Improving Your Dental Care

4 Facts You Should Know About Zirconia Dental Implants

Dental implants allow oral surgeons to replace missing teeth with high-quality prostheses. Traditionally, dental implants are made from biocompatible metals such as titanium. However, there is a metal-free alternative available. Some patients choose dental implants made from zirconia. If you think you might prefer metal-free implants, here are four facts you should know about zirconia dental implants.

1. Zirconia is a type of ceramic.

Zirconia is a type of ceramic used in dentistry. It is made from zirconium dioxide and frequently used to create dental crowns and other forms of visible dental hardware. In its crystal form, zirconia is used as an alternative to diamonds. This application is a good indicator of how hard and durable zirconia is. Zirconia implants contain no metal, which means it can be used even by patients with severe metal allergies.

2. Zirconia implants may heal faster.

Zirconia implants may heal faster than titanium implants. Zirconia is highly biocompatible, which means the human body readily accepts it. High biocompatibility means your implant is less likely to fail, which can be a painful and expensive experience. The fast healing rate enabled by zirconia implants means you can progress through the stages of the implant procedure faster, allowing you to get back to your life with less downtime.

3. Zirconia implants are tooth-colored.

Since zirconia is made from ceramic material, it's a white color that looks similar to tooth enamel. Most of your dental implant will be hidden deep below the surface of gums. However, some patients find that a small portion of their dental implant is visible at the gum line, below their prosthesis. Tooth-colored zirconia implants will be completely invisible. They will blend in with your natural teeth so well that no one will ever guess you have a dental implant.

4. Zirconia implants may come in one or two pieces.

The most common form of implant surgery involves at least two procedures. After the first implant procedure, the patient's body is left undisturbed to heal for several weeks before the prosthesis is placed atop the implant. One-day implant procedures are completed in a single appointment. Zirconia dental implants lend themselves well to both types of procedures. Zirconia implants manufactured as a single piece include both an implant and prosthesis. This type of implant must be installed in a single appointment. Zirconia implants that come in two pieces can be installed using the traditional technique.

To learn more about dental implants, talk to a dentist.