Innovative Brookline practice discusses the benefits of zirconium implants
Search for “dental implants” and you get more than 10 million results. Many of these results explore the advantages of a dental implant-supported tooth versus traditional tooth replacement options like dentures.
These sources refer to the implant as a titanium post designed to serve as a new tooth root. You may think implants are only made from titanium. This lightweight yet durable material has many applications in the medical world. Medical-grade titanium is non-toxic and has the ability to fuse to the bone. As it relates to dentistry, the implant will naturally fuse with the underlying bone in a process called “osseointegration.”
As a practice built on the best techniques and materials that modern dentistry has to offer, Alpha Plus Dental Center patients benefit from another type of dental implant: zirconium.
What is zirconium?
Zirconium implants are also known as “non-metal” or “metal-free” implants. Zirconium is ceramic. Titanium is a metal. As a metal, titanium corrodes. When this process occurs, particles are released into the body. Some patients may be allergic to this metal. The body’s response can result in a wide range of symptoms such as:
- Mouth tingling or burning
- Skin rashes
- Muscle pain
- Chronic fatigue
As it relates to dental implants, titanium allergies can cause failure of the implant.
As a ceramic material, zirconium does not contain any metals. There is no threat of corrosion. Zirconium is an alternative option for those patients who would not be suitable candidates for titanium implants due to metal allergies.
Ceramic is also more aesthetically pleasing than metal. While titanium is gray, zirconium is tooth-colored. Even though the implant is placed under the gumline, the zirconium blends with the color of the soft tissues (even in patients with thin gums).
Furthermore, since titanium is gray the implant may need to be placed deeper into the tissue to camouflage the metal color.
Ceramics also promote the health of soft tissues and are generally easier to clean than titanium-based implants. Titanium implants are also associated with the accumulation of bacteria, which can lead to another source of implant failures: peri-implantitis. This condition causes inflammation in the gums and bone around the implant.
The Zirkolith® implants used by Alpha Plus Dental Center have a 98 percent success rate. Built-in surface technology allows superior osseointegration, and the design promotes mechanical strength and stability.
To find out more about the benefits of zirconium implants, schedule an appointment in Brookline with Dr. Kovtun. Call (617) 277-6360.