Choose the Right Zirconia Dental Implant
What Types of Zirconia Dental Implants Are Best?
Zirconia dental implants are available in 2 main versions, known as one-piece ceramic implants and 2-piece ceramic implants. In contrast to titanium metal implants, the mainstream dental implant material which is used by 99% of dentists in the USA are only available as 2-piece dental implants and require several different pieces to install, or surgically place, in the jaw. Ceramic implants, especially the one-piece zirconia implant version, has only ONE entire connected part – the implant and abutment together, which has significant benefits over the two-piece titanium design.
Another type of zirconia implant type is a tissue level implant or a bone level implant. While almost all titanium implants are bone level, the majority of ceramic dental implants are tissue level which also has benefits that the article will review and discuss in detail.
Lastly, within the 2-piece zirconia implant type, some various brands and models have different versions in the type of connection between the implant itself and the second piece, the abutment, which will be exlored below
This page will explore FDA-approved Zirconia Dental Implants types available in the US:
- One-Piece Zirconia Implants
- Two-Piece Zirconia Implants
- Three-Piece Zirconia Implants (Screw Retained)
- Carbon Fiber Screw (Zeramex or Nobel Pearl)
- Metal Screw (TAV Dental or Straumann)
- Tissue Level vs. Bone Level Implants
The Anatomy of a Dental Implant
Dental implants can be anywhere from a single piece of all parts connected together as “one-piece” as is often considered the best and strongest zirconia implant by top zirconia implant dentists like Dr. May, and up to 4 separate pieces as is sometimes seen in complex metal titanium implant designs. To help better understand the comparison of different zirconia implant types and how they compare the titanium implant types we will review the diagram showing each piece of the implant for both ceramic implants and metal implants. After the basics of the implant, abutment, screw-retained abutment, cementable abutment, tissue level, and bone level varieties are clear, we’ll move on to explain the merits and disadvantages of each type of zirconia implant and how it compares to the standard titanium implant models.
One Piece Zirconia Implants
The main advantage of a one-piece zirconia implant is that it has no prosthetic connections (meaning no “Gap Space” which is where the abutment meets the implant screw body). The prosthetic connection in 2-piece zirconia dental implants is typically where bacteria can grow, and therefore 1 piece implants that don’t have the abutment to implant connection tend to be better for gum health long term.
Two-Piece Zirconia Implants
Two-piece zirconia implants are used in certain clinical situations where a 1 piece zirconia implant cannot be used.
Three-Piece Zirconia Implants
Three-piece zirconia implants are the ones with a screw, a third component, holding the implant body and the implant abutment together. This is VERY important as three-piece zirconia implants are not all metal-free. Tav Dental has what they refer to as a 2 piece-zirconia dental implant that is attached by a metal screw. Often, patients opt not to have this specific model of zirconia implant IS NOT NOT 100% metal-free, however, the metal screw does not come into contact with the bone or tissue directly.
Other three-piece zirconia dental implants are manufactured by Z-Systems, but the screw is a zirconia screw, and the implant is a bone-level implant. This implant type is generally used by conventional oral surgeons and dentists who are accustomed to placing and restoring titanium implants.