If you have lost one or more teeth, dental implants are the best tooth-replacement option. They look and function like natural teeth. Usually, dental implants are made of titanium. However, zirconia dental implants are also an option, and for some people they might be the right choice. 

Understanding this dental implant option can help you make the right choice, but the only way to know for sure is to talk to a dentist. In Columbus, Ohio, please call or use our online form to schedule an appointment with experienced implant dentist Dr. Mike Firouzian at Firouzian Dentistry. 

What Is Zirconia?

mature adult man smiling, holding glasses in handSome people get confused about zirconia dental implants in Columbus. This is in part due to some intentional attempts to confuse people so they won’t see the benefits of zirconia, but mostly it’s just that people aren’t familiar with this relatively new approach to dental implants. 

Zirconia is an advanced ceramic made with zirconium dioxide. Zirconium dioxide also makes up the cubic zirconia that is often used as a substitute for diamonds in jewelry. However, the crystal structure is different. The zirconia used in dental implants is stabilized by yttria, another oxide. Yttria gets into the crystal structure and keeps it from changing to a different crystal structure. This helps it remain strong and fracture-resistant over a long period of time. 

While zirconium and yttrium are metals, zirconia and yttria are not. That’s why we sometimes call zirconia implants non-metal dental implants. 

Benefits of Zirconia Dental Implants

Not many dentists offer zirconia dental implants in Columbus, Ohio. However, Dr. Firouzian offers them because they have many benefits, including:

  • Strength
  • Attractiveness
  • Corrosion-resistance
  • Biocompatibility
  • Hypoallergenic properties

In a pure strength contest, zirconia has more than twice the compressive strength of the strongest titanium alloys used in dental implants. However, the battle is not always to the strong. To stand up to biting, chewing, and trauma, dental implants need to be able to flex and not break. Zirconia is not great at flexing, but it’s still more than twice as flex resistant as it needs to be to replace your tooth root, and it can hold up to more than 10 million simulated chews. 

Zirconia dental implants are also more attractive than titanium They look more like natural teeth roots. Since implants are under your gums and bone, this doesn’t always matter. However, in some cases, people with thin or translucent gums are unhappy with the slight gray appearance of titanium implants. 

Titanium is a metal that can rust. Usually, titanium oxide forms a strong, protective coating on the implant. However, in some cases, titanium can rust away badly. Zirconia can’t rust because it’s already an oxide. 

As a non-metal dental implant, zirconia is more compatible with your body. This helps the bone to bond to the implant, and it reduces irritation of the gum tissue. Zirconia implants might also be more resistant to bacteria, but that’s not certain. 

One of the ways that zirconia works better with your body is that it is less likely to trigger allergies. About 6 in 1000 people are allergic to titanium, which can lead to negative symptoms, even implant failure. 

Limitations of Zirconia Dental Implants

The main limitation of zirconia dental implants is that we don’t have as much information about them as we do about titanium dental implants. Dentists have used titanium dental implants for more than 60 years, but zirconia dental implants have been in common use for about a quarter of that time. However, based on what we do know, we think zirconia dental implants:

  • Are less forgiving of implant dentist errors
  • It might have a higher failure rate
  • It might not last as long

Dentists can use many abutments for titanium dental implants to make up for implants that are too close to teeth or at a poor angle. Zirconia dental implants don’t have as many options, so they need to be placed correctly. This means that you should choose your Columbus, Ohio, implant dentist carefully. Select one with experience placing zirconia dental implants, like Dr. Firouzian. 

Some studies suggest a higher failure rate for zirconia dental implants. However, a 2018 study showed that the initial success rate of zirconia implants was about the same as for titanium implants (98%) and remained consistent for the three years of the study. 

It’s possible that zirconia dental implants can develop cracks over the long-term. However, we don’t know how likely this is because there are not nearly as many long-term studies of these implants as for titanium. 

Considering Zirconia Dental Implants in Columbus, Ohio?

Are you looking for dental implants to replace one or more lost teeth? Are you interested in zirconia dental implants? Let Columbus, Ohio, implant dentist Dr. Mike Firouzian help. He has helped many people in Columbus get attractive, successful results with zirconia dental implants. 

Please call (614) 848-5001 or use our online form today to schedule an appointment at Firouzian Dentistry in the Crossroads neighborhood of Columbus.