Metal-free (Zirconia) Dental Implants

Zirconia implants represent the new era of modern dental implantology – the “All-Ceramic” dental implant. This major revolution means patients who desire or need a complete metal-free solution can now replace missing or lost teeth without compromise. At Sydney Dental Aesthetics & Implants, we understand and appreciate the desire of many of our patients who want for an organic and metal free approach to their dentistry.

At Dental Implants Illawarra, Dr. Dean Licenblat is one of only a few select surgeons who can offer this metal-free all-ceramic solution in Australia and in fact across the Asia-Pacific region.

What are Zirconia Implants?

The material Zirconium Dioxide (ZrO2) or more commonly zirconia is a naturally occurring, metal-free, highly biocompatible and non-corrosive ceramic. It is completely non-reactive, non-allergenic and bio-inert so it does not invite inflammation. The newer zirconia implants such as Straumann Pure & Ceraroot are extremely hard and do not fracture easily unlike their predecessors, adding to the lifespan of your restoration.

From an aesthetic standpoint our metal free implants are white and have the natural translucency of natural teeth, so the grey hue that can appear with some titanium implants at the gum line is a no longer a concern.

At Dental Implants Illawarra, we only use the one-piece body zirconia dental implants as they serve numerous benefits, particularly the decrease in inflammation around the implant which is commonly associated with the most common implants on the market today.

Straumann Pure & Ceraroot are our preferred metal-free dental implants systems, as they offer a natural and aesthetic approach to implant dentistry. They are particularly ideal for patients whom holistic dentistry is of paramount importance and especially for those who have allergies to metals.

Reasons why to choose Zirconia Implants:

1. Biocompatibility & integration
Zirconia has been classified as a completely biocompatible and bio-inert material which has been proven scientifically to generate a very successful union or osseointegration between the implant and the bone.
A recent microscopic study performed at the University of Minnesota demonstrated that Ceraroot zirconia implants osseointegrated into the bone without any signs of inflammation or foreign body rejection.

2. Allergies and sensitivities
It is now coming to light that there are a large number of people with allergies, sensitivities and other complications including immune system disorders that can be attributed to metal intolerance. This contraindicates the use of metals in any therapies including dental implants for these unfortunate people, meaning many have been previously left with
unsatisfactory solutions.

3. Hardness
The long-term success is one of the most important aspects of all ceramic implants. Zirconia implants are designed and manufactured to be lightweight, incredibly strong, resist bending and to withstand chewing forces thus maintain long term strength.
Each implant is specifically designed to biomimetically replace a tooth in particular recreate, as close as possible, the original biological anatomy, conserving measures in emergence, diameter and height.

4. One piece design
Traditional implant systems consist primarily of 2 components held together with a fixation screw and a crown. The components being the implant which is osseointegrated into the bone and the abutment which joins to the implant and extends beyond the gumline. Many current titanium implant systems with the exception of a select few have micromovement between these two components when subjected to the pressures of chewing, this micromovement allows the ingress of bacteria which then colonise the internal connections of the implant. This is a serious problem as the bacteria release toxins which are exuded into the surrounding tissues inducing inflammation around the implant commonly referred to as peri-implantitis. Chronic peri-implantitis leads to bone loss and implant failure.

The type of metal-free implant that we use are called monoblock, which means that the implant and abutment are a single piece, so all of these problems are eliminated and consequently the aspect of the peri-implant tissues around the one-piece implants resembles very much that of the natural dentition.

Over the past few decades, zirconia ceramic components have been increasingly incorporated into dentistry to replace their metal counterparts due to zirconia’s clinically proven strength and increased aesthetic.

5. Single stage surgery
When placing Zirconia implants only one surgery is necessary because the implants are designed for a one-stage approach. This means the implant is specially designed to be placed at the same time of extraction or as a minimally invasive surgery in the absence of any infection and providing there is sufficient remaining bone. In many instances, the metal free implant can be placed without incisions or suturing the gum.

6. Corrosion resistance
Zirconia is resistant to chemical corrosion as well as being a thermal and electrical insulator, thus by definition it is a bio-inert material, meaning it will never trigger chemical reactions, migrate to distant sites or interfere with the health of adjacent tissues. Metal Free implants will not interfere with the movement of energy through the meridian pathways making them ideal for those whom adhere to holistic health principles and biocompatible medicine.

7. Hygiene
The absence of electrical conductivity of the zirconia ceramic makes it more difficult for bacteria to adhere to the implant surface and thus maintaining the hygiene of the prosthesis much simpler. This means it is easier to maintain a healthy gum line and decrease inflammation.

8. Aesthetics
A common problem that arises with some titanium implants is an aesthetic one. Many patients have a thin or translucent gum biotype or are prone to gum recession and it is these people who may end up with grey gums or titanium showing around the gum margin. Since Zirconia implants are white in colour, there will be no greying of the gingival tissues or metal showing around the interface of the gum.
To learn more about zirconium dental implants, or to find out if you are a candidate for metal-free implants, please come in for a personal consultation. Scheduling is easy – give us a call, or request a consultation online – we look forward to meeting you, and helping you find an individualized, health-orientated comprehensive solution that is right for you.

All-ceramic dental crown on an all-ceramic dental implant… setting the stage for the ultimate in optimal function, superior holistic health and natural biomimetic aesthetics.