Titanium Vs. Ceramic Dental Implants
If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth and are considering dental implants, there are several factors to consider, including the price, safety, and durability of different dental implant types. The two primary types of implants are titanium implants and ceramic implants. Although both implants will provide a similar appearance and restore a patient’s full smile, there are some important differences between these two implant types that are important to be aware of.
Titanium implants are the more vetted implant option, as this type of implant has been used since the 1960s and has a history of successful treatment, whereas ceramic implants are a newer type of implant and have not been vetted for durability in the same fashion. Titanium implants are comprised of a titanium base, which is placed in the jawbone and acts as the root of your artificial tooth. Once this post has fused with your jawbone, a separate restoration is secured to this post with an abutment. Conversely, ceramic dental implants are one piece and require a greater level of precision when being placed.
Provided no issues occur, both titanium and ceramic implants should last for decades, assuming proper care is taken. Both implant types are, however, susceptible to developing fractures and small cracks, but the repair process for correcting these issues is relatively straightforward. One of the biggest reasons patients may opt for ceramic dental implants is that this implant type provides a more natural look, which may be especially important for patients who have thinner gum tissue and are at an increased risk of having the metal of the titanium implant show through. Additionally, some patients may have an allergic reaction to one of the metals used in the titanium alloy, in which case a ceramic dental implant can provide a durable solution that eliminates this issue.
Additional factors to consider when deciding between titanium vs. ceramic dental implants include:
- Pricing: Of the two options, ceramic implants are the more expensive choice due to the extensive time necessary to properly place the implants, as well as the manufacturing cost. While the cost is higher, the aesthetic appearance of a ceramic dental implant is greater compared to titanium implants.
- Safety: Both types of implants have been tested extensively and are FDA approved, though titanium implants do carry the risk of causing an allergic reaction among some patients who have a metal allergy.
- Durability: While both implant types are very long lasting, with titanium implants lasting 20 years on average, the average longevity of a ceramic implant is still not known because the procedure is so new. Should either implant crack or become damaged, they can be repaired or replaced.
- Healing process: A healing process will be necessary following the placement of either implant type and will be essentially the same regardless if the patient had a titanium or ceramic dental implant placed. In general, a patient will experience pain and/or mild discomfort for approximately seven days. Once this pain has subsided, it will take three to six months for the implant to full integrate with your jaw.
To learn more about the differences between titanium and ceramic dental implants and determine which option may be right for you, contact your periodontist today!