Metal-Free Implants in Annandale, VA
When titanium dental implants became widely available during the 1980s, they became the most popular option for replacing missing teeth. As time has moved on, alternatives to titanium were introduced into the dental community; many patients now desire a metal-free mouth. Dr. Richard Fischer and Dr. Zeena Al-Timimi offer an aesthetically pleasing option in the form of ceramic dental implants.
When an individual loses a tooth (or teeth), they will often seek a cosmetic solution such as a fixed dental bridge. Dental bridges fill the gap between one’s remaining natural teeth and are held in place by abutments affixed to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge consists of artificial teeth which are attached to a base that rests on the gum line. While this option is a perfectly suitable aesthetic solution, it falls short when preserving the jawbone.
When teeth are lost, the stimulation that it once provided to the jawbone is no longer present. Because of this, over time, the jawbone begins to deteriorate, resulting in a facial appearance that can appear hollow. A dental implant is the best available dental solution to prevent this from happening. A dental implant from Dr. Richard Fischer and Dr. Zeena Al-Timimi is manufactured from dental ceramic and surgically placed into the jawbone, perfectly mimicking a real tooth. Once inserted, the implant fuses to the jawbone and provides the needed stimulation so that the jawbone remains strong. The implant is then topped with a crown or utilized as an anchor for a dental bridge.
Choosing metal-free dental implants
A serious challenge to dentistry has been replacing dentition in an aesthetically pleasing way while also providing full functionality and retaining jawbone structure and integrity. For many years, titanium implants filled this role with much success. As time progressed and these implants gained popularity, a range of titanium alloys began to be used. A problem facing some patients when using these titanium alloys in their implant has to do with biocompatibility. Every patient has a singularly unique physiology, and no two patients are the same. Some patients have varying degrees of reaction when using even this bio-friendly titanium alloy.
The question then asked was, “what is a suitable, alternative material that will provide a minimal biophysical reaction in as many patients as possible?”. The answer was found in the form of dental ceramics. Dental ceramics have proven to be quite adaptable to the changing needs in dentistry. Ceramic oxides have allowed a broadening of available applications using these ceramics in metal-free dentistry and implantology.
Zirconia polycrystalline implants have proven to be a healthy alternative to titanium used in dental implants. Bioceramics are manufactured under detailed protocols and scientifically advanced formulations and have proven to be superior to titanium in the areas of:
- Biocompatibility – It has been found that the human body can receive zirconia implants with minimal reaction. Additionally, it does not contribute to oral galvanism (electrical current created by multiple metals in the mouth).
- Bioinert properties – Chances of a patient having an adverse or allergic reaction are incredibly close to zero. Zirconia also does not irritate the gums.
- Structural stability – The stability of zirconia and its single-piece design creates a strong implant with minimal failure points.
- Aesthetics – These implants are aesthetically stunning. The implant is a radiant white and produces no dark lines in gum recession due to aging.