In the past 30 years we have seen a revolution in dentistry due to the introduction and spread of titanium dental implants. This amazing technology has the benefit of an over 90% success rate, a great appearance, and virtually unlimited lifespan. But there are some people who don’t want titanium–or any other metal, for that matter–in their mouth.
The good news is that there are now metal free zirconia implants that, according to studies, seem just as successful as implants with titanium.
Why Patients Ask for Metal-Free Dental Implants
Metal-free dental implants are the most recent in an ongoing trend of trying to remove metal from our mouths. Tooth-colored fillings are replacing metal amalgam. Invisalign offers straighter teeth without metal brackets or wires. Dental crowns are available with no metal, either. And now dental implants can even be made without metal.
People want to get metal out of their mouths for many reasons. Some people are actually allergic to titanium. For these people, titanium dental implants are more likely to fail and may even cause allergic symptoms throughout the body.
Some people have gums that are more clear or are thinner. For these people, titanium dental implants may not look as attractive because they turn the gums kind of gray. Gums can also be sensitive to titanium, and may not bond well with dental implants, leading to receding gums and even bone loss around the implant.
Finally, some people just look at metal as being unnatural for the human body. They just want to avoid metal in their dental restorations.
Metal-free dental implants mean that no matter what your reasons, you can get dental implants that don’t have any metal in them, and you don’t have to sacrifice the high success rate of dental implants.
Success Rate of Zirconia Implants
There aren’t yet as many studies about metal-free implants, but those that are look really good. One recent study looked at 831 dental implants with an average age of 3.4 years, and found that the dental implants had an overall success rate of 95%. That’s just about what we expect for titanium dental implants.
But it gets better. The study included smokers, who have a higher risk for dental implant failure than nonsmokers. Just 15% of the patients were smokers, but they accounted for nearly 70% of failures. If we exclude smokers from the population, the success rate of the metal-free implants was over 98%!
So, if you’re concerned that metal-free dental implants might not be as good, we can put your mind at ease on that account.
If you’re interested in metal-free dental implants, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC implant dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.