Which is better, titanium or zirconia implants?
Which is better, titanium or zirconia implants?
There are many things to consider when replacing damaged or lost teeth. Dental implant placement is one of the most popular methods in modern dentistry. For most patients, implant placement is a major step toward maintaining oral health.
But there are still many choices for this. One of these choices is the material of the dental implant, which can be selected from titanium or zirconia.
Zirconia dental implants
Dental implants are artificial prostheses that replace the root of the tooth, which is placed inside the jawbone to hold the artificial crown (tooth veneer) in place. Zirconia implants are newer than titanium implants and have not been used for a long time.
Titanium implants have been used since the 1960s, while zirconia implants have been used in the United States since 2007.
Both of these substances are biocompatible and their success rate is similar in terms of bone fusion (the process of bone integration). In the process of bone integration, bone grows around the implant and fuses with the surface of the implant.
This step is very important because if it is not done properly, the implant treatment will fail. Most zirconia implants are currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Therefore, this type of artificial tooth root is reliable. In the design of most types of zirconia implants, the screw-shaped base and abutment (the interface between the implant and the crown of the tooth) are assembled and presented as a single piece, while in the titanium implant, the screw-base and abutment are two separate pieces that are inside each other.
They turn. The advantage of separating the two parts is that the dentist has more control over the implant and its position, but the problem is that there is a possibility of error or loosening of the screw in this design.
Is zirconia implant free of metal?
Zirconia is known to resemble diamonds. This crystalline material changes slightly when used in dental implants to match the color of the tooth. Zirconia is the crystalline form of the metal that mediates zirconium, and the zirconia implant is often referred to as the metal-free implant because when it works on zirconium, it stabilizes and becomes crystalline. Zirconia is actually zirconium oxide.
Some patients prefer to use non-metallic implants due to the possibility of allergic reactions to metal, so for these people, zirconia implants are suitable.
Titanium tooth implants
Titanium has been used in the medical industry for many years. In addition to dentistry, titanium is commonly used to replace femurs and knees. Titanium is a strong, light and non-toxic metal that is resistant to corrosion. The success rate of titanium dental implants is about 95%. Many people who have had titanium implants for years have used them for more than 30 years.
But in the case of zirconia implants, there is still no long-term data to assess its long-term success. On the other hand, the design and models of zirconia are changing. For example, when implanting zirconia implants, some dentists use a one-piece design and others prefer a two-piece design. Therefore, there are no definite results on the success of this treatment.
Allergy to dental implants
The risk of allergy to titanium implants is very low and there is no evidence of allergy to zirconia. Titanium implants are usually made of titanium alloy, which is a combination of several metals, including small amounts of aluminum, vanadium and nickel.
Few people describe an allergy to titanium implants, which is usually due to the nickel in it. People with a history of metal allergies should get a Melissa allergy test before having a titanium implant.
Safety of using zirconia and titanium inside the jawbone
Both types of implants are biocompatible. Therefore, the human body does not reject it and does not consider it toxic. Some trace elements of the titanium implant alloy may be present in the bloodstream, but extensive research over the past 50 years has shown no adverse reactions or effects. The only exception is metal allergy. Zirconia, like titanium, is biocompatible and is very unlikely to be allergic to particles that do not enter the bloodstream.
Implantation of dental implants, regardless of their sex, carries a risk of infection during the time it takes for the tissues to heal. There are arguments that implants with a two-piece design increase the chances of bacteria penetrating and hiding, while a one-piece implant also requires tooth glue so bacteria may accumulate and function. Therefore, it is not possible to say which one is better than the other in terms of the probability of plaque accumulation.
Can both types of implants be used to replace all teeth?
Titanium implants are a better option if you want to replace all the teeth in a dental arch. Because this type of implant has a two-piece design, the dentist is free to make minor changes to the abutment angle.
Therefore, the curvature of the smile line and the byte (contact of the upper and lower teeth with each other) are designed more naturally. In the case of a one-piece zirconia implant, it is more difficult to create the desired angle because the abutment is fixed and the dentist cannot place it in the desired position.
Titanium implants are better or zirconia
To answer this question, we need to compare some of their important features.
Zirconia implants cost more to make than implants, so you will have to pay more for implanting zirconia implants. Keep in mind that this is only part of the case and the cost to the patient is not just about the implant itself.
You should also add the costs of consulting, photography, digital programming, materials used, surgery and subsequent care and referrals to the cost of the implant.
2- Implant fusion to bone and soft tissue healing
Both zirconia and titanium implants are biocompatible and blend well with bone and gums. Titanium implants often last more than 20 years, but the lifespan of zirconia implants is still under consideration.
Older types of zirconia implants fractured, but manufacturers fixed the problem. On the other hand, advertisements such as scaring patients from electric shock or piezoelectric titanium implants in the presence of another metal in the mouth, made more people apply for zirconia implants. But these allegations and concerns have not been substantiated and there is still no evidence to support them.
3- Ease of treatment
The process of implanting titanium implants is the standard treatment for replacing missing teeth and is a good alternative to dentures. Dental implant placement time is very common and easy to do. The side effects of this treatment are very small and if the density is sufficient and the bone health condition is suitable, there will be no problem.
Research has shown that successful implantation of zirconia implants during surgery is a little more challenging. Most zirconia implants are one-piece, meaning the implant and abutment are placed together.
This way, the implant cannot be hidden under the gums or its angle can not be adjusted. Sometimes, due to differences in bone density or tooth profile, the implant must be placed at a certain angle to get a better result.
Newer models of zirconia implants are two-piece to solve this problem and make them easier to insert. However, these types of zirconia implants have not yet been extensively tested.
For most patients, the beauty of the teeth is very important. Titanium implants have good aesthetic results, but some people are concerned that the lower metal part of the implant may be exposed due to the receding gums. In this way, a metal line is seen at the base of the tooth.
This also happens if the gums and bones are thin. To prevent this problem, ceramic abutment can be used so that it does not have a metal ring. On the other hand, zirconia implants are better known and due to their white color, despite the back of the gums or its thinness, the beauty of the teeth is not compromised.
5- Strength and resistance
Titanium implants are very strong and durable, and their flexibility and fracture properties are very good. Zirconia has less flexibility, so it may cause microscopic fractures, but overall this type of dental implant is also very hard and strong.