We’ve seen a lot of interest in white ceramic dental implants at our Vancouver office lately. Patients have come in, asking us about what white dental implants are, and how they compare to titanium dental implants. In this post, we’ll give you a summary of what white dental implants are, and whether you should consider them for your dental implant procedure.
What Are White Dental Implants?
White dental implants serve the same function as any other dental implant: they replace damaged or missing teeth with a synthetic root and crown. They can also support larger dental prostheses like bridges or dentures. White dental implants are made of a zirconia ceramic material. This creates a more natural look than metal implants. The material also has physical properties that offer advantages over titanium dental implants.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of White Dental Implants?
- White dental implants match the color of your teeth, which results in a more natural look.
- White ceramic implants are a single-piece design. Titanium implants have multiple pieces (the implant, abutment, and crown). This makes the dental implant procedure for white implants more straightforward. Titanium implants often require multiple procedures to implant the different components.
- White ceramic implants contain no metal, which is beneficial for patients with metal allergies or sensitivities.
- Ceramic does not corrode when implanted in the mouth.
- White ceramic implants are stronger than metal implants.
- White dental implants are more expensive than titanium implants.
- White ceramic implants are still relatively new to the U.S. market. They were approved by the FDA in 2007. This means that while ceramic implants are definitely safe, there have been no studies on the long-term use of this type of implant.
- Because of this lack of long-term studies, no one really knows how long white ceramic dental implants can last.
- While ceramic dental implants are stronger, ceramic has a lower elasticity than titanium. This means that ceramic can withstand more pressure, but it is prone to cracking if forces try to bend it too hard.
How Do White Dental Implants Compare To Titanium Dental Implants?
White ceramic implants certainly have a lot of positives. But, they’re not necessarily a better choice than titanium implants. Either option is a good one. It’s just a matter of whether you value aesthetics over cost, and if you have a certain aversion to metal implants.
We should note that while metal implants can cause issues in a very small percentage of patients, titanium implants are regarded as extremely safe and durable for the vast majority of patients. Titanium has been used as a medical implant material for decades, not only as a dental implant but also as a material for bone and joint replacements. Titanium is a durable, long-lasting, and non-toxic material and is well-researched. Ceramic implants have also been well-researched, but they just haven’t been available long enough to study long-term effects. Medical science knows that titanium implants can last 30 years or more.
The main advantages of ceramic dental implants over titanium dental implants are aesthetics, hygiene, and ease of implantation. In some cases, some metal can show in a titanium implant, but the majority of the metal material is where the tooth root used to be: invisible below the tooth crown. With some patients, a very small gap may occur between the titanium implant abutment and the gum. This gap can provide an environment for bacteria, and can be difficult to clean. And finally, due to the one-piece design, ceramic implants can be easier to install and take fewer procedures to finish.
These ceramic implant advantages shouldn’t make you rule out titanium implants entirely. The main advantage of titanium implants is that they cost much less than ceramic ones. Depending on the extent of your implant procedure, you might save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by opting for titanium dental implants. Ceramic dental implants are an appealing option, but sometimes the additional cost is not easily justified.
Which Type Of Dental Implant Does Dr. Bowyer Recommend?
Dr. Bowyer performs both types of dental implant procedures in his Vancouver office, and he recommends either option. For patients with more of an aesthetic focus, white ceramic implants are better. For most patients, titanium dental implants are a perfectly viable option, and a good way to keep costs lower. If you’re interested in getting a consultation on a dental implant procedure for yourself, contact us today and Dr. Bowyer can give you a recommendation personalized to your specific situation.