Are you missing one or more teeth due to injury, gum disease, or decay? Have you considered getting a dental implant to restore your smile to its original luster?
Not only do missing teeth affect your appearance, but they can also make eating uncomfortable and lead to bone loss. For this reason, we recommend dental implant surgery to rejuvenate our patients’ smiles and prevent further deterioration of the mouth and gums.
Today’s ceramic zirconia dental implants are stronger and better than ever, and they also look completely natural. This advancement is thanks to the availability of zirconia implants, which originated in Europe and recently became available in the US. They are quickly becoming the preferred material for patients and dentists alike due to their safety, effectiveness, and appearance. Thanks to San Diego Wellness Dentistry, they are now available at a dental practice in San Diego from a biological dentist with decades of expertise in this cosmetic dentistry procedure.
What are Zirconia Implants (Ceramic Implants)?
First, let’s discuss what an implant is. Dental implants are structures that connect a dental prosthetic such as a crown, bridge, or denture to the bone. They function as a tooth’s root, and they look like a small post. Once they’ve been fitted, the dentist installs the dental prosthetic over the implant.
Implants are widely favored over dentures because they provide a natural fit and allow the patient to retain normal tooth function. Dentures, on the other hand, simply rest on the gum line and attach to the jaw via an adhesive. The dental implant field has advanced rapidly, and the last ten years have seen dramatic improvements. Zirconia implants have been instrumental in providing patients with a superior experience.
Zirconia implants are made from zirconia oxide, a ceramic-type material that has a creamy white hue that blends well with a patient’s natural tooth color. As the name implies, the zirconia used in dentistry is similar to cubic zirconia, the material used in costume jewelry, that looks and feels like a real diamond.
Previous to the year 2000, dentists used a variety of materials for dental implants, with titanium being a top choice. It’s strong, lightweight and is still widely used today. However, to make it strong enough to function as a dental implant, it has nickel added to it. This can be problematic, as the CDC estimates that up to 20% of the population has a nickel allergy.
As a holistic dentist, Dr. Parsi appreciates that zirconia is a naturally occurring biocompatible material. This means that it won’t react with the patient’s biological systems, making it readily accepted by the gum and mouth tissue. This is key because the body won’t reject the implant or attack it with an immune response.
Zirconia is also incredibly hard and doesn’t require the addition of metals like nickel to fortify it. In fact, zirconia is fondly nicknamed, “ceramic steel.”
Advantages of a Holistic Natural Dentistry Approach to Ceramic Dental Implant Procedure
Though titanium is shown to react well with the body, it’s not classified as biocompatible, so it carries some risk of rejection. Zirconia, on the other hand, is ceramic and metal-free. One of the reasons it’s so crucial to choose a non-metal option is that the body may not reject an implant placement that’s not biocompatible right away. There is also the potential for faster healing and osseointegration.
As a result, the patient could experience implant failure months or years after surgery, requiring removal and another implant.
Patients with auto-immune conditions such as Crohn’s Disease or lupus should take extra precautions when it comes to choosing implant material like titanium and should opt for a metal-free ceramic replacement like zirconia since ceramic implants are made specifically to cater to patients with such conditions.
Zirconia is a neutral material and won’t cause allergies. Metals, however, can trigger a reaction. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include redness, itchiness, inflammation, and even bone loss.
As people become more health-conscious, they rightfully express concern about having metal in their mouths. Metals like mercury have been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. Though titanium and other metal implants don’t use mercury, patients who once upon a time had mercury fillings often wonder if new information will come to light about the dangers of other metals in the mouth. It’s no wonder that many patients opt to use ceramic for teeth replacement.
It’s also important to note that metal conducts electricity and heat, while zirconia and ceramics do not. Granted, feeling discomfort from an electrical current or feeling excess heat in your mouth are rare occurrences, but they can happen, especially among sensitive populations.
Further, the conductivity of metal can attract bacteria and serve as an ideal breeding ground. This can make oral hygiene more difficult to maintain, resulting in infections, gum disease, and bad breath.
Zirconia is a very strong material. Patients appreciate that it simulates the natural tooth perfectly, allowing them to enjoy their food without the worry of shifting or breakage.
Both titanium and zirconia resist corrosion. However, the metals that fortify traditional metal implants are not immune. Therefore, titanium will corrode over time, while zirconia implants can be expected to last for many many years. Zirconium dental implants have been successfully used in Europe for decades.
Titanium implants can house more plaque, mostly because of the bacteria buildup from the added metal alloys. Zirconia, on the other hand, attracts less plaque, making it easier to maintain your oral health and prevent jawbone (jaw bone) inflammation.
Because zirconia implants are tooth-colored, the posts won’t show through with any gray as a titanium implant would. This provides a more natural look and tooth-like color. No one will know you’ve had dental implants!
Zirconia Dental Implant Cost
In Dr. Parsi’s office, we don’t charge more for zirconia implants. Your insurance may cover the bulk of the implant, especially if the patient has been tested for metal allergies and received a positive result.
At San Diego Wellness Dentistry, your implant specialist, Dr. Parsi, will work with you to make sure you get the maximum amount of insurance benefits allowed by your plan to keep your costs as low as possible without any unnecessary fees or expenses.
It’s also important to consider that not getting an implant when it’s needed can further degrade the health of your mouth and affect other teeth. By addressing an issue as soon as it becomes necessary, you can help save further expenses down the road.
Are Ceramic Zirconium Implants Right for You?
Would you like to find out if zirconium implants are right for you? Schedule a free surgical consultation with our office today and let’s discuss how to get you the best results possible from your dental implant procedure options. Whether it be replacing a single tooth or full mouth reconstruction, we’re here to help with these types of advanced dental procedures.
Call us today to schedule an appointment.