lost teeth were replaced with bridges or dentures. However,
this meant that natural tooth substance had to be removed
to place bridges, often jeopardizing the health of the surrounding
teeth. Dentures on the other hand can be uncomfortable and
ill-fitting. After removal of teeth the jawbone has the
tendency to recede.
In 1964, implants finally
revolutionized dentistry making tooth replacement possible
without damage to neighboring teeth and offering denture
patients stability and comfort.
The material of choice seemed
to be titanium due to its mechanical and biological properties,
therefore, compatible with most people. However, it has
been proven that the immune system has an unfavorable reaction
to the metal. Furthermore, it is being discussed that the
use of dental alloys will increase the allergy rate significantly.
Ceramic materials seem
to be the ideal replacement for metals due to their superior
cosmetic and organic properties. Zirconium dioxide combines
biocompatibility with mechanical properties well beyond
that of titanium. In the mid-90’s the first zirconium
dental implant was developed in Switzerland. Since 2004
implants have been certified in Europe and used in over
Advantages over titanium:
~ Zirconium dioxide is
not readily reactive with other elements forming few or
no chemical compounds.
~ Zirconium dioxide is white in contrast to titanium, which
is grey making it cosmetically pleasing.
~ Plaque adhesion to zirconium dioxide is nearly non-existent.
By contrast, plaque adhesion to polished titanium is extremely
~ Gums react very well to zirconium dioxide. This is generally
a problem with titanium due to the release of free radicals,
which are believed to play a major role in gum disease.
What is involved?
First, it is determined
whether or not you are a candidate for an implant. An implant
cannot be placed if any of the following
apply: taking a blood thinner (Coumadin or aspirin);
a smoker; have an artificial joint (need to
wait for 2 years or sooner with physician’s consent);
osteoporosis; taking a bisphosphonate (Aclasta,
Actonel, Aredia, Bonefos, Boniva, Didronel, Fosamax, Fosamax
Plus D, Reclast, Skielid, Zometa).
We also need to determine
if you have enough bone to qualify for an implant with a
panorex x-ray. Once placed, there is a period of 4-6 months
to allow the area to heal before placing a crown, bridge
or denture. A splint is worn over the implant site to protect
it during this time.
If interested, you may call our office to
schedule a consultation.