I read that I should get a ceramic dental implant instead of a metal one. My dentist says he only does the metal kind. How important is it that I go worth ceramic? Is it worth switching doctors over?
Herb in Georgia
Most dental implants today are made of titanium or titanium alloy. This is because they’re extraordinarily strong and long-lasting. They also integrate with bone incredibly well, which makes them the top choice most of the time.
Ceramic dental implants are most often mentioned when a patient is “allergic” to metal. In these cases, the person is generally sensitive, not allergic, to some metals. For instance, if you break out in a rash while wearing jewelry or the snaps on your pants causes irritation. These are symptoms of a sensitivity to certain metals, and nickel is most often the culprit. If you don’t have any issue with metal, there’s no cause for concern here. However, if you do, you may wish to have an allergy test performed and then check with your dentist to see if the dental implant he uses contains any of the metals that are bothersome to you.
Aside from a metal sensitivity, ceramic is occasionally chosen for aesthetics. Because the underlying metal can sometimes make a porcelain crown look dark, having a metal-free restoration can be better for the sake of appearance. Even so, most dental implants are placed in the back of the mouth where any darkening wouldn’t be noticed. Moreover, dentists typically work closely with expert lab technicians who know how to adjust shade and opacity for natural-looking results, so this isn’t generally an issue either.
Unless you have medical concerns with metals, titanium or a titanium alloy restoration is a good option. It’s a safe, reliable and time-tested method. If you have specific concerns about options for restorations, your doctor will be able to answer them with more detail, as he knows your particular case and will be familiar with the materials he uses most.