Dental implants are mostly made of two materials i.e. titanium or zirconium oxide (zirconia). While titanium dental implants have been around for many years, the zirconia counterpart is also a popular choice in dental implant preparation procedure.
However, it’s important to understand that zirconia dental implants function in the same way as titanium implants and the only difference in the two is the material used in implant preparation.
While performing the oral surgery for dental implant treatment, the surgeon initiates the process by drilling a tiny hole into the patient’s jaw bone. Later, a zirconium-based screw is positioned into the hole. Over the course of a couple of months, this material starts fusing with the patient’s natural bone, which is a process called “osseointegration”. Eventually, a strong bond is created between the material and the bone. This serves as a strong anchor for the artificial teeth that the oral surgeon plans to place atop the implant.
According to dental experts, because zirconium is extremely compatible with the oral environment, it can be safely implanted within the mouth. In fact, zirconia’s bio-compatibility ensures high success rate in osseointegration.
Basically, zirconia is an oxide of zirconium, which is a metal. But, the oxide form of zirconium used in the preparation of dental implants features more ceramic than metallic properties. The material is white, appearing more natural than metal, which is why, zirconia dental implants don’t tend to create dark lines at the gums where the implant is connected to the artificial teeth. In fact, zirconia implants are almost indistinguishable from natural tooth roots.
Moreover, zirconium is corrosion-resistant and has great resistance against fracture and heat, which makes it an ideal choice for dental implant preparation. Zirconium is also known for its durability, which means that zirconia implants can last long. Because these implants are hypoallergenic, they are also a very good option for people who need dental implant treatment but are allergic to titanium.
While zirconia implants make for an excellent dental implant treatment option, they are usually more expensive than traditional titanium implants. The main reason behind the high cost of these dental implants is the fact that they utilize more advanced technology and aren’t widely adopted by dental facilities. It should be noted that titanium is still a popular choice in dental implant treatment and if zirconia dental implants aren’t available, the patient can always opt for titanium dental implants.
Before opting for a dental implant surgical procedure, patients must talk to the dentist about available options and their possible consequences. In many cases, titanium dental implants are still considered a popular choice by dentists, but some dentists offer both the options. If offered to choose between the two, the patient must have a detailed discussion with the dentist regarding the pros, properties and outcome associated with the use of the two dental implant materials before making his/her final decision.