When considering implant options, want to help you make an informed decision for the best possible results. It’s easy to get “information overload” when researching the variety of dental implants, so we’ll only give you the most current and relevant information.
Dental implants are categorized by material, shape, size, the attachment mechanism, connection design, surface type, number of components, and more.
The most commonly used material is titanium, but we believe zirconia will continue to gain popularity in implant best practices. Much of Europe, for instance, is utilizing zirconia materials over titanium for its quality, strength, appearance, non-allergenic properties, and overall healthier option.
About Zirconia Implants
Zirconia implants are popular as the metal-free, or ceramic, option for dental implants. Many patients with allergies, or who want a more natural option, opt for zirconia. Dr. Saleh at Optima Dental has been recognized as one of the first dentists to utilize this material in the U.S. and the first to do so in Oregon, beginning in the early 2000s. More and more, zirconia is being utilized all over the United States, particularly gaining popularity over the last few years.
Zirconia dental implants are made from zirconium dioxide. Zirconia is a naturally occurring and chemically unreactive material and the subject of much positive research. In some patients, titanium dental implants can cause a hypersensitivity allergic reaction.
Zirconia implants can be a good alternative for those patients because zirconia offers better biocompatibility. Various studies have shown that zirconia implants tend to elicit much fewer hypersensitivity reactions in patients. At Optima Dental, we utilize Z-Systems zirconia implants. Read more about these metal-free implants on our zirconia implants page.
About Titanium Implants
The vast majority of dental implants used today are titanium. Titanium implants can be made from either Medical Grade IV pure titanium or Medical Grade V titanium alloy.
Implants come in various sizes in diameter, from narrow diameter (mini) dental implants to a wide platform, large diameter implants.
Types of Titanium Utilized in Dental Implants
1. Grade 4 Titanium Implants
Grade 4 titanium is among the most commercially pure categories of titanium. It is approximately 99% pure titanium, with oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, iron, and nitrogen comprising the remaining 1%.
2. Grade 5 Titanium Implants
Grade 5 titanium is a medical grade titanium that is approximately 90% pure. The majority of dental implants utilized today are made from Grade 5 titanium, also called titanium alloy. The remaining 10% is composed of 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, 0.25% (maximum) iron, and 0.2% (maximum) oxygen.
At Optima Dental, we believe that Titanium Grade 4 implants offer the best combination of durability and biocompatibility. Manufacturers of high-quality dental implants tend to utilize Grade 4 titanium and perform more in-depth research. Some of these manufacturers include Nobel Biocare, Straumann, and Astra. These manufacturers have gained the American Dental Association seal of acceptance, which sets stricter guidelines than the FDA on dental implant manufacturers.
At Optima Dental, we utilize Nobel Biocare for our titanium implants.