Types of Materials Used in Dental Implants

Dental implants use two types of materials: titanium and zirconia. These types of materials are often preferred because it is biocompatible and works with most patients. These types of materials are also strong and can last for almost a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Titanium is often the most preferred dental implant material because of its strength and durability. Zirconia is a new type of implant material that has a zero-corrosion rate and is thermally inductive.

However, what is the composition of a dental implant? Let’s examine the components of the top dental implant materials now being used in implant dentistry.

What is The Most Common Dental Implant Materials?

The most common dental implant material is titanium. Titanium is strong and durable – which is a primary requirement for a dental implant material. However, it is not just titanium that is being used as an implant material today. Thanks to the advancement of modern technology, dental implants today can be made of various materials. Extensive clinical study has been conducted on these materials, with a focus on the physical and chemical qualities that affect their clinical applications. The following are the most frequently utilized dental implant materials today:

What are the Advantages of Titanium?

Titanium has been regarded as the most preferred dental implant material. Researchers demonstrate that titanium metal implants to aid in proper bone growth because when they are placed in contact with the bone and remain undisturbed, the bone grows adjacent to them. This contributes to the development of a lasting connection to the bone. It may be commercially pure or an alloy. Commercially pure titanium typically contains trace components such as iron, nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon, which enhances the material’s mechanical properties while titanium alloys are composed of aluminum and vanadium. The most often used titanium alloy contains 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium and is heat-treated to increase its strength, resulting in a low-density material that is corrosion and fatigue resistant.

The following are just a handful of the reasons titanium dental implants are so highly regarded:

    1. Durability and Longevity
      Titanium has the best strength-to-density ratio of any metallic element, making it a perfect material for something as vital as your new dental implant. Additionally, titanium is employed in a variety of other applications, including orthopedics, aviation, armor plating, naval ships, and spacecraft.
    2. MRI and X-ray Compatible
      Since magnets cannot attract metal, patients with titanium implants can undergo x-rays and MRIs securely.
    3. Appropriate for Bone Implantation (Osseointegration)
      One of titanium’s major advantages is its exceptional ability to fuse with the bone. Titanium is also employed in a variety of orthopedic implant applications.

There have been some concerns about titanium sensitivity, which may be related to implant surface corrosion, however, the majority of the literature is focused on orthopedic implants. Although there is limited evidence of titanium allergies, some individuals may have a sensitivity or allergic reaction to other metals used in alloys. Also, some people want to have no metal in their bodies. In terms of reactions, titanium may produce hypersensitivity in some patients, which may contribute to implant failure. Titanium implant failure due to fracture is uncommon, and possible causes include the implant design or a manufacturing error, or a framework that is not passively fitted.


What are the Advantages of Zirconia?

In comparison to titanium, zirconia is a relatively new material that is regarded to have a bright future as a dental implant material. Though it is a relatively new material, zirconia dental implant material is already gaining favor.

Zirconia is a substance that integrates as well as titanium with bone, and its use alleviates patient concerns about metal allergies or sensitivities. The potential benefits of zirconium include a zero-corrosion rate and the elimination of metal showing through the gums or becoming exposed as a result of gum or bone recession. While zirconium is similarly thermally inductive, it is unclear whether a human would sense thermal conductivity from a titanium implant. Because zirconium has been in use for a relatively limited amount of time, its lifespan is unknown, and little is known about how it integrates into the bone.

Zirconium implants are manufactured as a single piece that incorporates the post and abutment, leaving little space for error. Healing may be more challenging because the implant cannot be buried behind the gum tissue and any movement may obstruct Osseointegration. The implant must be surgically inserted in the proper location and angle, with sufficient bone volume. Where bone volume is less than optimum, it is frequently viable to insert a titanium implant and a bone graft concurrently—an operation that would be riskier with a zirconium implant. Zirconium implants, particularly those with a smaller diameter, may not be the ideal choice for individuals with a high level of function due to their proclivity for fracture.

Are Titanium Dental Implants Better Than Zirconia Dental Implants?

As previously stated, titanium and zirconia are the two most common dental implant materials today. Below is a comparison of the two implant materials:

  • Titanium has been evaluated and found to be highly successful in medical and dental procedures. Its versatility distinguishes it from zirconia. Titanium has long been the metal of choice for all types of bone and plate implants and it has benefited millions of patients.
  • Titanium dental implant materials and designs allow for the creation of a two-piece system—a separate abutment that sits above the implant and connects to the replacement tooth and a surgically implanted post. The two-piece technique enables the creation of a customized implant to address low bone density. This means that even if you are experiencing bone loss, you can still have a lovely smile. On the other hand, zirconia is not capable of this and is made in a single piece. Although zirconia dental implants can only merge the post and abutment into a single unit, they can significantly lower the risk of germs infecting the gum.
  • Titanium implants are typically composed of two components: an implant screw that replaces the tooth root and an abutment that connects the screw to the crown. Each component of this two-piece system can be implanted independently, titanium implants can be placed deeply into the bone. Typically, these components are placed in different dental appointments. Zirconia implants, on the other hand, are typically made as a single piece. This enables the treatment to be performed in a single session. However, zirconia implant placement can be more difficult.
  • Titanium is also regarded as the greatest dental implant material due to its biocompatibility with the human body and ability to merge with the human bone. On the other hand, zirconia dental implant materials and their ceramic material designs have not garnered widespread acceptance due to their recent introduction. Thus, unlike titanium dental implant materials, it has not yet been subjected to numerous testing.

Each of these two dental implant materials has its distinct advantages and disadvantages. Your implant dentist will advise you on the best material to utilize based on your specific needs.

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