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Are Zirconia Dental Implants a Challenger to Titanium Dental Implants in Toronto?

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People of all ages are becoming increasingly concerned with what they put into their bodies; from the food we eat to products we use, what is in the goods we consume matters more and more. Recently, one area of concern became metal – particularly, metal implants used in surgical procedures.

Zirconia dental implants have been available in Toronto since 2013 and have since become a viable alternative to traditional titanium implants. But are they the best choice or is there still a place at the top for titanium? We measure the benefits of each across several categories.

Zirconia vs Titanium Implants

Zirconia is a ceramic material, derived from Zirconium. Ceramic is technically defined as a transitional metal, so while Zirconia implants are described as being free from metal, they do still contain metal components. While Zirconia implants have been approved for use in Canada, they have a relatively short history when compared with titanium implants, so less is known about their long-term performance.

Despite the growing popularity of Zirconia, Titanium implants are still the most widely used dental implants in Toronto. They have been around since the 1960s and have a long history of use in surgical dentistry. They are most renowned for their strength and durability, however a very small portion of patients may experience what is known as Titanium rejection, caused by an allergy to metal, most commonly nickel.

Appearance

Aesthetically, Zirconia implants are the most natural looking dental implant available. They have a clean, bright white colour throughout, largely thanks to being one solid piece as opposed to traditional dental implants that consist of a Titanium abutment and a crown. Some patients who have received titanium implants complain of a greyish appearance showing through the tooth or along the gums.

Bio-Compatibility

Osseointegration refers to the ability of an implant to integrate with bone. In this case, both Zirconia and Titanium are highly bio-compatible; with few exceptions, both materials have been shown to seamlessly fuse with the jawbone bone structure and gums.

Strength

Both Zirconia and Titanium are exceptionally strong materials which should be able to withstand most normal wear and tear, however Titanium has the edge over Zirconia in terms of durability and strength. Zirconia has been shown in some cases to be slightly more prone to fracture, due to lower elasticity and flexural strength.

Cost

While it should not be the deciding factor, Zirconia implants are more costly than traditional Titanium implants. This is due to a number of factors; the Zirconia implant procedure is more complex and time-consuming than traditional implants, and since the procedure is relatively new in Toronto you may need to seek out a highly skilled dental specialist.

While it is nice to have an alternative to Titanium implants, ultimately there is no clear winner. The right option should be decided between you and your dental professional.