Pacific Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Studio is proud to be one of a select few centers in the world that offers Zirconium Implants or Metal-Free Ceramic Dental Implants.We understand and appreciate our patients’ desire for a holistic approach towards replacing their missing teeth. As a pioneering biological dentist, Dr. Salib has extensive training with the use of Zirconia Implants and was one of the earliest surgeons in the United States placing zirconia dental implants (zirconium dental implants) with great success. In fact, Dr. Salib has treated zirconia implant patients from as far away as the East Coast and Canada.
What are Zirconium Implants (ceramic implants)?
Not long ago, dental implants were a highly acclaimed novel technique. Now, dental implants are commonplace and more accessible to the general public. Research within the field of dental materials has once again revolutionized the field of dental implants with the introduction of a new material, zirconia.
Zirconia dental implants, also known as zirconium or all ceramic implants are made of zirconia. Zirconia is a naturally occurring, extremely hard, metal-free substance. It is resistant against acids and corrosion. Just as importantly, it is biocompatible which means no allergic reactions should be expected.
Patients who currently experience allergic reactions to metals will not experience a zirconia allergy with zirconia implants. Until recently, Zirconia implants have only been available in Europe; however, now they are FDA approved and available in the United States. At Pacific Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Surgery, we are happy to be one of a few select centers able to offer our patients an absolute metal-free ceramic option to restore their smiles. Zirconia crowns are placed onto the zirconia dental implants for a complete all ceramic solution for the replacement of a missing tooth.
History of Zirconia Implants
Zirconium was first discovered in the late 1700s in Germany. In the late 1960s, it was studied as a potential biomaterial called TZP. In 1975, a British physicist Ron Garvie found that the tetragonal structure of zirconium dioxide could be stabilized by adding about 5.5% yttrium oxide material, resulting in an extremely hard ceramic material.
This process further improved its already exceptional mechanical properties and increased its high biological stability. Zirconium’s sheer strength prompted its nickname, ‘ceramic steel’, and over the past two decades it has debuted in the field of dentistry – first for the fabrication of strong crowns and then more recently as a strong, tooth-colored and metal-free ceramic dental implant material.
Zirconium is one of the best ceramics used today for dental reconstruction. It is very resistant to corrosion and is lighter than steel. Since it entered the field in the 1990s, its use has increased steadily and today it is estimated that up to 20,000 zirconia structures are made across the world each day. Decades of testing have shown that a zirconia bridge can retain its strength even after 50 years! Studies have also shown that zirconium is extremely biocompatible, and does not cause allergies in humans. Instead, it is readily accepted by the body. Zirconium metal-free dental implants have been used in Europe for years now and are now available in the U.S. We are happy to offer our patients completely metal-free options to restore their smiles previously limited to only European countries.
Advantages of Zirconium Ceramic Implants
Many patients will ask about the difference between zirconia implants vs titanium dental implants.
The biggest advantages of Zirconia dental implants are that they are:
- Natural — Zirconia Implants make it unnecessary to implant titanium or any other metal into the jaw bone in order to create fixed teeth replacements. Zirconia implants are a holistic, natural choice of dental implant. It is estimated that approximately 4% of Americans are sensitive to titanium.
- Hygienic — Zirconium dental implants are shown to retain less plaque than their titanium counterparts, which will promote healthier gums around the implant.
- Cosmetically Aesthetic — Zirconia has the advantage of its bright white tooth-like color which, as a basis for a tooth replacement, will appear even more natural than crowns with metal implants underneath. Its translucency makes excellent cosmetic results possible. The white color of zirconia implants further reduces the possibility of a dark gumline that sometimes occurs with implants.
- Electroneutral — Zirconium is a very poor chemical and electric conductor and easily withstands changes in temperature. The beneficial neutrality of zirconia was only recently discovered through research. While pure titanium potentially effectuated negative biochemical disturbances, research shows zirconia oxide does not produce these side effects.
From our standpoint as dental implant specialists, zirconium also has other advantages that are less cosmetically related, but are extremely important to the success and longevity of the implant.
Zirconium is also:
- Strong — Zirconium is the second strongest material found in nature (next to the diamond) and the strength of zirconium implants is equal to that of titanium implants.
- Biocompatible — A substance is biocompatible if it does not produce a toxic, allergic or immunological response in living tissue. Zirconium is absolutely inert and readily accepted by the body and integrated into the body’s natural bone, is not toxic to the body, and does not cause allergic reactions.
- Osseointegrative — Zirconia dental implants have a high rate of osseointegration, confirmed by numerous studies in both Germany and the United States.
Pacific Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Studio is pleased to offer a holistic, natural option for teeth replacement. Zirconia implants have been lauded by Dr. Mercola for teeth replacement. Dr. Salib utilizes recent advances in medicine and state-of-the-art technology to allow patients to undergo their zirconia dental implant procedure in a manner that promotes rapid healing and minimal post-operative discomfort. We are one of only a handful of centers that has our own 3-D CT scanner in house allowing us to take 3-D imaging on patients to verify nerve positions and ensure safety. Dr. Salib is a professor and teaches other surgeons the techniques of minimally invasive CT guided surgery.
Many patients often ask about how much zirconia implants cost. Dr. Salib’s staff will kindly assist you to maximize your insurance benefits and will work with you to help facilitate your needs. As an oral surgeon, Dr. Salib is proud to offer many options for sedation dentistry. Zirconia implant placement with IV sedation or general anesthesia is an excellent option to ensure your comfort.
If you are in need of a dental removal of a tooth and would prefer a holistic tooth replacement with zirconia (ceramic) dental implants from a biological dentist, we invite you to call our office and come for a consultation. Our friendly staff at Pacific Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Studio will gladly assist you. We are conveniently located in Mission Viejo on the Mission Medical Center campus. Your zirconia (ceramic) dental implant needs will be met by our oral surgery office proudly serving patients throughout the United States and Internationally.