Ceramic Implants- what you should know!
Last year I was featured on a podcast in regards to dental implantology. A fellow colleague was asking about dental implants and why I have transitioned my practice to exclusively metal free ceramic implants. I felt this was a great opportunity to explain the advantages of ceramic implantology, why I utilize them extensively in my practice, and why I believe they are the best biomaterial we have in the present day for replacing missing teeth or infected teeth.
As a biological dentist, I am always concerned with the materials I am using for my patients. We are all very unique, and each of us responds to various chemicals, materials, and such in very different ways. In addition, the mouth is an incredibly unique and harsh environment, unlike any other in the human body.
Think about it…
Your mouth is composed of over 800+ different species of bacteria, viruses, and fungi collectively called the oral microbiome (see videos here).
Your mouth is subject to various find items and temperature changes daily.
Your mouth is constantly in a pH fluctuation (think acid vs base) controlled by the bacteria and microbiome, saliva, food, drinks, and even your stomach acid.
Your mouth is hit with all kinds of chemicals throughout the day, not only in food (we all know our food is chemically LOADED) but also in toothpastes, mouth rinses, chewing gums...you name it.
In understanding this unique environment, we have to think in terms of how that environment will impact our biomaterials. In addition, we also have to recognize the individuality of you, the patient. You are not a number, you’re not simply a set of teeth, you’re a unique biological system composed of various systems all working in harmony (or in some cases disharmony), and this HAS to be taken into account when a diagnosis is rendered and treatment initiated.
Understanding the individuality found in each patient, as well as the environment we're up against, will help you see why I humbly believe utilizing ceramic implants is superior to other materials being used in dentistry.
Let me show you why…
Immune System Reaction
Since ceramic implants are not composed of metals, there is no shedding of metal ions into the bone or tissues and, thus, no metal-induced foreign reaction. Many patients I see have metal intolerances or allergies (such as a simple rash developing with inexpensive jewelry or the button on a pair of jeans), and studies show these allergies and intolerances are on the rise. Using metals in these patients, whether it be in a metal implant or even a metal filling or crown, is contraindicated and could cause a host of issues.
Dental textbooks have spoken about oral galvanism for decades, but we quickly forget the impact it can have on some patients. Oral galvanism develops when multiple metals (think dental metal alloys in metal implants, metal crowns, metal fillings, or other metal prosthetics) in a wet electrolyte-rich environment (FYI that would be your spit) create a battery effect. As a result, an electrical current develops 24/7 within inches of your brain stem. I don’t know about you...but I do not want that! When using ceramics, again due to the absence of metals, no current is possible. Check this video out, where a potato clock is literally created from common metals utilized in the mouth.
Think of a boat propeller, the metal bench at the park, or the rim on your car. What do they have in common?! They rust. They corrode. The same has been proven for metals in the mouth. It has been coined “tribocorrosion” by some authors, describing metal ion release from metals in three ways: chemically-induced, electrically-induced, or mechanically-induced. Where do the corroded ions go? You guessed it...into your system, which can cause some issues of course. When using ceramic implants, there are no corrosive particles or properties because, again, it is not a metal. It is ceramic through and through.
Electromagnetic Fields, a.k.a. EMFs
EMFs are becoming quite the topic, and rightfully so as we go from 4G to 5G to 6G and are becoming surrounded by cell towers and other frequency emitting devices. Electromagnetic fields can have devastating effects on our health, and I would encourage you all to investigate and protect yourselves. As for dentistry, some studies have gone as far as to show their effects on the way your bone heals next to oral metals and even the release of mercury from amalgam restorations. Not something I want to think about when holding my iPhone next to my face. With ceramic implants, there is no interaction with EMFs so nothing to worry about!
When using ceramic as a dental implant material, we are able to achieve a direct, physical contact and attachment of your gum tissue just like your real tooth. This has not happened with other materials and, in my opinion, is a total game changer! In fact, not only have studies shown more blood flow in the gum tissue around ceramic implants, but even less bacteria and plaque build-up when compared to your natural tooth. How can that be!? Ceramic has no charge, it is completely neutral and thus collects less bugs. Sweet huh!?!
Of course, we always strive for the best esthetic result possible. If I’m not doing this as your dentist on every case, then I’m simply not doing my job. Ceramic is white, almost ivory in color, and is more like a natural tooth. Therefore, a more natural result is much easier to attain.
If you have ever considered a dental implant, I encourage you to consider ceramic. Our team is always here to answer your questions and as always please share this email with anyone you may believe would benefit!