Titanium Vs. Ceramic Dental Implants
Two of the most common material types used for dental implants are titanium and ceramic. While both titanium and ceramic dental implants are effective solutions for restoring a patient’s smile, each has unique characteristics that may make one solution better or worse for certain patients.
Of the two options, titanium implants have been used to correct missing teeth for considerably longer than ceramic dental implants, giving them a more thorough and vetted research history when placed against the considerably newer treatment option of ceramic dental implants. Another important difference between the two implant types is how the implant is placed. Ceramic implants are made of one piece and can be placed with one procedure, whereas titanium implants consist of a titanium post, which must first be placed into the jawbone and allowed a period of several months to integrate with the jawbone, after which the final dental crown can be attached to the post using an abutment.
Other factors that are important to bear in mind when deciding between titanium versus ceramic dental implants include:
- Aesthetic appearance: Ceramic dental implants are a more popular treatment option for patients who want to have as natural looking an implant as possible. This can be especially important for patients with thinner gums.
- Reduced risk of complication: Though uncommon, some patients have an allergic reaction to metal, which can cause their body to reject a titanium implant.
- Cost: Due to the time required to place the implants properly along with the cost of manufacturing, ceramic implants are more expensive than titanium implants. It is important to consider how important the aesthetic appearance of your implant is when deciding whether or not ceramic implants are worth the additional cost.
- Durability: Fortunately, both implant options are very durable and can be corrected if the implant becomes cracked or damaged.
Healing process: The healing process is approximately the same with either implant option and typically takes around five to seven days for the discomfort to subside and approximately three to six months for the implant to integrate fully with the jaw, after which the crown can be placed.
- Safety: Both implants are FDA approved and considered to be very safe; however, some patients may have a metal allergy to titanium, which can cause the body to reject the implant. For this reason, it is recommended that patients have a metal sensitivity test performed prior to deciding which type of implant to use.
Caring for Your Implant
Both implant types provide a durable solution, however ceramic implants are more likely to develop small fractures or cracks; however, these issues are typically easy to correct. Provided you take good care of your implant, which means brushing and flossing regularly, eating a healthy diet, and scheduling regular oral examinations, either implant should last for decades. For additional information about titanium and ceramic dental implants and which treatment option may be best for you, schedule an appointment with your periodontist today.