When most people think of dental implants they think of the visible portion of the implant― the artificial crown that resembles a natural tooth. In fact, dental implants are multi-part restorations. Beneath the gum line, screws, nails, and frames support the artificial teeth. There are also connecting elements called abutments, which may include posts, guide planes, and rest seats.
The above-described parts of dental implants have traditionally been made of metal, titanium being the metal most commonly used. However, in recent years, concerns about the use of metal in dentistry have contributed to the growing popularity of ceramic, metal-free dental implants. Here are some of the advantages of metal-free dental implants.
1) Perform like natural teeth
Ceramic implants function very much like healthy natural teeth. Like natural teeth, they stimulate the jawbone during chewing, preventing bone erosion. Ceramic implants are also very stable and strong; in fact, they are harder than metal implants. They also respond better to temperature fluctuations than metal implants.
2) Do not corrode
Unlike metal implants which corrode over time leaving a metallic taste in the mouth and metal staining around the gums, ceramic implants do not corrode.
3) Do not conduct electricity
Metal implants conduct electricity which can cause muscle contractions, a phenomenon known as galvanism. There is no risk of this with ceramic implants.
One concern with metal implants is that they cause allergic reactions in some people. Ceramic is a chemically inert, biocompatible material that is not known to cause allergic reactions. Chemically reactive metal implants can cause gum recession, but the biocompatibility of ceramic implants encourages gum growth.
5) Natural look
With ceramic implants there is no risk of unsightly metal staining at the gum line. Ceramic also has a translucency that gives it the look of human enamel. For these reasons, ceramic implants are regarded as being more aesthetically pleasing than metal implants.
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