The typical material used for dental implants for a very long time has been titanium. This is because the material is great at fusing with the jawbone. Unfortunately, complications can arise with some patients due to titanium exposure, such as an allergy that does not make titanium a viable option. Zirconia is an alternative material to titanium, and offers these advantages.
Less Allergy Complications
The primary reason patients use a zirconia implant is due to an allergy to titanium. If you are not sure if you have an allergy to this metal, you should have allergy testing done to find out how your body will react to it. It's possible for you to be allergic to zirconia as well, so make sure that you are tested for both materials at the same time.
While titanium is a metal, zirconia is actually a crystalline oxide. Since it isn't actual metal, it will not corrode over the years and if there is need for repairs or replacement, it will still last longer than titanium implants.
No Formation of Oxide
You may not be aware that titanium reacts to other substances and forms oxides. For example, this can happen due to fluoride exposure. Even though fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, the substance is toxic. It can even contribute to a health condition like skeletal fluorosis developing. If the dangers of fluoride and titanium interacting worries you due to the potential health consequences, zirconia may be the answer to your worries.
Titanium is also affected by calcium. When calcium and titanium interact, it can cause problems with how your body absorbs calcium. It could put you at a bigger risk of getting osteoporosis down the road.
Single Piece Construction
One of the biggest differences between a titanium an zirconia implant is how they are constructed. A titanium implant is made with multiple parts. The titanium post is implanted into your jaw bone, and a porcelain crown it attached to the post. Zirconia implants are different because they are made as one solid piece. Some patients like this because they feel that it improves the aesthetics of the implant, allowing it to look like a completely natural replacement.
Deciding between titanium and zirconia for your dental implant is a big decision. If you are still not sure, you can always ask your regular dentist about your options before making your final decision.