Dental implants are an excellent replacement for missing teeth, but not all dental implants are
created equal. Different materials may be used for the actual implants, making them more
compatible for people with different types of sensitivities.
What kinds of materials are used for dental implants? Here’s why not every dental implant is
the same and what types of materials you can expect to find for your implant options.
Titanium has long been used for dental implants and is the most tried and true material.
Although some people are sensitive to titanium, this material tends to be very biocompatible
and not cause reactions in the body.
Titanium is also used for knee and hip replacements among many other medical procedures
based on how well people tolerate it. Titanium also has the ability to fuse with bone, making it
a secure and trustworthy choice for dental implants.
Titanium also offers the advantage of being flexible in regards to how it’s placed in the jaw. It
can be made to consist of two pieces, which offer more options for dentists to place. This
dental implant material has been used for decades with very high rates of success (currently
about 98 percent).
Some people are concerned about being exposed to metal or having an allergy to metal, so
there’s been a demand for a metal-free dental implant option.
Zirconia comes pretty close. It’s not entirely metal-free, as it contains trace amounts of metal,
but these traces are so minimal they would not cause a reaction. Zirconia tends to be more
biocompatible than titanium, but it does have its disadvantages.
Zirconia is a relatively recent development for dental implants and has not been nearly as
measured for success as titanium. There’s also minimal room for error when placing the dental
implant, as zirconia implants are only made in one piece and so give oral surgeons less flexibility
when placing the implant.
Since zirconia implants are made out of one piece, they also have fewer areas for bacteria to
accumulate and so provide minimal chances of a reaction or infection. However, titanium
implants also have very low rates of rejection and infection, making it comparable to zirconia in
Which One Is Right for You?
If you’re a candidate for dental implants, your dentist can discuss which material would be best
for your implant. There are different reasons each material may be used. People who clench their jaw or grind their teeth may not be able to have zirconia dental implants, as these implants have been known to fracture.
People who don’t want the dark color of metal showing through their gums—this is very rare in
titanium dental implant cases—may want to go with zirconia.
If you’re sensitive to titanium, zirconia may be your only option. You’ll need to discuss your
choices with your dentist to determine which one will be right for your unique smile. If you
don’t have an allergy or sensitivity to metal, titanium implants will likely be your dentist’s first
Are you considering dental implants? Remember that not every dental implant is created equal.
When it comes to your beautiful smile, your professional dentist can help you make the best
choice to give you a solid tooth replacement for life!