Your smile is essential to your appearance and can significantly influence your self-esteem. However, missing teeth can make you self-conscious and affect your ability to chew and talk. When considering tooth replacement options, dental implants are a popular treatment due to their durability and natural appearance.

But did you know that there are different types of dental implants? One option that has gained popularity in recent years is zirconia implants. This article will discuss important facts about this type of implant.

What Is Zirconia Dental Implant?

Zirconia is a type of dental implant made from zirconium dioxide, a tough and durable material. They offer an alternative to the more traditional titanium dental implants.

Is Zirconia a Ceramic?

Zirconia is a ceramic. It’s a white crystalline oxide of zirconium and is one of the most studied ceramic materials. Zirconia is known for its high resistance to cracking, thermal expansion, and corrosion, making it an excellent choice for various applications in industries like dentistry, jewelry, and even the aerospace industry.

Zirconia is often used in dentistry to create metal-free dental crowns and implants due to its strength, durability, and ability to be colored to match natural teeth.

In general, ceramics like zirconia are hard, strong, and resistant to heat and chemical attack, making them suitable for various applications.

How Long Do Zirconia Implants Last?

Zirconia dental implants, like other types of dental implants, are designed to be long-lasting. On average, they could last 10-15 years provided the implant surgery is done well and oral hygiene is maintained. Other factors that affect their lifespan include overall health, lifestyle habits (like smoking), and regular dental check-ups.

It’s also worth noting that while zirconia implants have been around since 1986, they are relatively newer compared to titanium implants. Thus, long-term data on their durability is still being collected.

How Much Does Zirconia Implant Cost?

The cost of zirconia dental implants varies significantly depending on the specific circumstances, including the dentist’s experience, the location where the procedure is performed, and whether any additional procedures are needed.

A single ceramic zirconia implant typically ranges between $1,500 and $7,000.

Remember that these prices might not include the cost of the abutment, which is the part that connects the implant to the replacement tooth. Also, these amounts are only estimates. Contact your dentist for a more accurate quote.

In addition, you need to consider that dental insurance may not cover the full cost of dental implants. Check with your dental insurance provider if you’re covered.

What Are the Advantages of Zirconia Implants?

1. Natural Appearance

Zirconia implants are renowned for their ability to mimic natural teeth. These ceramic implants have a white color that enables them to seamlessly blend with the surrounding natural teeth and become less visible through the gum tissue.

To truly appreciate the aesthetic difference, looking at zirconia implants before and after pictures can provide a good comparison. In implant dentistry, aesthetics play an essential part, and zirconia dental solutions offer a notable advantage.

2. Oral Health Benefits

One exceptional feature of zirconia implants is their one-piece structuring, designed to limit plaque buildup and bacterial accumulation. This results in easier oral hygiene maintenance and can potentially reduce risks associated with gum diseases.

3. Hypoallergenic Implant Material

These metal-free zirconia implants are an excellent alternative for individuals with metal allergies or sensitivities. The biocompatibility of zirconia helps prevent allergic reactions and promotes gum tissue healing around the implant.

4. Favorable Success Rates

Clinical studies show promising long-term success rates for zirconia dental procedures, with the zirconia implant success rate being particularly noteworthy. Biomechanical factors such as flexural strength and thermal conductivity contribute to this success. These one-piece implants can offer a durable tooth replacement solution if oral hygiene is maintained.

5. Biocompatible Material

Zirconia is compatible with the human body. This dental implant material effectively integrates with bone and gum tissue, reducing the chances of adverse reactions at the bone-implant interface. Zirconia implants’ successful fusion with the jawbone is crucial from a biomechanical point of view and contributes directly to the success and stability of implant surgery.

6. Compatibility With Ceramic Crowns

Zirconia implants pair well with ceramic crowns, resulting in a more natural-looking result. In comparison, titanium implants may not offer a similarly seamless aesthetic.

7. Resistant to Corrosion

Unlike titanium alloys that can corrode over time, zirconia implant materials offer a corrosion-resistant alternative. This corrosion resistance enhances the longevity and clinical success of the implants, making them a durable choice in implant dentistry.

What Are the Drawbacks of Zirconia Dental Implants?

Despite their potential as an implant material, it’s crucial to remember that there are also some drawbacks.

1. Limited Research on Mechanical Properties

While the mechanical properties of zirconia, such as flexural strength and thermal conductivity, are robust, they are not as extensively researched as traditional titanium implants. Additional detailed clinical studies are necessary to affirm the long-term performance of this implant material.

2. High Cost

Zirconia dental implants are generally more expensive than titanium dental implants. Therefore, your budget is a significant factor when choosing implant material.

3. Compatibility Issues

While they hold promising results, some zirconium implant side effects must be considered. Although rare, potential side effects could include an allergic reaction to zirconium dioxide, indicating compatibility issues with this material.

4. Higher Sensitivity to Chemicals

Compared to titanium implants, zirconia dental implants have a higher chemical sensitivity. This includes chemicals used during the implant surgery and substances that the patient might ingest, such as certain types of food and beverages.

5. Increased Fracture Risk

Despite their strength, zirconia dental implants are not as fracture-resistant as titanium implants. Those who grind their teeth or bite hard objects regularly might face a higher risk of damaging their implants.

Why Do Dentists Recommend Zirconia Implants?

  • Natural Teeth Look-Alike. Like your natural teeth, zirconia dental implants come in white. This quality makes them a popular choice in implant dentistry. They’re aesthetically superior to metallic titanium dental implants.
  • Metal-Free Structure. For people who are allergic to metal, zirconia offers a safe alternative. Its metal-free nature and tooth-like appearance make zirconia a material of choice for dental procedures.
  • Resists Plaque Formation. A clinically relevant feature of zirconia dental implants is their inherent capacity to resist plaque. A clinical study revealed that zirconia has less plaque buildup than titanium surfaces, making them more efficient for maintaining oral hygiene.
  • Biocompatible. Zirconia dental implants are known for their excellent biocompatibility. This means that the material interacts harmlessly with your body, making both one-piece zirconia dental implants and two-piece zirconia implants a viable alternative to titanium implants.
  • Longevity and Strength. Known for their robust mechanical properties and remarkable flexural strength, zirconia dental implants promise a long-lasting solution following implant surgery. Therefore, they provide a viable alternative to titanium dental implants.
  • Less Sensitive to Thermal Fluctuations. It has a lower thermal conductance than titanium, which can reduce sensitivity to hot and cold foods. This feature and other biomechanical properties make it a preferred option in implant dentistry.
  • Promotes Gum Health. One notable feature of zirconia dental implants demonstrated in a clinical study is the positive response of soft tissue toward them. This quality helps foster better gum health around the bone-implant interface.

Zirconia Implants Vs Titanium

Zirconia is a safe and valid alternative to titanium implants. It’s stronger than titanium and, as mentioned, has high biocompatibility. Zirconia implants are also known for their aesthetic appeal, as they are white and can blend in more naturally with the teeth. Additionally, zirconia is superior to titanium in inhibiting bacterial adhesion, making it more suitable for abutments.

On the other hand, titanium implants have been used longer and have a substantial amount of long-term data supporting their use. Some studies say Zirconia implants success rate may be lower than titanium, but more research is needed to confirm this.

In terms of cost, a single titanium implant typically ranges between $975 and $5000, whereas zirconia implants range between $1,500 and $7,000.

Ultimately, the choice between zirconia and titanium implants should be made in consultation with your oral surgeon, who can help you compare the pros and cons of each based on your specific situation.

What Are Zirconia Teeth?

Zirconia teeth, commonly called zirconia crowns, are dental crowns made from zirconium dioxide, a white powdered ceramic material. Zirconia is a metal classified as a titanium family member known for its durability and strength.

These crowns are used to cap or cover damaged teeth, offering a protective shell that enhances the tooth’s appearance and prevents further damage. Zirconia crowns are highly biocompatible, meaning they’re unlikely to provoke an allergic reaction or irritation. The smooth surface of these crowns helps reduce plaque accumulation.

One of the main benefits of zirconia crowns is their aesthetic appeal. They can be crafted to closely match the color of natural teeth, making them a popular choice for visible teeth needing restoration. Additionally, zirconia crowns are usually created from a solid block of zirconium dioxide, contributing to their robustness.

However, zirconia crowns typically cost more than other types of dental crowns, such as ceramic, metal, and porcelain. Despite the higher cost, many people choose zirconia crowns for their blend of strength, durability, and natural appearance.

Secure Your Bright Smile With Zirconia Implants Today

Dental implant treatment patients can now access a strong, aesthetically pleasing, and metal-free option for tooth replacements. While they come with a higher price tag and a few considerations, their long-lasting success and promising contributions to oral hygiene mean they can be ideal for some.

To discover if zirconia implants are the right fit for you, let us guide you through the process. Call our dental office today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists so they can determine if you’re a good candidate for this dental material.