The Latest in Implantology and a Viable Alternative to Titanium
Ceramic implants are finally here for any patients who desire a viable alternative to titanium, which up until now has been the industry standard. Constructed of Zirconium Oxide, a high-tech material known for its resistance to fracture and heat – and the same material is used in the modern day space shuttle – ceramic implants are fast becoming the Implantology standard in Europe and we predict that it won’t be long before they will catch on here in the states, too.
Ceramic Implants – Superior Bio Availability
Each year, 500,000 patients undergo titanium implant surgery in this country. While titanium may be a strong and incredibly light material, it may not be the best choice for Implantology. Studies are now showing that a small percentage of the population may be sensitive to some metals, including titanium.
While symptoms are rare, this sensitivity can cause:
- Problems in individuals with hyperactive immune systems
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Osteolysis (erosion of bone tissue)
Ceramic implants, on the other hand, are far more bioavailable. That means that our natural tissues seem to accept the Zirconium Oxide and won’t pull away from the implant like some patients experience with titanium.
When the tissue pulls away from the titanium implant, revealing the threads (the implant is not unlike a screw), this attracts bacteria and causes what is known peri-implantitis.
Ceramic tissues seem to mesh with our natural tissues and even if the threads become exposed, the problem is easily managed. The same can’t be said for titanium.
Ceramic Implants – Designed for Aesthetics
Titanium implants look metallic and this can cause a dark ring to show around the gum line even in the healthiest of mouths. If a person has thin bone or weak tissue, occasionally the titanium implant can show through the tissue, giving the tooth a gray or muddled appearance.
Ceramic implants are indistinguishable from your natural teeth. The implant is the same color as your tooth, so even if it does show through, it won’t. You can smile, eat, do everything with your teeth that you would otherwise normally do, and no one will be able to determine that you’re wearing an implant at all, including you.
The Future of Implantology
With clinical trials in full force in countries like France and Italy, we are already seeing titanium implants fall by the wayside in Europe and other locations around the world. It’s only a matter of time before ceramic implants overtake their titanium counterparts here in the states.
We still offer titanium implants here at Brilliant Smiles Bellevue. The super-metal has helped millions of patients restore their teeth without resorting to dentures or bridges.
Speaking of those dental procedures, we used to think that dentures, bridges and now titanium implants were the only way to a fully-restored smile. Ceramic implants are the next logical step. As Implantology becomes more advanced, we may see another super-material overtakes Zirconium Oxide in the near future. Until then, we recommend ceramic implants to all of our patients who require a dental implant in Bellevue, Washington.
We hope you try ceramic implants to reduce metal sensitivity problems and to restore your smile with an aesthetically and hygienically superior alternative. Ceramic is easier to clean (think of cleaning a frying pan as opposed to a ceramic coffee mug), looks more natural and won’t cause any problems in case you happen to be metal-sensitive. Until we can grow healthy teeth in the lab, ceramic implants are the next best option in Implantology for restoring our teeth to healthy conditions.
If you have questions that haven’t been answered here, call our office during business hours and we’ll be happy to answer them. You can reach us at .