Dental implants are artificial roots that are installed in your mouth to serve as a base for replacement teeth. You might need these dental implants in order to replace teeth you may have lost due to injury or other issues. Some issues that would merit the use of ceramic implants can include:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Wear and tear
In most cases, your dentist is likely to use titanium dental implants to replace your teeth. Titanium dental implants have been used for dental implants for years now, though they have some drawbacks. However, some dental implant services can offer the use of ceramic implants instead. Ceramics have certain benefits over traditional titanium-based implants, which you might want to know about.
1. Corrosion-resistant – As a ceramic, ceramic implants are non-corrosive, unlike metal implants. Titanium implants can corrode, which releases particles into surrounding tissues, and can cause bone loss around the implant. Ceramic implants, being bioinert, do not have this problem. These implants are more likely to be accepted by your body and cause fewer complications.
2. One-piece Design – Titanium-based implants come in two metal components held together by a screw. This can create an environment conducive to growth of bacteria, which can affect both your teeth and the tissues surrounding the implant. On the other hand, ceramic implants are made in one piece. This makes bacterial growth less likely as there is a less habitable environment for them. Having implants in two pieces also makes them more likely to fall apart, which is not the case with ceramic implants.
3. Hypoallergenic – The titanium used in implants is often mixed with other metals such as nickel, to which some people are allergic. It is possible for those with allergies to suffer from adverse effects like inflammation some years after installing such implants. Ceramic implants like zirconia are bioinert, which means they do not cause responses when exposed to your tissues.
4. Aesthetic – For those concerned for their appearance, ceramic implants can be a better alternative than titanium. Titanium implants can show some measure of the metal around the base of a tooth’s crown. This can make the implants more obvious to others, such as by glinting. Ceramic implants are white and non-metallic, which makes them appear more natural to any who see them.
4. Strong – Ceramic implants are quite strong, which can be something to consider when looking for dental implants. This means that ceramic implants can handle many of the demands that would be placed on normal teeth, such as chewing.
5. Shorter surgery – Ceramic dental implants are designed to be inserted into your mouth immediately following tooth extractions. This makes it easier for patients since there is less time spent on operations, resulting in greater comfort and less pain. In fact, it is even possible for less invasive surgery if there is no infection and sufficient bone present at the site.
Of course, there are some issues involved with using ceramic dental implants versus titanium ones. It would be wise to take these issues into account when deciding for yourself which material would best suit your needs.
- Cost – Ceramic implants can cost more money compared to titanium implants, to say nothing of the other incidental costs. If you are budget-conscious, you should consider the availability of funds before choosing to invest in ceramic implants.
- Availability – Since titanium implants have been used for far longer than ceramic implants, they are usually what dentists will use. Ceramic implants are a relatively new development, so it may be harder to find dentists who have these implants available for patients.
- Lack of knowledge – Being that ceramic implants are so new, relatively speaking, not much is known of their long-term effects compared to titanium implants. Titanium implants have had decades for doctors to study their effects, giving dentists more knowledge of how to deal with them. Current studies have not revealed any issues concerning ceramic dental implants as of yet, however.
- Difficulty of placement – Since ceramic implants come in one piece, it can be difficult to place them in jaws as precisely as titanium implants. Dentists often need to place implants at an angle in order to fit them into the jaws properly, which can be more easily done if the implant comes in two parts, as is the case with titanium implants.