Dental implants have become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional dentures, especially for the 35 million Americans who are missing all of their teeth in one or both jaws, according to recent statistics from the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Although titanium dental implants have been the standard for many years, a growing number of implants are being made out of ceramic material. Both materials have their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks to consider.
Pros and Cons for Titanium Dental Implants
Titanium dental implants are a known quantity throughout the dentistry world. Prior to the introduction of ceramic implants, titanium was the go-to material for most dental implant work. There are several advantages that titanium dental implants offer over their ceramic counterparts:
- Titanium implant abutments are resistant to fractures and other failures that could damage or destroy one-piece ceramic implants.
- In most cases, titanium implants are more affordable than their ceramic counterparts, especially when compared to one-piece ceramic implants.
- Two-piece titanium implants allow for minute adjustments that can improve overall appearance and fit.
However, there are a few downsides to titanium dental implants. Like most metals, titanium is vulnerable to galvanic corrosion. There have been a few cases where patients have developed oral galvanism due to the interactions of saliva and pulp fluid tissue with the titanium metal. Some patients may also develop an allergy to titanium, making ceramic dental implants the only alternative in many cases.
The two-piece design of the titanium implant also poses a couple of issues:
- The implant has to be installed deep within the gum to keep the gray-colored metal out of sight.
- Bacteria-laden fluids can penetrate the microscopic gap between the implant and abutment, producing strong breath odors while promoting corrosion.
Pros and Cons for Ceramic Dental Implants
Ceramic dental implants are relatively new addition to the world of implant dentistry. Also known as "zirconium" or "zirconia" dental implants, ceramic implants offer a number of advantages over traditional titanium implants:
- Patients usually prefer the appearance of all-white ceramic implants, as there are no concerns about any grey metal showing through the gum line.
- Ceramic implants come available in a one-piece design, eliminating the microscopic gap that often allows bacteria to enter and breed uninhibited.
- Ceramic implants offer high bio-compatibility. In other words, the surrounding bone and tissue happy coexist with ceramic material, resulting in fewer allergic reactions.
Ceramic dental implants do have a couple of drawbacks, however. For starters, ceramic implants tend to be more expensive than as there titanium counterparts. In addition, one-piece ceramic implants are more prone to stress fractures caused by bruxism and other forms of dental trauma.
For more information about which dental implants are right for you, talk to a dentist like those at the Dental Services Of Rochester.