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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Zirconia Dental Implants for Health

Feb 27, 2014 02:40PM

Whether missing one tooth, multiple teeth or in need of a full upper and/or lower set of teeth, dental implants may be the best long-term solution for many dental patients; a fixture that fuses to living bone. Like our natural roots, a dental implant provides the foundation for a multitude of restorative options and teeth that look and function very much like our natural teeth.

Dental implants provide many benefits over the traditional tooth replacement solutions because they prevent bone loss, can last for decades and do not cause additional wear and tear on adjacent teeth. Overall health may be improved from a dietary standpoint, because most patients are able to eat healthy foods that are hard to chew, such as nuts, grains and certain fruits.

However, all dental implants are not created equal. Traditionally, titanium has been used for the implant, a chemical element which can be involved in the metabolic process because of its free electrons, which may result in adverse reactions.

One study by the Weston A. Price Foundation investigated 56 patients that developed severe health problems after receiving titanium dental implants. The array of medical problems included muscle, joint and nerve pain; chronic fatigue syndrome; neurological problems; depression; and skin inflammation. Removing the implants resulted in a dramatic improvement in the patients’ syndrome.

Also of concern is what has been called “battery mouth”, which occurs when titanium implants release metal ions into the mouth. This chronic exposure can trigger hypersensitivity, inflammation and allergies, as well as autoimmune disease in people with high sensitivity.

By contrast, zirconia dental implants are made from special, industrial, high-impact-resistant ceramic (zirconium oxide, ZrO2) that is customarily used in aerospace engineering. Doctors have been using zirconia implants to replace hip joints for years, and with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of zirconia implants, they can now be used in dentistry.

Biocompatibility is always a key consideration in the dentist’s goal of restoring a patient’s teeth and mouth to optimum health and function. Biocompatibility refers to how a material interacts with the human body. If there is a concern, request a biocompatibility test from the dentist. Zirconia has proven to be totally bio-inert and will not trigger chemical reactions or migrate to other sites in the body.

Zirconia dental implant benefits include: zirconium oxide is much closer in composition to natural teeth, so the risk of inflammation is significantly reduced; resistant against any kinds of acid; extraordinary tensile strength and no danger of corrosion; biocompatible, ceramic material that fosters complete assimilation into the jaw bone; three times greater flexibility and strength than titanium; and ceramic color (white) is more aesthetically pleasing and matches the color of natural teeth.

Zirconia implants are hypoallergenic, resistant to chemical corrosion and will not conduct electricity or heat. Bacterial growth is less likely to adhere to the zirconia surface, creating an oral environment that promotes healthy gums. They are biologically friendly, as zirconia implants do not interfere with the movement of energy through the body’s meridians.

One-stage surgery means that zirconia implants are designed for immediate placement, which minimizes implantation time and maximizes comfort. Overall, zirconia implant patients experience a shorter restorative process, along with the potential for a significant increase in comfort and function after the procedure due to biocompatibility and the strength of zirconia.

For more information, contact Medicine Wheel Dental and Wellness Center at MedicineWheelWellness.com or call 520-743-7101.

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