Ceramic Dental Implants (Update)
Recently, we’ve noticed a demand for “metal-free” dentistry and metal-free implants. Our patients have asked about tooth replacement options that do not involve metal. For single and multi-tooth replacement, implants are an ideal option because it does not involve compromising the adjacent teeth and will act and feel like one’s own tooth. Titanium implants have been the standard, but ceramic implants are an alternative option. Ceramic implants have gained popularity in holistic dentistry and in Europe.
What are ceramic implants made out of?
Ceramic implants are white in color and is made out of Zirconium Oxide. Zirconium oxide is referred to as Zirconia. Zirconia is a ceramic and non-metal material. It is not to be confused with Zirconium, which is a metal (a chemical element with atomic number 40 on the periodic table of elements; symbol is Zr) that is resistant to corrosion and has properties similar to steel.
The Zirconia (ZrO2) ceramic is obtained through the Kroll process. It uses reductive chlorination to obtain zirconium oxide powder, which no longer contains any metal properties and is considered a ceramic. This white powder is used as a pigment in white paints and abrasives. Dental zirconia uses the addition of Yttrium (Y) to stabilize the molecular structure of Zirconia.
We prefer to refer to ceramic dental implants as “non-metallic implants” rather than “metal-free” implants. Zirconia is derived from a metal (Zirconium), but does not have any metal properties.
What are the benefits of a zirconia implant?
- Non-metallic implant
- It is white in color – this is preferable in patients with thin gingival tissue in the esthetic area
- Biocompatible – easily tolerated by the body and has excellent soft tissue interaction
- Safe to use – approved by the FDA
Which implant companies do you use?
We use the CeraRoot and Z-Systems brands. Z-Systems has an implant that comes in two pieces (implant is separate from the abutment), which reduce the chance of having to remove the entire implant should the abutment fracture.
Each patient's case is different and some patients may not be a good candidate for zirconia implants. At Yeo Family Dental Group, we evaluate each patient for implant surgery and go over all tooth replacement options. Call us at (310)822-8481 to schedule a consultation to see if a ceramic implant would be right for you.