Dental implants are definitely one of the best innovations that happened to modern dentistry. This is without a doubt. Sure, on paper, it can seem a little frightening. It wouldn’t be a surprise if someone got the heebie-jeebies over having some metal thing screwed into your jawbone. But its benefits very much outweigh the cons, including keeping bone density and ease of use. If you’re still a little hesitant, however, there are other options—such as metal free dental implants.
For the most part, traditional titanium implants have reigned supreme when it comes to dental restorations. And for a good reason, too. Aside from being compatible with human tissue, it’s also durable enough to cling onto the jawbone, ensuring that the implant is firmly set. But it does have its share of disadvantages. For one, they might not be the best option for those who are genuinely allergic to titanium or other metals. For another, the grey color becomes apparent over time, giving the teeth an unsightly appearance.
Metal free dental implants, then, rose to become a viable alternative to titanium implants. They lack the metal components that might trigger the metal-averse. And color-wise, it blends in well with the rest of the teeth. But before you jump onto the metal-free train, there are a few things you might want to consider before you make the appointment.
Ask yourself: what do you want out of your dental implants?
Each type of implant has its share of pros and cons. And for the most part, they line up with a patient’s unique needs. The question then lies in which needs require which type of implant.
For proponents of metal free dental implants, its draw comes from the lack of any potentially toxic materials. Because the implant is inserted into the jaw, some might worry about the material breaking down or being absorbed. So while modern implants do protect from this happening, having an implant that is free from metal prevents this entirely.
Those who have genuine allergies to titanium and other metals don’t have much of a say in the matter. If they don’t jive well with different types of restorations—such as dental bridges, dentures, and the like—a non-metallic implant is the next best thing they can get.
But while this lack of toxic materials is what convinces most people to jump to the metal-free ship, it is, for the most part, its main draw. What a metal-free implant could do is no different from what your typical titanium implant can. So is one necessarily a better option than the other?
Don’t get a metal-free implant if this worries you
Dental implants only really work for a specific group of people–i.e., those with an ample amount of jawbone. But even those who qualify for an implant might still be wary of the procedure nonetheless. Because of its nature, an implant needs to be of a certain caliber to be successful. For one, it should be able to hold onto the jawbone without coming loose. For obvious reasons, it shouldn’t also break easily, as it could injure your jaw. And finally, it should be easy to place in to make sure it lasts longer.
When comparing titanium and metal free dental implants, the former tend to score a little better on all aspects than the latter does. Titanium, by nature, isn’t as brittle as your typical ceramic implant. And when you do place it in, it’s usually by installments—you first put the “roots” in before adding the crown. Because of this, it’s easier to troubleshoot when things go wrong. Metal-free implants, on the other hand, usually come in one piece, making this a little trickier.
That said, if you’re worried about your implants meeting all the needed requirements, then you might want to choose titanium instead. Otherwise, you might want to consult your dentist if you do decide to go metal-free.