Dental Implant Materials
If you are trying to get your first dental implant, you may be wondering what you should get first. Do you have to get a golden implant that stands out, perhaps, or a zirconia implant that looks natural? At Colin M. McKinney, DMD, we suggest that whichever you choose, it should be something close to what you expect out of your new dental implants.
Indeed, this means that you will need to pick whichever fits you and your needs. Every material can do what we need them to: chew and not break too soon. But some materials are much more durable. Others are more cost-efficient. Meanwhile, others are meant to look natural while sacrificing some durability.
To begin with, many implants are made from metal alloys. Gold, titanium, and cobalt tend to be more popular among folks who like long-lasting implants. The toughest of these is titanium.
What metal-based have as an advantage is their relative toughness. Natural teeth are tough thanks to the way that their molecules are arranged. To mimic the same toughness with industrially-available materials, we use casts made from titanium-alloy. Gold alloys and cobalt alloys also work, and the difference between their relative strengths are quite the same.
On the other hand, ceramic implants are made from naturally-occuring, non-metal crystals like zirconium dioxide. They are not as tough as metal-based implants, but tend to look more natural in your mouth. Ceramic implants are still quite hard to break, but tend to be difficult to repair when they do.
In most cases, ceramic implants are best used as front teeth replacements. The front teeth take less pressure while chewing compared to the molars at the back, and because they can be colored, you can have them colored to be as natural-looking as possible.
Allergies To Materials
Normally, these materials are biocompatible, meaning they do not make any effect on the living cells and tissues that surround them. However, it is not impossible for people to have allergies to these materials.
In all cases, the only reason why you get allergies is because of the nickel content in titanium alloys. Some people are naturally allergic to nickel and their bodies may react to this. But since we only use them for the visible portion of the implant, it is easy to replace them in case you do.
Material Strength And Lifetime
Naturally, metal alloys can last much longer than ceramic implants. In fact, you can even expect them to last for a lifetime. They are just that tough. However, they can still chip and get worn down with use over time, especially if you grind your teeth at night. That is why you should still see us regularly.
Meanwhile, ceramics are less likely to last five years, especially when used on molars. But they can still last quite long when used in the front. It all depends on the placement. However, you should still consider metal alloys if you are looking for tougher yet less natural-looking alternatives.
In the end, it all still depends on you and what you want to get from your dental implants. If you have any more questions about the dental implant procedure or caring for implants, then feel free to visit us at Colin M. McKinney, DMD or schedule a visit at (772) 266-2223 whenever you are ready!