If you’re missing a tooth or two, you may be considering dental implants to fill the gap. This tried-and-true dental procedure is safe, effective, and can provide you with a natural-looking, attractive replacement tooth that will serve you for decades.
Missing a tooth doesn’t just make your smile less attractive, it can also put you at greater risk of decay and further tooth loss. A gap in your smile can create a pocket for debris and bacteria to collect, and the teeth on either side of the missing one can sometimes “lean” in towards the hole without the support of a neighboring tooth. Getting dental implants isn’t just a cosmetic decision — it can benefit your overall dental health, too.
But which type of dental implant should you get? Titanium implants are the widely recognized standard, but there’s a newcomer to the field: Zirconia. Here are a few reasons you may want to consider a zirconia implant over a traditional titanium one.
You Have Thin or Translucent Gums
Most people have gums that are thick enough that their tooth’s roots are not visible through them. But for those who have particularly thin or translucent gums, the dark grey of a titanium implant might be visible through them. If you have thin gums and don’t want them to take on a grey cast after getting implants, a zirconia implant can solve the problem. Zirconia implants are white, so they won’t discolor your gums.
You’re Concerned About Infection
Infection certainly isn’t common with titanium dental implants, but it does happen — and an infection could even result in implant failure. A titanium dental implant is often made up of three parts: The root, the crown, and an abutment. The abutment is a point of weakness and it can also create gaps that oral bacteria inhabit. But zirconia implants connect directly to the crown without an abutment. One less possible source of infection!
Plus, zirconia is very friendly to your gum tissue, making it easier to create a tight seal that keeps oral bacteria away from the implant.
You Don’t Want Metal in Your Mouth
Perhaps your concern stems from a holistic health mindset, or maybe you believe you may have a titanium allergy. Regardless of the reason, some people simply don’t want metal permanently placed in their mouths. For these people, zirconia implants are a great alternative to titanium ones. Zirconia is a synthetic ceramic material, so it contains no metal. But don’t let the thought of ceramic make you think these implants are fragile! Zirconia is extremely durable, demonstrating a high flexural strength in studies.
If you’re ready for dental implants and think zirconia might be the right way to go, you should talk to a qualified implant dentist about your choices. Titanium is not the only way to go anymore, so make sure you work with a dentist who is willing to provide you with options.