Dental implants have proved to be a perfect way to replace missing teeth due to congenital defects, disease, or trauma. Unlike dentures, implants are permanent and function the same as natural teeth. With dental implants, you will be able to enjoy your regular meals, laugh, and talk without any discomfort.
Moreover, dental implants are strong and durable, with some even lasting a lifetime. Unlike removable dentures, implants prevent further deterioration of the jawbone because they create the same force and stimulation as natural teeth. As modern dentistry continues to advance, new and more effective dental implants continue to emerge.
Dental implant materials are also advancing, with dentists using different technologies to modify implant surfaces to make them more biocompatible. Here are the common materials used to create dental implants.
For centuries, dentists have been using titanium to create dental implants. Its success is credited to its outstanding biocompatibility due to its ability to form a stable oxide layer on the surface. Titanium is classified into four grades, with grade 4 having the highest oxygen content. The other difference between the four grades is the number of contaminants present. These contaminants include iron, aluminum, and vanadium. They are added to the implants to make them strong and corrosion-resistant.
Dentists prefer to use titanium for intraosseous applications because of its high passivity, rapid formation, measured thickness, ability to mend itself when damaged, resistance against chemical attacks, catalytic activity for various chemical reactions compatibility with the bone. The only drawback with titanium is that it causes dark color around the gum.
Although they are not as popular as titanium, ceramics are known for their passive behavior and excellent strength. They also have outstanding physical properties, including the least thermal and electrical conductivity. In terms of aesthetic appeal, ceramics are the best. However, they have low elasticity and fragility, which makes them less popular among dentists.
Zirconia is a synthesized ceramic material that belongs to the same category as titanium. It is considered to be the only viable metal-free alternative to titanium. Dentists love it because it is more biocompatible, aesthetically appealing, and offers less plaque accumulation resulting in better soft tissue management.
Also known as Straumann roxolid, titanium-zirconium alloy has several amazing mechanical traits, including better elongation and fatigue resistance. It has proved to be 50 times stronger than pure titanium. However, this alloy’s titanium components make it less popular among patients with metal allergies and sensitivities.