Dentistry For Non-Professionals

Why Do Some Patients Choose Zirconia Dental Implants?

by Claude Sullivan

If you have missing teeth or are expecting to undergo one or more extractions in the future, dental implants can offer the ideal way to maintain your smile and retain the functionality of your natural teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants are drilled into the bone beneath your gums. As such, they offer a permanent solution that feels just like having natural teeth.

Most dental implants are made from titanium, and they have been for decades. However, alternatives do exist, and some patients prefer implants made from zirconia. This is a very hard ceramic material, and it does offer several benefits. While most patients will be advised to opt for titanium implants, here are just a few reasons why some choose zirconia.

More Natural Appearance 

The part of titanium implants that is drilled into the jawbone and covered by the gums is grey. That's usually fine, but there is some risk of greyness showing through if the gums are thin or likely to recede. This can be especially concerning when your implants are towards the front of your mouth. One benefit of zirconia is avoiding this issue. Zirconia implants can have the same colour as your natural teeth, which means discolouration of the gums won't be a concern. Additionally, the material can be very easily colour-matched to your real teeth, so they look very natural.

No Risk of Metal Irritation

It's rare, but some patients are sensitive or allergic to metal. This can make titanium dental implants problematic. Irritation may occur, and in some rare cases, the titanium implants will start to fail and need to be removed. Again, this is very unlikely, but some people still prefer to opt for zirconia implants purely because they are metal-free. Even if no allergies or sensitivities exist, some patients simply don't like the idea of metal in their mouths. As such, zirconia can provide a useful alternative.

Smoother Surface

Your dental implants can't decay or become infected, but you'll still need to take care of your oral health to protect your existing teeth and avoid issues ranging from gum disease to bad breath. While titanium implants are easy to keep clean, the smooth ceramic surface of a zirconia implant may be better in this regard. Thanks to the lack of small crevices and cracks, plaque and bacteria won't be able to attach as easily. This means better oral hygiene may be easier to maintain.  

Speak to your dentist to learn more about dental implants