If you have a missing tooth due to injury or decay, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible to maintain good oral health and to protect the integrity of the rest of your teeth. Dental implants are the superior option for tooth replacement. They last much longer than other restoration options, and they look and function just like natural teeth. If you’re considering dental implants, you have a few options for customizing, including the materials they are made with. Your dentist will likely present you with the choice of either ceramic or titanium implants. Here’s how they compare:
An Overview of Titanium Dental Implants
Dental implants made with medical-grade titanium have been in use for decades, proving their long-term strength and effectiveness. The implant structure is actually three pieces: a titanium screw placed beneath the gum line (which fuses with the jawbone); an abutment that connects to the screw above the gumline, and a color-matched, natural-looking porcelain dental crown that fills the gap and functions just like a natural tooth. In addition to their strength and durability, other advantages of titanium implants include:
- Multiple pieces make the implant easier to place correctly
- Titanium is highly resistant to external forces, making implant fractures rare
- Titanium screws can also be used to anchor implant-supported bridges or dentures (also known as All-on-4 or All-on-6 implants)
- If a crown becomes damaged, it’s very simple to replace
According to scientific studies, allergic reactions to titanium implants are very rare but they do exist, with fewer than 1 percent of patients displaying reactions to titanium in allergy tests. Also, while the titanium screws and abutments are usually unnoticeable beneath the porcelain crown, the metal might show in certain patients with gum recession issues.
An overview of ceramic dental implants
Ceramic dental implants are a newer technology that differ slightly from titanium implants, but the general concept is the same. A screw is implanted beneath the gum line. The screw fuses with the jawbone and is attached to a natural-looking prosthetic tooth. It should be noted, however, that ceramic implants usually do not include an abutment piece. The rate of bone integration with ceramic implants is about the same as titanium, and ceramic implants are a safe option for patients with metal allergies. Other advantages of ceramic dental implants include:
- No possibility of heat conductivity or corrosion
- Lower risk of attracting and retaining bacteria and plaque compared to titanium
- More aesthetically pleasing with no metal showing
The main disadvantage of ceramic dental implants is their relative newness in the market and a lack of data about long-term effects. Additionally, without the inclusion of an abutment piece, ceramic implants are trickier to place correctly and end up less flexible than three-piece titanium implants, and can result in small cracks or fractures that are easily repaired. Lastly, ceramic implants tend to be a bit more costly than titanium implants, potentially putting them out of financial reach for some patients.
Which dental implant is right for you?
While the differences between titanium and ceramic dental implants might be minor, they are worth discussing with our dentist in Tijuana if you have a missing tooth that needs to be replaced. At BioDental Care, we can answer all your questions about dental implants. And because we are located in Tijuana, we can offer the highest-quality products and services at a much lower cost than U.S.-based dentists. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 619-754-8508.