What Materials Make up Dental Implants?
One of the greatest advances to modern dentistry in recent years is the development of dental implants.
If you have gaps in your smile from missing teeth, have an accident that knocks teeth out, or have had to have teeth pulled, these implants might be right for you. But what materials make up the implants that we put in our mouths? First, let’s take a look at what these implants are, and then the various materials that make them up.
What are Dental Implants?
These implants are screws that are placed into the jaw to act as an anchor and support artificial teeth such as crowns or dentures. Implants are a great long term solution to restoring smiles. They are made to blend in with the other teeth to look as natural as possible and are more comfortable and much lower maintenance than removable dentures. Additionally, these implants are not susceptible to decay like natural teeth are. As long as the gums remain healthy, implants can last for a very long time.
Materials in Dental Implants
- Titanium – Nearly all implants are made of titanium alloy, a very safe metal that poses no harm to existing living tissue in the mouth. Allergies to titanium are extremely rare, and the same material is used in hip implants, shoulder implants, and knee implants. Titanium has been the leading material for implants since its first use in the 1960s. The most common complaints against titanium implants are about their color and an aversion to having metal in the mouth. In most cases, however, the benefits of using titanium implants far outweigh the drawbacks.
- Zirconia – Ceramic implants, made of zirconia, are much newer to the dental industry and are increasing in popularity and use. Zirconia is an element derived from minerals. When formed into implants and/or crowns, it’s white in color, which many people prefer to the silver metal appearance of titanium. The idea of a “metal-free” implant is also appealing to many individuals, contributing to the increasing numbers of ceramic implants. For those with titanium allergies, a ceramic implant may be their only option. The largest drawback to zirconia implants in the dental industry is the newness of it. While titanium implants have been tested, studied, and reviewed for nearly 60 years, ceramic implants have had very little time to have medical studies done, proving the long term effectiveness. It seems that ceramic implants will never fully replace titanium implants, but instead provide a solid alternative for those seeking a metal-free implant option.
Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Your Dental Implant Expert
The decision to get dental implants can be stressful. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are experts in dental implant insertion. If you’re worried about needing implants or choosing an implant material, we can answer all of your questions and do our best to set your mind at ease. We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today.
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