The Case for Ceramic Dental Implants
Ceramic Dental Implants vs Conventional Bridges?
When it comes to options for tooth replacement patients are increasingly opting for dental implants over the usual dental prostheses such as dentures or conventionally placed bridges. Since implants sit securely in the jaw and look like natural teeth, they offer superior durability and outstanding aesthetics when compared to conventional bridges. However there is an increasing resistance to metals among people and in implant dentistry there is a shift away from metal or metallic based crowns, partials and implants.
There are four major categories of restorations available for tooth replacement:
Bonded dental bridge
Bonded dental bridges use the teeth adjacent to the empty space to help support the missing tooth by using a very thin piece of metal or tooth-colored material to overlay and bond to the back of the adjacent teeth. A tooth replacement or “dummy tooth” is set between these two bonded pieces in order to fill in the empty space. Failure rate is about 25 percent after just five years of use. Furthermore the gap widens because the bone recedes as a result of no longer having a tooth in place. This ultimately results in the weakening of the adjacent teeth which can become loose and eventually fall out.
Cantilevered dental bridge
A cantilevered restoration uses the closest tooth next to the empty space to support the missing tooth using the either the back of the neighboring tooth or a full crown to help support the missing tooth. Success rate is higher than with a bonded bridge depending on how much pressure the actual replacement endures due to grinding and normal wear. This method of tooth replacement has fallen out of favor because the supporting tooth gets torqued and fatigued and more often than not eventualy fractures.
Conventional dental bridge
Getting fitted for a dental bridge requires shaving down and modifying of the teeth on either side the space where the tooth or teeth are missing. This is done in order to fit a conventional bridge. This is a process that significantly weakens the ground teeth and sets them up for fracture and root canals in the future. Unfortunately conventional dental bridges predictably fail at a range from 20 percent over 3 years to 3 percent over 23 years. With dental implants the dentist does not need to affect the health or longevity of neighboring teeth at all. Once placed, implants are firmly set into the bone making them more natural than dentures or conventional bridges, with none of the shifting that dentures normally display.
Some problems with conventional bridges
- They are bonded to the adjacent tooth with a glue-like substance, bridges more often become loose and fall out
- They cracks and fissure form over time, due to normal wear and tear and become fragile and prone to breakage
- Improper fit can lead to either tooth decay or irritation to the surrounding soft tissue around them.
A ceramic dental implant is created from a high performance material (zirconium oxide) that is inserted into the bone to act like a natural tooth root. Zirconium oxide also called zirconia is a crystal phase of zirconium and due to its nonmetallic construction the ceramic dental implant does not interfere with the body’s immune or meridian systems and therefore significantly reduces the potential for rejection. Furthermore ceramic implants do not interact with electromagnetic fields such as those emanating from cell phones, cell phone towers and microwaves. Once inserted into the jaw, the implant integrates directly into the bone to give firm support to the artificial replacement that it is built to hold and should last the lifetime of a patient. Routine maintenance of a dental implant is exactly the same as a person would follow for normal teeth.
Healthy Patients Prefer Ceramic Implants
Patients who prefer dental implants say that they are more comfortable and provide a more secure fit than fixed bridges or removable dentures. However all implants are not equal and ceramic implants unlike metal implants are made in one piece from the root to the top just like a natural tooth. Therefore ceramic implants do not have joints and do not retain plaque and harbor billions of bacteria like two-piece metal implants. For those who no longer have any natural teeth, ceramic implants can be placed to support and retain dentures and eliminate the embarrassment and discomfort they can cause in social situations when they slip and click. Loose and ill-fitting dentures hamper the everyday pleasure of eating comfortably.
Benefits of Ceramic Dental Implants:
- preserves healthy natural tooth and bone structure
- looks and feel like natural teeth
- enhances a sense of self-confidence when eating, talking and smiling
- no gooey denture adhesives to deal with
- no embarrassingly loose dentures
- improves quality of speech
- no electrical or electromagnetic activity in your mouth
Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth may be a candidate for implants. If more than a few of the teeth are missing, implants in supporting a crown or bridge can replace those teeth and function as normal teeth without concern for loss of bone and decay. If all or most of the teeth are missing, then implants may be placed to fix in place a full-mouth non-removable set of teeth.
No such problems with ceramic implants
Ceramic dental implants are recommended to patients because:
- Chewing is easy with excellent biting pressure provided by implant
- When done properly and dilligently cared for, dental Implants are reliable and provide long-standing service, for decades with few, if any complications
- Comfortable fit and lifetime durability because they are well secured and integrated with the bone and gums
- They remain clean because they do not accumulate plaque and bacteria
- Metal-free bioceramic
- They do not generate nor conduct electricity
Considering the overall advantages patients can expect to benefit from as a result of choosing a dental implant, they are better able to enjoy a healthier and greener lifestyle without the restrictions many denture and bridge wearers face. The more secure foundation offered by a dental implant, the better biting pressure becomes, making it possible to enjoy the foods that a patient probably would not be able to eat using a dental prosthetic. As a result improved chewing ability leads to better nutrition and improved overall health.