CERAMIC DENTAL IMPLANTS
What are Dental Implants Exactly?
This office is one of the very few in the Valley that offers same day implant placements. If you need an extraction and implant, most offices perform these procedures separately. That increases costs, pain, and wait times. Our Swiss based immediate implant placement protocols are on the cutting edge in the implant world. They get you healing faster while providing superior bone integration over other two-step procedures!
If you have a tooth that needs to be extracted or even a missing tooth, dental implants are by far the best option for you, assuming you have enough bone density at the implant site. A dental implant essentially re-creates your tooth, without the nerve pulp. There are two main parts to any implant restoration: the actual implant, which takes the place of the roots; and, the crown which takes the place of the part of the tooth you chew with and see.
What Specifically are Ceramic Dental Implants?
When we talk about what Ceramic Dental Implants, we are specifically referring to Zirconia Implants. Zirconia is a type of ceramic and we discuss what ceramics are in much more detail on our Bioceramics page if you're interested.
Out of the thousands of types of ceramics available, dental ceramics must work in the uncompromising environment of the mouth and it takes a very specific kind of ceramic which the scientific community calls bioceramics:
bioceramics can directly interact with the surrounding tissue, either supporting tissue growth or inducing new tissue regeneration for bioactive ceramics. It can also remain inactive at the application site serving the purpose of mechanical load carrier as in the case of bioinert ceramics.
- M. Roy, et al.: Materials for Bone Disorder: Chapter 6 - Ceramics in Bone Grafts and Coated Implants, (265-314) 2017.
What the quote from the article is saying is that bioceramic implants have the two things that you absolutely must have for an implant to work: bone and tissue grow around the implant (biocompatibility); and, that it is functionally strong enough to take mechanical stresses, like chewing.
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Why Ceramic Dental Implants are the Better Choice :
Functionality: Implants allow for the maximum amount of normal biting and chewing force you can get from a restorative process. Upon integration, the implant is practically fused to your jaw bone. That process is called osseointegration. Because bone has literally grown around the implant to hold it in place, the implant will hold in place like a regular tooth for any normal biting and chewing. Implants do have crowns attached, so you still need to act like you would if a regular tooth had a crown on it, but you should notice almost no difference. The one major difference is that the implant is not heat, cold, or pressure sensitive since there is no nerve attached to it.
Longevity: Current ceramic technology has come a long ways and current ceramic implants can last decades. One thing that is important to remember about the longevity of ceramic, or even a titanium implant is that your diet, your health, and your habits will affect the longevity of implant. All implants must integrate into your jaw bone, and bad habits can actually cause your bone around the implant to decay away. This happens a lot with Titanium implants as the titanium ions from the corrosion of the titanium can actually cause an allergic reaction that causes bone loss. If we're talking about how long can an actual ceramic implant last while chewing, one study found that a zirconia implant lasted 10 million repetitions at 95N (Newtons) of force. Zirconia was discovered to fracture at about 550N of force and above. For context, biting through a carrot takes about 200N of force. It's hard to see a scenario where one is biting at 550+N of force, and if you really think you need to do so, maybe try biting with the side of your mouth that doesn't have the implant! Even still, a regular tooth can fracture at not much more force than that.
When patients ask dentists who are not familiar with zirconia implants, or who exclusively place titanium implants, about ceramic dental implants, the dentists can have all kind of uninformed, or misinformed ideas. The one we hear most often is that Zirconia can crack. Well yes, under highly unusual conditions like we talked about above, it is possible. The one thing that our ceramic implants are not great at is when they are twisted; but, the only time they are ever twisted is when they are originally placed. Even then, we have a special tool that measures the force, or Newtons of torque, being applied. We never, ever, ever get close to the sheering threshold, and once in, your implant will never be subjected to that direction of force again. If the implant was going to fracture, this would be the place. Out of the hundreds of ceramic implants we have placed, precisely zero have fractured.
Aesthetics: Ceramic implants definitely have a leg up on metal implants when it comes to aesthetics. Ceramic implants are essentially tooth colored, even though they aren’t specifically lab created for a particular shade. Metal implants are not, and you can often see the metal ring at the gum line. This is especially true the older you get as your gums recede more. The crown that sits on top of the implant will be like any other crown and a custom lab created shade will be done to match your other teeth.
Bio-compatibility: This is a metal free office. All implanted metals corrode when in contact with biological fluids, releasing metal ions into the implant tissue thereby stimulating the immune system to trigger toxic, inflammatory, or allergic reactions with both local and systemic manifestations. Ceramics have been shown to integrate with few of the side effects caused by metal.
How We Place Our Ceramic Implants:
We only use 100% metal free ceramic zirconia implants and we can usually perform the procedure in one visit. If you are getting an extraction and then an implant, the procedure begins with the extraction of the tooth, then a blood draw, and perhaps a small amount of graft material from your jaw is placed into the implant site. The implant is placed, sutured up, and the healing process begins. After about six months, the bone should integrate around the implant site and the crown and abutment will be ready to be placed. A little time, a couple of visits, and voila, a new tooth!
Preparing for Your Dental Implant Procedure:
Congratulations for choosing to get an implant or implants! To maximize the success of your procedure, you need to make sure your Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 levels are high. There are many supplements that combine the two.
These two Vitamins are critical for activating the calcium-binding actions of two proteins, matrix GLA protein and osteocalcin which aid in bone growth. You want to begin taking 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 and K2 to begin the bone growth process before the procedure so that the bone growth activation is already up and running at full steam from day 1. The implant procedure requires bone growth over the course of six months of heal time where you will need to continue taking Vitamin D3 and K2. That bone growth is the key to implant integration so keep taking those vitamins!
A little information from the manufacturer of our Swiss implants: The 100-percent metal-free ceramic implants closely approximate the natural tooth root in terms of aesthetics and function. They are well tolerated, are completely free of metallic corrosion, and conduct neither electricity nor heat. Titanium can release titanium ions, which accumulate in the surrounding soft tissue and can cause inflammation. Likewise, titanium’s resistance to corrosion can decrease due to surface bacteria. The use of metal-free ceramic implants precludes these effects.
Just so you know, this is the piece of the implant that is 'implanted' into your jaw. A crown and abutment will be placed on top of the implant after the implant has properly healed and integrated into your jawbone.