One of the common concerns that we hear about from the people coming into our office has to do with the metals used in titanium implants. Some people are concerned about the metals that are essentially being incorporated into a part of their body, and want to know about non-metal alternatives.
Zirconia implants are that alternative. They are non-metal, ceramic implants. While they have been on the market for over 10 years, for a long time not all of the right parts have been available to do these implants, as they were extremely limited in supply.
This is critical, because you need the correct parts to do a properly restored implant. Properly restored implants have about a 94% long term success rate.
To better understand let me explain the dental implant process.
Whether a tooth has been missing for years or if it’s just been pulled, (Part 1) the implant (think of it as a threading or binding) is placed into the empty socket, right into the bone. Eventually the bone heals around the screw threads in a process called osteointegration, where the implant essentially becomes solid with the bone.
Once that happens, we put some parts in above the gumline: The (Part 2) abutment and (Part 3) the crown. These are screwed into the threads of the implant.
Over time, the tissue adapts around the implant/crown, and at the end of the day it feels like you have a real, normal tooth.
So to be specific, the parts I previously mentioned were previous in limited supply were alternatives for (Part 1) the titanium implant that goes into the bone.
This is not the case anymore, and zirconia (non-metal) implants are now available.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of implant. If you’re in the market for an implant, you can speak with both Dr. Vane and our implant surgeon, and we can work together to determine the right type of implant for you.