One big concern for many patients who are thinking of getting dental implants is whether they are strong enough to hold up during daily life, including activities like sports or foodie adventures.
Dental implants, in case you’re not familiar, are medical devices that are surgically implanted into someone’s jaw to provide support for artificial teeth. Patients will often get them to restore their ability to chew their food or to make sure they look their best.
For a long time, dentists relied on titanium implants, which are made of metal. That’s changing. More patients don’t want metal implants in their mouths for health and esthetic reasons. As a result, ceramic implants, also known as ceramic zirconia implants, have caught on.
Many find that ceramic dental implants are a very durable alternative to titanium. As Dentistry Today has pointed out, the zirconium used in making them offers “superior toughness, strength, fatigue- and corrosion-resistance, making it an ideal material for dental implantation.” Implant makers are working continually to improve the quality of the materials they use so they perform better.
So what does strong actually mean when it comes to dental implants? Dental implants need to be strong in two ways. First, they must have compressive strength. This means they can hold up under daily chewing. Beyond that, they need flexural strength. This means they can resist fracturing under stress.
Ceramic implants are usually just as successful as metal implants in both categories. However, there are some exceptions.
If you clench your teeth very hard, the implants in the back of the mouth can fracture. That is the part of the mouth where stress is greatest. This could cause them fail. A metal implant in the same situation will become loose in the bone but won’t necessarily fail.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get ceramic dental implants if you tend to clench. Just make sure to discuss this with your dentist. You may need to get a mouth guard to protect your teeth and the implant.
This isn’t much of a concern if your implants will be at the front of the mouth. The success rate in this part of the mouth is 97%. In addition to the natural appearance of ceramic dental implants, this is a big reason dentists prefer them when someone needs a front teeth replaced.
Have a question about whether ceramic dental implants are strong enough for the wear and tear you’ll give them? Talk with your dentist. Many of our patients are surprised at just how strong ceramic dental implants actually are–and are relieved to find out that titanium implants are not their only option.