Today’s modern implants are a direct outcome of the original titanium dental implant that was created decades ago. From day one, titanium seemed to be the most ideal material for implants, with physical properties that made it both effective and practical. After many years of technical advancement, titanium implants now represent over 95% of all implants. More importantly, the success rate of these implants is over 98%, even after ten years of original placement.
In general, titanium metal does not present a potential for allergic reaction. However, there are patients who may be allergic or sensitive to metal alloys found in the implant – like nickel. As well, there are patients who simply don’t like the idea of a metal implant. Here, manufacturers have introduced a “metal-free” option, made primarily of zirconium. These dental implants are considered to be ceramic, although they still contain some metal content in the material.
While both titanium and zirconium integrate into the bone in a similar way, titanium has a longer clinical history and with more established success. Indeed, in some cases, titanium implants have lasted up to three decades. Titanium implants have proven to be far more versatile than ceramic, offering more prosthetic options for difficult procedures. This is because titanium implants are two-piece systems, unlike zirconium implants, which are fabricated as one-piece units.
In terms of post-surgery, both implant procedures require a number of months for bone to fuse with the implant. With the one-piece zirconium option, this period of healing might be somewhat tricky, particularly if there is unintended movement of the implant.
Another issue post-surgery is long-term durability - titanium implants are not known to fracture, whereas zirconium has been known to fracture. For those who clench or grind, titanium is a much better option.
Beyond the distinct differences between titanium (non-ceramic) and zirconium (ceramic), most dental implants today are titanium.
For patients who may have metal sensitivities, the zirconium implant is a viable option, as long as the pros and cons are understood. This is where a consumer needs to be well informed.
Understanding the upsides and downsides of any dental procedure will make for better decision-making, and consequently better post-surgery outcomes.
Whatever the implant preference, surgery should be performed by a trained implant specialist. While proficiency is a requisite for treatment success with any dental procedure, this is especially true with dental implants. At the Mackenzie Dental Centre, dentist Dr. Lloyd Pedvis is trained and qualified in dental implantation. Dr. Pedvis employs state-of-the-art dental technology along with the most advanced treatment protocols. Patient health is always at the forefront.
Titanium dental implants have proven to be sustainable for many patients. And while there is no substitute for natural teeth, these types of dental procedures allow patients to gain back every characteristic of full dental health – from chewing, to biting, to eating. In general, the Mackenzie Dental Centre encourages patients to take a preventive approach to oral health, with a focus on early diagnosis and early treatment – it’s the best way to ensure long-term success.
Dr. Pedvis at the Mackenzie Dental Centre uses only top quality titanium dental implants and has been performing implant procedures for over 25 years. Contact us today to get started and have the smile you want!