If you are missing one or more teeth, you can achieve a smile makeover through cosmetic dentistry. Traditionally, dentures, crowns, and bridges were the most popular. Today, titanium dental implants are also available. Dental implants are one of the safest and convenient ways to replace missing or lost teeth. Additionally, implants provide support to crowns, bridges, or dentures replacing a single tooth or a full set of replacement teeth.
Generally, there are two primary materials used in modern dental implants, titanium, and zirconia. Since the dawn of holistic treatment alternatives, patients are more concerned about the elements that come into contact with their bodies. As a result, they are not sure which is better between titanium and zirconia implants.
What are titanium dental implants
Implants are titanium screws or post-like medical devices that a periodontist surgically inserts underneath your gums. These screws act as an artificial tooth root for replacement teeth. Generally, titanium implants are a metal alloy that consists of various metals, such as aluminum, nickle, and vanadium.
Unlike other types of metal, medical professionals prefer titanium because it fuses well with the human bone. Also, it’s strong and durable yet lightweight, which allows surgeons to use it for hip and knee replacements besides implants.
Who need titanium dental implants
Generally, implants may be right for you, if:
- One or more of your teeth are missing
- You have a jawbone that’s reached full growth
- Are unable to wear dentures
- You want to improve your speech
There are various factors your dentist puts into consideration. Mostly, healthy gums, proper oral hygiene, and enough gum thickness to support the implant are among the top priorities. However, if your bone is too soft, thin, or unable to support an implant, an oral surgeon may perform a bone graft. Bone grafting involves rebuilding your jawbone from various materials such as bone from another part of your body or using synthetic graft. This procedure typically takes several months for the transplanted bone to grow to an adequate size.
The implant surgery may not be possible if your gums are not adequately thick to accommodate implants and bone grafting isn’t an option. Additionally, patients suffering from untreated periodontal disease, uncontrolled diabetes, immune system deficiencies, blood clotting disorders, among others, aren’t suitable for implants.
Are titanium dental implants better than zirconia?
Both titanium and zirconia dental implants have their pros and cons. Typically, zirconia is a metal free-crystal that usually comes as a one-piece. However, titanium implants come in three parts (the implant, abutment, and crown).
Moreover, implants made of zirconia haven’t been in the market for very long. Hence, their durability can’t be determined. Yet, zirconia dental implants are more aesthetically pleasing and expensive compared to titanium implants. In terms of strength, zirconia has a lower elasticity, which means it can fracture easily.
Nonetheless, both materials are biocompatible, meaning they do not inflame or damage tissue as well as aren’t corroded or worn away by the body. Additionally, they are safe to use for implants.
9 Key benefits of titanium dental implants
Typically, implants have numerous advantages compared to dental bridges and dental crowns. Some key benefits include:
- Implants feel and function like natural teeth.
- Adjacent healthy teeth don’t need to be filed down to provide support for missing teeth or tooth.
- Implants maintain the structure of your jawbone.
- They provide a firm grip for removable dentures.
- You don’t need to apply messy adhesives to hold the replacement teeth in place, like dentures.
- They are lightweight yet strong, durable, and secure because they are placed deep within the root.
- Provide a 95% success rate.
- Offer long-lasting results and faster osseointegration (the process in which the implant fuses with your bone) compared to zirconia implants.
- Titanium implants are the best dental implants for a full set of teeth replacement.
Dental implant procedure
Generally, dental implant surgery is a one-stage or two-stage procedure. However, this depends on your particular clinical circumstances as well as your personalized treatment plan.
- After discussing the best courses of treatment, your dentist or periodontist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth. He or she will take X-rays of your jaws, teeth, and head to determine if the implants are right for you.
- During the first stage of surgery, your periodontist makes a small incision in your gum to expose the bone.
- Next, he or she inserts an implant into your jawbone underneath the gum tissue. The tissue is then stitched back together. As the gum tissue heals, the implant bonds with the bone and attaches to the gum. The healing usually takes about three to six months.
- Once the tissue heals completely, your periodontist will attach an abutment to the implant during your second surgery. An abutment is a post-like device that connects your replacement tooth to the implant.
- Afterward, a replacement tooth is made, and your periodontist attaches it to the abutment. Typically, replacement teeth are custom made from impressions of your teeth to ensure a natural finish and that the artificial teeth resemble your natural teeth.
- Once your crowns or bridges are ready, your dentist cements them on the abutment. Additionally, if you are replacing several or all your teeth, a fixed bridge is anchored on your implants.
In some cases, the first and second stages of surgery may be combined into one step. Usually, two stages are necessary for patients who require a dental bone graft or a regenerative bone technique. Typically, several reasons contribute to bone loss, including aging, periodontal diseases, injury, long term missing teeth, and denture wear.
Caring for your titanium dental implants
Implants function just like your natural teeth. Therefore, it’s imperative to practice proper oral care as well as have routine dental visits to ensure proper oral health. Immediately after the procedure, it’s common to experience the following symptoms.
- Swelling around your gums and face
- Discomfort at the implant site
- Minor bleeding
However, you may take painkillers that are prescribed by your dentist or periodontist. Additionally, during this period, consider changing your diet to include soft foods such as yogurt and eggs.
Moreover, with proper care, titanium implants can last for up to 5 years or more. To maximize the lifespan of the implants, practice good dental health and schedule regular dental checkups with your nearest Toronto Dentist.
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