I admit it, for most patients, surgery can be daunting, and surgery in the mouth actually seems pretty scary. It’s natural to do as much research as possible to find the best option if you need to surgically replace a tooth. There are so many choices out there and so much information, it can be overwhelming. There are bridges, dentures, and implants and a variety of each kind of these.
For obvious reasons, implants seem like the ultimate “Cadillac” of tooth replacement: they are permanent, they leave nearby teeth whole and healthy, and in the case of ceramic implants, look as healthy and natural as the teeth we are born with… often even better! Ceramics also offer a variety of health benefits that other restorative options do not, including promoting healthy gum and tissue growth. Additionally, implants are easy to take care of and can last a lifetime.
Here is the scary part: There is a lot of mixed information out there on the durability of ceramic implants, much of it incorrect. It’s not that the material or the technology is new, rather, the information and familiarity in some dental practices is lagging.
When we hear the word “ceramic” we might be inclined to think of those old plates and platters our mothers had with the hairline cracks and chips around the edges. This is not your mother’s ceramic. Ceramic dental implants, also referred to as zirconium oxide or zirconia, are actually more closely related to titanium on the periodic table. The implants are extruded from zirconium, which is a metal. During the extrusion process, all metal is removed and just the ceramic properties remain, leaving us with zirconium oxide. In fact titanium and zirconium oxide have relatively the same strength when tested on a scientific hardness scale. Yet zirconium oxide poses none of the disconcerting issues that having a potentially corrosive metal in your mouth can (yes, titanium can corrode in the mouth).
There are some interesting things to consider that often get overlooked in dental articles that outline the pros and cons of ceramic implants. It’s well known that since the 1980’s, zirconium oxide ceramics have been an integral part of the medical community, being used for hip and joint replacements, for example. Did you know, however, that zirconium oxide products are not only used in surgical applications, but also in the industrial realm where they are also used in environments that are considered exceedingly harsh? It is relatively easy to find examples of the same types of ceramics used in dental implants being used in combustion engines, various types of valves, port liners, even extrusion dyes, to name a few. These are harsh and demanding environments that require reliability and longevity. And that is exactly the type of environment you will find in your mouth.
Choosing to have a tooth restored using ceramic implants should be a decision made with the confidence of knowing that not only will your ceramic tooth be strong and durable, but in terms of aesthetics and your overall health, you are making the best possible choice. The only real considerations are finding a precision team, skilled and trained to properly place your new implant, using the latest training and technology. If you are ready to discuss a healthy, viable tooth replacement option, please call our Sarasota dental office at 941-584-4507 today or visit us online and www.SarasotaDentist.com.