Zirconia implants, also known as ceramic implants, are relatively new. While titanium dental implants have been around since the 1950s, zirconia implants have started coming up in the last two decades. Initially, there was some hesitance about using ceramic implants due to their higher fracture rates. However, recent innovations have made zirconia implants a safe and suitable alternative to titanium implants with similar success rates.
This article weighs the benefits and drawbacks of ceramic implants to help you decide if you should get titanium or zirconia implants.
What are the Benefits of Ceramic Implants
Generally speaking, the appearance of dental implants shouldn’t be a major deciding factor because they stay underneath the gum line, i.e., hidden from plain view. However, as you grow older, the gradual recession of your gums can make the implant rise to the surface and become visible. Since ceramic implants are the same color and texture as natural teeth and bone, they blend perfectly with your teeth.
Optimal Success Rate
Until recently, dentists were hesitant about using ceramic implants because the material wasn’t as durable as titanium, making it prone to implant failure and fractures. However, recent studies have shown that zirconia implants have similar success rates as titanium implants — approximately 97%. This shows that zirconia implants have finally caught up to titanium implants. Furthermore, the current studies also highlight that most implant failures occur due to surgical missteps.
Titanium implants are generally considered extremely safe, but they carry the risks of titanium toxicity due to corrosion, peri-implantitis, and titanium allergies. However, zirconia implants are non-metallic implants, so there’s little-to-no risk of corrosion and allergies. Furthermore, ceramic has a lower affinity to plaque and bacteria, minimizing the risk of bacterial infections and peri-implantitis. As such, zirconia implants are safer than titanium implants in many respects.
What are the Drawbacks of Ceramic Implants
Limited ResearchThe primary drawback of ceramic implants is the limited body of research available. Titanium implants have been around since the 1950s, so they’ve amassed a wide body of clinical studies and research. Ceramic implants haven’t been around long enough to achieve such evidentiary backing. However, the existing clinical studies and research show that zirconia implants are just as successful as titanium implants.
Long-Term Effects UnknownSince ceramic implants have only been around for the past two decades, their long-term effects and outcomes aren’t tracked as conclusively as titanium implants. While plenty of studies have tracked the success of ceramic implants in the short run, i.e., around 3 years, their long-term effects and results are yet to be studied. However, dentists are confident that ceramic implants will be just as effective, or even more effective, than titanium implants.
The benefits and drawbacks of ceramic implants at a glance
Benefits of Ceramic Implants
|Looks completely natural even when it becomes visible due to gum recession.||Limited research due to their relative newness.|
|Success rate similar to titanium implants.||Long-term effects are unknown so far.|
|No risk of titanium allergies or corrosion.|
Download our Dental Implant Checklists
Are you wondering if you need dental implants? Are you looking for a dentist for your dental implants? Are you preparing for your dental implant surgery? Please enter your email address to download our checklists for every stage of the dental implant process.
Laden Sie Ihre Checkliste für Ihren nächsten Zahnarztbesuch herunter
Fragen Sie sich, ob Sie Zahnimplantate brauchen?
Sind Sie auf der Suche nach einem Zahnarzt für Ihre Zahnimplantate?
Bereiten Sie sich auf Ihre Zahnimplantat-Operation vor?
Dann laden Sie sich jetzt Ihre Checkliste dafür herunter!