What is the Best Material for Dental Implants?

What is the Best Material for Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the strongest, longest-lasting option for tooth replacement, but not all dental implants are the same. Some implants are designed to replace a single tooth from crown to root, while others serve as anchors for an entire arch of replacement teeth. But there is another key difference between dental implants to consider when researching restoration options: the material they are made with. 

Dental implants are traditionally made with titanium screws and abutments and topped with a porcelain crown, but implants made of zirconia are becoming increasingly popular. Here’s a brief guide to the two options to help you decide which is best for you.

Titanium dental implants in San Diego

Dental implants have been in use since the 1960s, and their long-term popularity and success is largely dependent on using titanium as the primary material. Titanium is biocompatible, which means it easily allows bone material to fuse with it in a process called osseointegration. This fusion ensures the implant will stay in place and serve as a strong, durable anchor for the prosthetic tooth or teeth for decades. Benefits of titanium dental implants include:

  • Strong and resistant to cracks and fractures
  • Separate screw and abutment pieces allow for easier and more accurate placement
  • Best choice for All-on-4 implant anchors or dental implant bridges

Zirconia dental implants in San Diego

Zirconia dental implants are also known as ceramic dental implants, because zirconia is a type of ceramic material. Dental implants made of zirconia are just as biocompatible as titanium implants, and there is virtually no difference between the two materials when it comes to bone-fusing success and recovery times. The main difference is that zirconia implants are made of two pieces: a combined screw and abutment, along with the crown on top. A higher level of skill is usually required to place zirconia implants, and they are more prone to cracking or fracturing. However, there are several benefits to zirconia implants, including:

  • A good alternative for patients with allergies to metals
  • Lower plaque accumulation around the implant
  • Resists corrosion

Which material is best for you?

If you’re still not sure which material to choose for you dental implants, here are some more factors to consider:

  • Budget: Zirconia implants are more expensive than titanium due to the precise manufacturing requirements.
  • Number of missing teeth: Zirconia implants are designed to replace a single tooth, so if you have more than one missing tooth titanium is usually the better choice. 
  • Aesthetics: In some cases titanium screws can be seen through the gums, but zirconia implants are nearly indistinguishable from natural teeth.
  • Bruxism: If you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), titanium implants may be the better choice because they are less prone to fracture due to grinding forces.
  • Allergies: Allergies to titanium are extremely rare, but since titanium implants are usually made with a small percentage of metal alloys, people with metal allergies typically opt for zirconia implants.

Titanium or zirconia implants in San Diego

If you want to restore your full, bright smile with dental implants but you’re not sure which type to choose, the dental implant dentist Dr.Hage at Smile Designers can answer all your questions and help you pick the right dental restoration option for you. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at (619) 222-6000.