I recently went to a course on Zirconia dental implants. Apparently they are more popular in Europe. A number of distinctions between titanium and zirconia implants were made.
Once zirconia is milled it becomes an oxide changing it from a metal to ceramic
• The titanium implant surface is an oxide which creates a foreign body reaction • The orthopedic field is moving away from using titanium in joint prosthetics • Since zirconia is white and less porous than the modified titanium implant surfaces, exposure of the implant at the tissue level is less problematic • With intentionally exposed zirconium implants, the soft tissue creeps crownally over time • The soft tissue responds much more favorably to zirconia than titanium • Researchers are now studying the metal dissolution that the titanium alloys have, which creates a more acidic environment and may play a significant role in peri-implantitis • Zirconia implants take longer to integrate as the implant surface doesn’t have as much topographic variation • Blood flow around a zirconia implant is 13% better than titanium and there is less inflammation around zirconia implants • Success rates of 96 (over 10 years) to 98.4% are being achieved with current zirconia implant designs • 2 piece zirconia implants have stock abutments, which can be modified by cementing a screw retained implant crown on them. • Xeramax, the zirconia implant I use has a one use carbon fiber screw that fills the screw chamber and nearly eliminates the odor between the implant and abutment • A temporary screw comes with each implant for laboratory use • Xeramax also has double the strength of the Bruxer crown by Glidwell • Zirconia implants are projected to grow 50% a year in the dental implant market
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