Ceramic Dental Implants
Dental implants come with a variety of options, including the number of teeth being replaced, the prosthetic being attached, in size, and in material. The traditional implant is made from a titanium metal which is strong, durable and lightweight, but for patients with sensitivities, there are alternatives. At A Smiling Heart Dentistry, we offer ceramic dental implants using zirconia. We value your health, and understand that there is never one answer for everyone. If you have concerns about metals in your body, ceramic dental implants might be the answer you're looking for.
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. We use them to rebuild the base, or tooth root, reestablishing the connection with the jaw bone. Ceramic implants can be placed as a single unit or as two separate pieces. The advantage of a single unit is having the complete tooth restoration completed in one day. The advantage of two separate pieces is being able to change the prosthetic device being attached, it can be a single crown or part of a bridge or denture system. Following your examination, we can review your options with you specific to your case, and based on our future predictions.
Zirconia is the ceramic of choice in dental prosthetics including dental implants. It offers a strong, superior advantage over other ceramic products. Zirconium oxide implants provide our patients with an implant that is:
||Metal Free: Zirconium is considered metal free. To be clear, zirconia does contain metal atoms, but it's not considered a metal because it's an unreactive ceramic. Zirconia is as metal free as your own natural teeth. This is ideal for patients with metal allergies or sensitivities.
Biocompatible: Zirconia is biocompatible with our living tissue, meaning our body is willing to incorporate it and not react negatively to it. Studies show that zirconia combines both the unreactive biocompatible attributes of ceramic while maintaining the high strength of titanium.
Healthier: Zirconia has been found to be a healthier option for patients because the material seems to resist plaque and tartar buildup or adhesion. This helps keep the gum tissue healthier around the implant.
Light in Color: A common concern for many patients is the dark coloring of titanium implants, particularly if their gum tissue is thin, or if the implant is one of the front more visible teeth. The light coloring of a ceramic implant makes it less noticeable under the gum tissue.
Surgical Placement of you Ceramic Implant
Placing your ceramic dental implant is a minimally invasive procedure that is appropriate for most patients. This includes patients who are more medically delicate, as long as they are able to heal at an average rate. There are situations when we need to work with a patient or their physician to increase proper healing before surgery can take place. Be sure to make our staff aware of all medications you are taking, even if it seems irrelevant. Being able to heal properly is important to the success of treatment.
A significant portion of the work is done in the preparation prior to surgery. We will want to take a detailed digital x-ray of the area to determine bone mass availability and to create a precise treatment map. Frequently, patients require a bone graft prior to implant placement to bulk up the bone. We may also need to treat the gum tissue if disease is present. Once the area is prepared we can proceed.
On the day of surgery, we will take measures to ensure your comfort. We offer a range of conscious anesthetics to relieve pain which we can discuss prior to treatment. The surgery itself involves opening the tissue to reveal the bone. We then use a specialized dental drill to create the needed space. The implant is placed into the jawbone and the tissue is then sutured closed around the implant. The real work now begins. Your soft tissue should heal quickly, within a few days, but the bone takes longer. As the bone heals over the next several months, it will grow over the threaded portion of the implant fusing the two together. This process is known as osseointegration, or integrating with the bone. Once healed, the implant and bone are solidly together.