Dental Implant Materials
Dental implants are a type of cosmetic dentistry procedure that can help restore your smile back to normal in case of a missing tooth or teeth. Implants are made to look exactly like your teeth as they are colored-matched with your existing enamel, making them hard to distinguish from your natural teeth.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a surgical fixture - a metal post to be exact - that is placed into the jawbone, allowing it to fuse with the jawbone to act as an artificial root for a tooth or teeth. Once the implant fuses with the bone, it is topped off with a crown or bridge, mimicking a natural tooth to restore the aesthetics and functionality of your teeth.
Dental Implant Procedure
Having one or more missing teeth can affect the structure of your other teeth, leading to many dental problems. If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, you will have to visit the dentist to see if you qualify for a dental implant or not. Once you qualify, the dental implant procedure will begin – which will require two additional procedures.
In the first surgical procedure, your specialist will fix a titanium metal post in place of your missing tooth or teeth. It will take several weeks for this implant to fuse with your jawbone – this process is known as osseointegration.
Once the osseointegration is successful, you will have another procedure in which the dentist will place an abutment. A dental abutment is a metal connector that screws into the implant to hold a dental crown securely in place. A dental crown is then made according to the shape and color of your natural teeth, and is connected to the abutment.
Who is a Candidate for Implants?
You need to have good oral and good overall general health in order to qualify for an implant. Since implant placement is a surgical procedure that requires the use of anesthesia, your health needs to be in good shape. Those with gum or periodontal disease don’t qualify for implants since you need to have healthy gum tissue in order for the implant to be planted successfully. You need to have an ample amount of bone in your jaw. Those with inadequate bone in their jaw have to undergo bone grafting surgery before they can get an implant.
Common Types of Dental Implant Materials
For many years, almost all dental implants were constructed with a material called titanium. However, with technology bringing about a massive transformation in all fields, including the dental field, dental implants are now made from various materials.
To qualify as a suitable dental implant, a material needs to be sturdy, robust, corrosion-resistant, fracture-resistant, and biocompatible.
Here are some of the most common materials used to make dental implants today.
Titanium Dental Implant Materials
Titanium is one of the most common dental implant materials. This metal gained popularity as in implant in the 1950 when it was discovered that it allowed the jawbone to grow comfortably. Ever since then, titanium has been the most sought-after dental implant material that not only provides long-lasting results, but is also very reasonable.
Zirconia Dental Implant Materials
Zirconia is a comparatively more recent invention in comparison to titanium, and is regarded as the promising future of implant materials. Even though zirconia dental implants were being used in the 1990s, titanium still remained under the spotlight.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re looking to learn more about dental implants and the possible material choices you have, call us today at (530) 756-5300 to book a consultation.