Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth. They feature a synthetic root that goes into your gum and fuses with your bone, as well as a crown or cap that appears above the gum line. They can be made from a variety of materials depending on your needs and preferences. Your oral surgeon will recommend the best material for your unique mouth.
Titanium Roots of Dental Implants
Traditionally, dental implants feature a titanium root which is also called a fixture. This material is extremely biocompatible and allergic reactions are extremely rare, which is why knee, hip, and other popular implants are also made of titanium. The fixture may be coated with hydroxyapatite to help with the ossification process.
Typically, the oral surgeon installs the titanium root. Then, they close your gum over the titanium, and you wait a few months for the bone to ossify to the metal. The exact waiting period varies based on your unique mouth and whether the implant is on the top or the bottom. When that’s done, you come back to the clinic. The oral surgeon completes the process by revealing the top of the titanium piece, screwing an abutment onto the fixture, and attaching a cap or crown to the abutment. Generally, the abutment is also titanium.
The Crown of Dental Implants
Also called a prosthesis, the crown is the part that looks like a tooth. When you go to a quality oral surgeon, they make sure that the crown matches your natural teeth in shape, size, and even color. The crown can be all resin or all ceramic, but it can also be porcelain fused to metal. Those materials tend to be the most popular.
However, some people love the look of gold or metallic caps, and you can get dental implants made with those materials as well. Talk with your dentist about what materials they usually use in caps for implants and ask questions until you find the material that works best for you.
Zirconia Dental Implants
While most dental implants feature a fixture, an abutment, and a prosthetic as explained above, there are also all-in-one dental implants. First introduced in the late 1980s, these implants are made of zirconia. Zirconia is quite strong, but unfortunately, it is prone to microcracks when adjusted. Additionally, to hold together, zirconia implants use cement, and some studies indicate that the cement can get stuck in your gum tissue and lead to inflammation or other issues. However, some people think that the single-piece construction helps to minimize the buildup of bacteria around the dental implant. This option is relatively rare, and your oral surgeon can let you know if this may be the right choice for you.
When they need dental implants, Atlanta residents deserve the best. At Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery, our board certified oral surgeons use cutting edge technology to prepare and guide patients through the dental implant process, and Dr. Abtin is a published professional who has traveled the world training other dental professionals about implants. To learn more about the materials in our implants or the options that are available, contact us today. We look forward to helping you reclaim your beautiful smile.