Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots made of biocompatible materials surgically placed into the jawbone. They provide a strong and stable foundation for artificial teeth, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures, to be securely attached, effectively replacing missing teeth and restoring both the function and aesthetics of the smile. Dental implants also mimic the natural tooth root to prevent bone loss and maintain facial structure.
Are all dental implants created equal? The material your dentist recommends for your implant really depends on which substance has the most integrity and stability for your condition.
Are All Dental Implants Created Equal? Here’s What You Should Know
Dental implants are typically made of biocompatible materials that are well-tolerated by the body and can fuse with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. There are two main materials used in dental implants: titanium and zirconia.
This is the most commonly used material for dental implants. It has excellent biocompatibility—meaning it’s well-accepted by the body and doesn’t cause adverse reactions. Titanium implants are strong, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for long-term use in oral applications.
This ceramic material has gained popularity in recent years for dental implants, as it provides a mostly metal-free option. Zirconia implants offer tooth-colored aesthetics, making them a desirable option for patients concerned about the appearance of metal in their mouths. Like titanium, zirconia is biocompatible and can integrate with the jawbone. Zirconia implants are especially suitable for patients with metal allergies or sensitivities, but not for those who grind or clench their teeth, as the implants may fracture.
Both titanium and zirconia dental implants have been extensively researched and have shown excellent success rates in replacing missing teeth. The choice between the two materials often depends on the patient's specific needs, preferences, and the dentist's recommendation based on individual factors such as bone density, aesthetic goals, and medical history.