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Titanium Dental Implants — How They Compare To Zirconia?

Titanium dental implants are popular for those looking to replace one or more missing teeth. There are many benefits to choosing titanium, including its durability and compatibility with the human body. But how does it compare to zirconia? If you are considering getting a dental implant, read on to find out more. 


What is a titanium dental implant?

As a robust and lightweight material biocompatible with the human body, titanium is the ideal material for a dental implant. It has been used successfully in medical applications for decades as knee and hip replacements, as well as in dental implants. 

A dental implant made from titanium consists of three parts—the implant, the abutment (the piece that connects the implant and artificial tooth) and the crown (artificial tooth). Titanium implants have a long-term success rate, with many lasting for 20 years or more—if not a lifetime—when cared for properly. 


What is a zirconia dental implant?

Zirconia dental implants are made from zirconium oxide, a ceramic that is white, odourless, and tasteless. Zirconia is an exceptionally strong material used in many products. 

Apart from the material, one of the main differences between titanium implants and zirconia is that zirconia is a one-piece prosthetic incorporating the artificial tooth. 


How safe are Zirconia and Titanium dental implants?

Titanium is FDA-approved for medical devices because it is non-toxic and interacts favourably with the human body.

tooth implant material titanium sydneyIn half a century of use, titanium alloys have had no adverse reactions (unless the patient is allergic to the metal in the alloy).

Zirconia is also FDA-approved and biocompatible with the human body.

However, because no metal alloy is contained in zirconia implants, they offer an alternative to patients who may have an allergy to the alloys contained in a titanium dental implant. 


Can you be allergic to titanium?

Titanium is used in medical applications because the human body readily accepts it. However, it is a metal alloy, and it is possible—in rare cases—for someone to have an allergy to a dental implant made from titanium. According to the Journal of Implant Dentistry, symptoms of titanium toxicity may include skin reactions, such as a red, itchy rash and swelling around the gum tissue. If you experience these symptoms after having a titanium dental implant, you must arrange to see your dentist. 


Are Titanium Dental Implants or Zirconia Best?

As with most materials, there are pros and cons of both titanium and zirconia as dental implant materials. However, what is best for your dental implant depends on a range of factors and your personal circumstances, which your dentist will discuss with you thoroughly to enable you to make an informed choice. Comparisons between the two are highlighted below. 


1. Full arch teeth replacement

For a full arch replacement of teeth, titanium implants are a better choice. As zirconia implants are single-piece prosthetics, it is more challenging to customise the final position of the implant. In contrast, with a titanium dental implant that consists of three pieces, the dentist has more freedom to alter the angle of the abutment and, therefore, the final position of the crown, making the end result look and feel more natural. 



2. Ease of placement

Titanium has been the standard implant material for some time—and for a good reason. Titanium implants are easy for dentists to work with and can be successfully placed without complications in the majority of suitable candidates.

However, implants made from zirconia can be more difficult. The solid, single nature of zirconia implants makes it challenging to place them at an angle, which is vital to obtain optimal results. Although newer two-piece models are available, they haven’t yet been widely tested. Thus, a titanium dental implant is typically the best option for most people. 


3. Osseointegration

Osseointegration is crucial for a dental implant. It is when the implant and jawbone fuse together to create a robust tooth replacement that can withstand the natural biting and chewing forces. As titanium and zirconia are both biocompatible, they integrate well with the body. 

While titanium dental implants are renowned for their longevity, there is not enough data on the long-term success of zirconia implants because they haven’t been around long enough. 


4. Strength

Both titanium and zirconia implants are strong. But while a titanium dental implant is fracture resistant because the material is flexible, an implant made from zirconia may be susceptible to fractures because it has a lower elasticity. 


teeth implant material titanium zirconia sydney5. Aesthetics

Zirconia is renowned for its aesthetics with a natural, translucent quality that mimics real teeth. However, for most patients, excellent results are obtained with titanium implants. Patients with thin gum tissue or bone may be concerned about the possibility of the dental implant showing along the tooth ridge or under the gums. However, the dentist can replace the abutment with a ceramic one that should minimise this problem. 


6. Cost

Zirconia implants are more expensive than titanium implants as the cost to manufacture zirconia is greater than the cost of titanium. Typically, zirconia dental implants cost around 30% more than titanium implants. 


The Bottom Line

We can talk you through the best options at No Gaps Dental. We take hygiene seriously, using various measures, including hand sanitiser, to keep patients safe. Our team use hand sanitiser after each patient is treated, and we advise all patients to use hand sanitiser at home before touching their mouths or faces to help prevent infection.

Both zirconia and titanium dental implants are incredible innovations to replace missing teeth. They are a safe solution for many people, but you should speak to an implant dentist to learn more about both options. Contact us on (02) 8007 6727 for an appointment today.




Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. 







Colgate: Titanium rejection symptoms: Are you allergic to your dental implant?

Journal of implant dentistry: General review of titanium toxicity

Science Direct: Osseointegration




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