Is your uncertainty regarding the best material for dental implants keeping you away from your picture-perfect smile?
We would all agree that having good teeth is indispensable for having a good life. Proper teeth make us look presentable, ensure clear speech, help in maintaining oral hygiene, and above all, allow us to enjoy the food we like.
Losing teeth should not stop us from doing the above things, and that’s why dental implants are important. However, the hard part is not deciding to get a dental implant but choosing which would be the right one for you.
Through this piece, let us make it easier for you. We have compiled a comparative analysis of titanium dental implants and ceramic implants and highlighted the benefits and challenges. By carefully evaluating the features of either dental implants against your preferences, you can make a sound choice.
Let’s begin with the basics.
When Do You Need Dental Implants?
Regardless of the reason, when one loses teeth, the need to replace them with an artificial filling is grave, to prevent it from turning into something worse. One of the most durable and reliable ways of restoring your smile; dental implants are considered to be far better alternatives to dentures and bridges.
Dental implants are particularly the right way to go when you:
- Have missing tooth/ teeth.
- Have a bone structure that can support graft/ implants.
- Have a fully grown jawbone.
- Have healthy oral tissues.
- Don’t suffer from conditions that may affect bone adjustment and healing.
- Are committed to restoring your smile and confidence.
The above cases naturally apply to those who choose to go against the choice of dentures. The dental implant procedure involves an oral surgery wherein the lower part, or the screw of the implant is inserted into the gum. It acts as the root that holds the upper portion, or the crown securely in place.
Ceramic vs. Titanium Implants
When you consult an orthodontist for dental implants, you will most likely be bombarded with multiple options in the material used. However, there are essentially two broad types of implants — Metal and Ceramics — under which different materials fall.
Metal implants can be classified as follows:
- CP Titanium and Ti-6Al-4v alloys
- Cobalt alloys
Ceramic implants can be classified as follows:
- Inert Ceramics (Aluminia, Carbon, Zirconia)
- Bioactive ceramics (Bioactive glasses, Calcium Phosphates)
The variety in the material is not to confuse the user, but to offer greater flexibility of choice. Different materials have their unique features and pitfalls. Depending on your specific condition and preferences, you can choose the right material for you.
Of these, the most popular choice for being durable, affordable, and low maintenance are the Titanium tooth implants and Zirconia ceramic implants.
Ceramic Dental Implants
Ceramic implants are a one-piece replacement for the tooth. The most popular kind is called Zirconia implants owing to its base material called zirconium oxide. Ceramics mark an evolution in implantology and have been popularized only a little over a decade ago. These are preferred for their natural look and metal-free composition.
Benefits of Ceramic Implants
- The ceramic material is the closest replacement to a natural tooth. This makes it easier to integrate into the jawbone.
- Ceramic implants show a lower affinity towards attracting and retaining plague or other bacteria as compared to their titanium counterpart.
- Due to the toothy color, the implants appear better on the aesthetic side, especially in patients with thin gum tissues.
- An entire insertion surgery for a new implant is needed in case of damage to the crown because of its single-piece construct.
- The manufacturing and time-consuming installation make ceramic implants more expensive.
- More susceptible to cracks and fractures.
In titanium implants, the crown and the screw are two separate pieces. Once the screw is installed and stabilized in the jaw, the crown part, or tooth replacement is attached later.
Titanium implants are preferred for their strength, resistance, and easy to correct options. Another important factor that works in its favor is that titanium implants have been known to mankind since 1965 and you will find substantially more experts in this area. This has provided for greater research and expertise in the pros, cons, dos, and don’ts for titanium implants.
Benefits of Titanium Implants
- Titanium implants are known to be stronger and more resistant to forces which means minimized chances of implant fracture.
- The two-piece construct makes it convenient in case a replacement of the crown is needed.
- These implants offer greater flexibility of placement of a crown over the screw, thereby making the jaw look more natural.
- The metallic, grey color beneath the gums is noticeable.
- In rare cases, corrosion of the implant may cause the titanium alloy to react with ions deposited in the gum tissue that can lead to inflammation and subsequent bone loss.
Which Implant Is Safer?
Technically, both ceramic and titanium implants are safe, and FDA approved. Both, the material and procedure are reliable, settle well with the bone structure, minimally reactive, and lasting. On one hand, titanium resists fractures, are better researched and practiced by dental professionals, and on the other, no case of allergy to ceramics have been reported yet. This makes both of them safe to a great extent but with certain limitations.
So, for people with metal allergies, ceramic implants will be a safer option. However, for people that are habituated to grinding their teeth or biting into hard nutty foodstuff, titanium implants would be a safer option.
Which Is Better: Ceramic vs Titanium Implants
In a nutshell, you need not worry about the benefits, durability, and safety of either of the implants. Both are known to easily last for about 20 years and can merge well with a mature bone structure.
However, for patients who are very particular about their appearance, care, and maintenance, and can spend more on their dental care, Ceramic dental implants would be a better option. And patients that prefer a one-time affordable investment, are more interested in the strength than in the aesthetics, should definitely go for the titanium one.