Metal Free dental implants (ceramic dental implants) are sometimes the preferred option for patients given their functional and cosmetic attributes. The unique characteristics of the implant itself virtually eliminate issues of bone deterioration, soft tissue (gum) discoloration and help to improve a patient’s ability to chew food normally. Ceramic implants are biocompatible and easily incorporate into the surrounding bone, which results in permanent stability of teeth and a natural cosmetic look which patients prefer.
Sensitivities or allergies to metals commonly used in dentistry can be a problem for many people. In addition to sensitivity and allergy issues, some professionals have voiced concerns about electrical effects of titanium and titanium alloy implants with their abutments and crowns. This is something that you can discuss with Dr. McLaurin. More often than not, all the aforementioned parts are made of different metals and metal alloys. The pairing of dissimilar metals to replace missing teeth in the mouth may create a “battery effect” or low electrical currents when combined with saliva. This phenomenon is called “oral galvanism” and if you have silver fillings they can participate in or intensify the process. Evidence-based data collected by dentists and researchers shows that oral galvanism may affect health and most particularly the function of the nervous system.
Metal free dental implants are made up of the dioxide of zirconium. Zircon is a mineral and is the precursor of zirconium dioxide which is found in nature. Through a complex process of chemical and structural changes, zircon is transformed into zirconium which is a metal close to titanium. Zirconium is further modified by a unique oxidation process into the dioxide of zirconium also called zirconium oxide (ZrO2) or zirconia. Zirconium dioxide is classified as a ceramic. Since this material is nonmetallic it does not conduct electricity or interfere with the body’s own energy systems (meridians), its use as a bioceramic implant helps eliminate concerns about health issues related to the long-term use of metals in the mouth. With a growing concern for the problems related to metallic substances in the mouth and their potential impact on the immune systems, ceramic dental implants virtually eliminate the negative effects found with titanium implants.
Metal free dental implants look and feel like real teeth
The white coloring of the material used in metal free dental implants has many advantages over the gray colored material used for titanium, creating much more natural looking results. With a ceramic dental implant it is possible for patients to enjoy the feel and functionality of firmly anchored teeth, without having to resort to the inconvenience and embarrassment of conventional dentures. In addition, a ceramic implant coupled with full contour ceramic crowns creates a beautiful restoration that is extremely stable and strong, and capable of withstanding the extreme environment of the mouth for quite literally — decades.
Patients who seek out non-metallic dental implants are often looking for a more holistic approach to dentistry
People who prefer going to holistic dentists naturally favor mercury-free and metal-free dental procedures. Many don’t want metals and metal alloys in their mouth because of the potential for toxins, corrosion and the harmful effects they have on the immune system.
Metal free dental implants are very resistant to corrosion
The term “bioceramics” applies to a wide range of materials that, when compared to traditionally used metal implants, are actually harder and have higher temperature resistance, strength, lower density and excellent resistance to corrosion. These properties make bioceramics like zirconia invaluable for use in the oral environment where high temperature, corrosion, extreme pressure and constant abrasion are ever present. Also, ceramic dental implants have high resistance to fracture and heat, and have been proven to be as strong if not stronger than titanium.
Metal free dental implants offer superior stability and are highly biocompatible
Since the implant is anchored directly into the jaw it is naturally assimilated into the bone to give firm support to the artificial replacement that it is built to hold. Due to its nonmetallic construction the ceramic dental implant does not interfere with the body’s immune or meridian systems and therefore lessens the potential for rejection or other systemic or immunological health problems.
Metal free dental implants resist oral inflammation
Another added benefit of zirconium implants has to do with how well the gums react to the material following surgery, lessening incidents of gum disease, high inflammation and implant failure. Whereas titanium products tend to create lingering and unpleasant complications including gum disease and inflammation, which is likely caused by the free radicals present in the metallic materials.
Ceramics reduce incidents of plaque
And finally, the long-term health benefits presented by ceramic implants include its proven ability to resist plaque build-up, making it easier for patients to care for their implant teeth and sustain good oral hygiene. Plaque accumulation leads to higher bacterial counts in the mouth and ultimately to high levels of toxins and inflammation.
Whether you’re concerned about potential complications presented by having metals in the mouth or if you are simply looking for a more natural result, ceramic dental implants are a great alternative to titanium dental implants. Holistic dentists tend to offer ceramic dental implants to their patients precisely because they support a metal-free philosophy.