I have two traditional titanium dental implants in my mouth. I recently read in a natural health magazine that they are discovering titanium can have a negative neurological impact. It’s got me worried about the current implants I have. Should I switch them to the zirconia implants? Are the zirconia better?
First, I want to assure you that you are safe. There is a lot of information swirling out there. Much of it causes unnecessary panic. Before believing anything, ask yourself if they cited the studies. When you looked at those studies were they done scientifically? I once read an article which cited a “study” where there was only one patient who suffered the negative effects discussed. To top that off, there was no direct correlation.
Titanium has been used as biological replacements, including joint replacements, for decades now and is one of the most biologically compatible materials out there. I’m am aware of no legitimate studies indicating there are any negative neurological effects.
I rarely recommend replacing dental implants which are thriving well. The reason for that is you will lose bone structure as a result of removing the implants. In order to place new implants in, you would have to add an additional bone grafting procedure to build back up the bone. Then, after that heals you’d need another surgery with the zirconia implants. In my opinion, that is too great a risk. However, that is not my decision to make. You have to do what makes the most sense to you.
As to whether or not the metal-free dental implants are better, there isn’t a way to answer that…yet. While we have decades of data on titanium implants along with their longevity, zirconia is in the newer stages of use in dental restorations. Therefore, we don’t have long-term data on them yet. It doesn’t mean they are better or worse. Just that we don’t know.
The bigger key to any dental implant success is the training and experience of the dentist doing the procedure. I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.