I have concerns about metal being used in a body. I already have two metal implants and now found out that I will need another one. My understanding is there are now non-metal implants. But my dentist doesn’t feel these have been around enough yet to warrant using them yet. Is there a reason why I shouldn’t? Should I switch out my older implants for these newer ones?
I am going to start with your last question first. Unless there is something wrong with the dental implants, I would not switch them out. Here is why. When your dental implants are removed they take some of the jawbone with it. That bone is essential for you to have a successful implant procedure, so before you can put the new implants in, you will have to have a bone grafting procedure in order to build back up that bone. Once that is healed, you can then have another surgery to place them. That is three additional procedures to replace successful dental implants. Each of those three procedures carry the risk of complications and failure. I would leave the succesful implants in place for as long as possible.
It is likely that your dentist’s concerns over the zirconia implants has to do with the lack of data we currently have on their longevity. The reason for that lack of data is they haven’t been around as long. We have tons of data on the titanium implants because they have been in use for decades. The zirconia are likely just as enduring, they just haven’t been around long enough to say that. Zirconia, nicknamed ceramic steel is certainly strong enough.
So, which should you get? Honestly, whichever one you want. However, I don’t want you thinking that the ones you have are dangerous to you. You mentioned concern over having metal in your body. Not only is titanium, the metal your current implants are made of, extraordinarily biocompatible, but our bodies need and use metals every day. One major example is our blood. If it doesn’t have enough iron, you become anemic, which can cause serious health problems.
If you do decide that you want the zirconia implants, my suggestion is that you do it with another dentist. Your current dentist does not seem comfortable wtih them and it is never a good idea to push a medical provider outside of their comfort level. You are better off finding a metal-free dentist who will have done this procedure quite a bit.
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