboring bacteria than single-piece implants. On the other hand, the Zirconia single dental implants typically require cement which can collect bacteria. Therefore, periodic oral evaluation and prophylaxis every six months, in hand with good hygiene, are essential.
Learn more about Zirconia dental implants when you contact Dental Alvarez, and you will want to have the important discussion about the benefits of Zirconia dental implants with the doctors. In the meantime, a great comparison between types of dental implants and the benefits of each can be found here.