Dental implants are most commonly made of titanium and titanium alloys, which have proven to be compatible with the oral tissues. Scientists around the world are however, always on the look out for newer, better metals.
Dental Implants procedure is very expensive and not every one can afford them especially in the first world nations. So, in the past few years, it has been observed that many patients from the US and the UK traveled to Mexico, India and Thailand for affordable dental treatments. Dental vacation have become a popular trend with more and more medical tourists going for cosmetic dentistry in Bangkok, Mexico and India every year.
The composition of the material and its surface topography play a vital role in osseointegration, which is the most critical part of an implant procedure. Researchers have incessantly tried to incorporate various chemical and physical surface modifications in the implant material, to improve bone healing and help it make a faster and tighter bond with the bone, as eventually, success of the treatment depends on how firmly the implant screw is fitted inside the bone.
Titanium alloys are somewhat rough even at high temperatures, and have very high tensile strength. Other desirable properties of this metal include light weight, excellent corrosion resistance, and its ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Though these properties make titanium the most appropriate choice for dental implants, there is one downside – titanium is an expensive metal.
The use of titanium is limited by its high costs, and so scientists started looking for alternatives.
Zirconia-based implants were introduced to dentistry about a decade ago, and they are considered a potential alternative for the expensive titanium implants.
Zirconia is a grayish-white metal, which resembles titanium in its purest form. It also exhibits good resistance to corrosion and oxidation, which makes it suitable for use in human implant procedures.
The mechanical properties and biocompatibility of Zirconium allow it to be used as an implant material. Besides, there is also an added advantage of this metal over titanium – Zirconium implants are aesthetically superior to those of titanium. Titanium is darker, while zirconium has a tooth-like hue, which makes it more attuned in the oral cavity.
Though the metal part of a titanium implant is not really seen as the implant screw is inserted inside the bone, sometimes a dark line remains around the gums. Zirconium, being whitish in color, has no such problem.
Also, Zirconium implants are said to retain lesser plaque and calculus than titanium, thus promoting healthy gums. It is an inert material, has low allergic potential, and can withstand high pressures.
Now, the most important step in any implant procedure is osseointegration, and available data indicates that zirconium implants with modified surfaces result in osseointegration, which is comparable to that of titanium implants.
The high strength, resilience, good chemical and mechanical properties of Zirconia make it a suitable material for dental use. The metal is still under investigation, but the use of Zirconia looks promising for dental application in the future.
So if you are facing a dental issue then don’t stress. Plan your budget and choose one from these: Dental Tourism in Mexico, India or Thailand. In these countries you could not just get pocket friendly dental care treatments but also high quality procedures that could definitely bring back your smile.
*Osseointegration – the direct contact between bone and implant material.
DentaVacation facilitates affordable dental treatments at various destinations across the world. For more information, submit the estimate-request form on the right.