Titanium Vs. Zirconia: Which Material of Dental Implant is Good for You?
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Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth and let’s face it. We do need all our teeth in order to process our foods properly the chewing capacity really contributes to our nutritional value. Two kinds of materials are now popularly used as dental implants. They are zirconia (or zirconium oxide) and titanium.
Titanium dental implants have been around since the 1960s. Here is an example of a titanium dental implant and you can see it’s great in color.
Titanium is one of the most abundant metals on earth and it has a low grade of electrical conductivity. This is probably one of the reasons why the cells of the bone love the titanium and attach onto it very very tightly. We call this osseointegration. Other metals have been tried for down implants but none of them worked because the cells did not like any other metals. So titanium has being used today not only in replacing missing teeth but also replacing hips, knees for spinal fusion, for pins and screws in order to make our life easier and live longer essentially.
The right side is an example of a zirconia dental implant. zirconia implants are made out of ceramic. Some people say “no, they’re actually metal”. It is true that zirconium is a metal, but zirconium oxide is a ceramic, and it is also called zirconia. Some people can be allergic to titanium, although very rare, and they do prefer to have no metals in their body so for them we actually have the zirconia dental implants.
Zirconia dental implants have been around probably for a little over 20 years and we do have quite a bit of studies on them. This particular dental implant has been in the United States since 2007 and it is very comparable to a titanium dental implant. However, it does take typically more care when placing a zirconium dental in and there are more expensive than titanium because of the manufacturing and different surgical techniques that we use in placing them.