Tooth loss doesn’t have to ruin your appearance or ability to eat. A dental implant serves as a solid foundation (root) for the new replacement tooth (crown). Titanium dental implants, the dental prosthetic closest to nature, allow you to talk, chew, and smile with complete assurance.
Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for most people, but they’re not right for everyone. To learn whether you are a good candidate for dental implants, please call (803) 781-9090 or email Smile Columbia Dentistry today to schedule an appointment at our Columbia, South Carolina office.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a tooth replacement option that is structured like your natural tooth so it can look and function like your natural tooth. A dental implant is a titanium post that is placed in your jawbone, just like your natural tooth root. The post is then topped with an aesthetic dental crown made of an advanced dental ceramic.
Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for many people because they:
- Look like natural teeth
- Have no diet restrictions
- Require no special care
- Provide even pressure across your gums and jawbone to promote their health and prevent bone loss
- Can be permanent restorations with proper care
With all these benefits, it’s not hard to see why dental implants continue to grow in popularity. Short of growing a new tooth, nothing beats a dental implant for appearance and function.
Who Is a Candidate for Implant Dentistry
Most people are candidates for dental implant dentistry. However, there are a few restrictions that may prevent you from getting a dental implant such as:
- Periodontal disease
- Poor overall health
- Lack of bone to support implant
In many cases, you may still be able to get implants, but you will require additional treatments, such as periodontal therapy, treatment of other health conditions, or a bone graft. Mini implants can sometimes be used for people with little supporting bone. Metal free dental implants can also be an option if you’re unable to get titanium implants due to an allergy or some other factor.
A Complete Dental Implant Practice
Some people have to deal with multiple practices throughout the implant dentistry process — one for placing the dental implant and one for restoring the tooth. Not at Smile Columbia! Our implant dentists are trained to place and restore dental implants, so we can rejuvenate your smile under one roof.
Zirconia Dental Implants: Stronger Than Titanium
These metal-free dental implants are made of yttria-stabilized zirconia. Yttria is structurally similar to zirconia, but the yttrium atom is larger than zirconium, so it helps to lock in the crystal structure of zirconia so it can survive the high-temperature processing necessary to manufacture dental implant roots and crowns.
For many of us, it’s difficult to think of a ceramic as being stronger than a metal, but that’s what we have with zirconia dental implants. The tensile strength of pure titanium is pretty impressive, about 660 megapascals (MPA), or about 96,000 pounds per square inch (psi). And titanium alloys can be even stronger, over 990 MPA, 144,000 psi. But zirconia has it beat, about 1000 MPA or 145,000 psi.
But wait, you might be thinking, tensile strength measures pulling. Dental implants are going to be compressed by biting force. How does zirconia compare to titanium under those conditions? It’s even better. Titanium is a little weaker under compression, only about 970 MPA, while zirconia is even stronger, about 2000 MPA, nearly 300,000 psi!
When you add that kind of strength with the high biocompatibility, beauty, and bacterial resistance of zirconia dental implants, we know that long-term experience will show them to be as good as or superior to titanium dental implants.