Dental implants, which provide a stable base upon which tooth replacement solutions can be placed, offer patients a safe and effective way to restore their facial features and regain their beautiful smiles. While the earliest dental implants took the form of shells formed into the shape of a tooth and forced into the gums of a Mayan woman, dental implant technology has come a long way since. A simple oral surgery under sedation combines with modernized materials to create implants that become part of the jawbone and allow for natural tooth replacement. Most dental implants are made of titanium. Instead of seashells, most dental implants today are made of titanium. Titanium is a strong, corrosive-resistant silver-colored metal. It comprises both the implant itself, which is embedded in the jaw, and the connector, upon which a crown or dentures are placed. Titanium is the preferred metal for dental implants for a number of reasons. The first is that it does not irritate the surrounding tissue when it is embedded in the jawbone. As a result, patients are unlikely to experience inflammation or related pain after they heal from their surgery. In addition, the body will not reject titanium dental implants, making it very likely that the procedure will succeed over the long-term. The second reason titanium is the preferred metal for dental implants is because it allows for the process of osseointegration. Osseointegration is the process whereby bone is deposited around the dental implant. This process occurs because the implant mimics the role of the tooth in stimulating the body to send calcium to the jawbone. It is this combination of bone and metal that creates a strong base for tooth replacement. Titanium has been proven to encourage osseointegration and therefore to serve as a strong and stable dental implant. The third reason titanium is used in dental implants is because it is durable and strong. The metal will last a lifetime if properly cared for. As a result, patients do not need to undergo multiple dental implant surgeries. Instead, they can receive the dental implant once and keep it for a lifetime. Some dental implants are made of zirconia. Titanium dental implants are not the only type of dental implants available to patients looking to restore their facial features. Some dental implants are made of zirconia, a hard white crystalline material. Zirconia encourages osseointegration to much the same degree as does titanium. In addition, zirconia is sometimes preferred by patients for dental implants because it is white and therefore provides a better match in color to patients’ teeth than does titanium. However, here at Heart of Texas Oral, we prefer to use titanium implants for a number of reasons. Dental implants made of titanium tend to be more effective. Despite its color, zirconia does not make better dental implants than does titanium. There are a number of reasons that titanium is preferable to zirconia when it comes to dental implants. The first reason is that zirconia tends to be more brittle than titanium and therefore tends to crack more easily. In fact, up to 30 percent of zirconia implants crack. This tendency to crack is exacerbated by the need to adjust the implants for each patient. The extra handling of the implant increases the chances of damage. In addition, because the zirconia dental implants are made of one piece, instead of consisting of a post and a connector, they can be trickier to place correctly, and the oral surgeon has less flexibility in positioning the connector and post just right. Zirconia dental implants are also impossible to fully cover with the gum, because the connector and the post are one piece. Covering the post with the gum and allowing it to heal for up to 12 weeks encourages the process of osseointegration and is what allows the implant to serve as a strong base for tooth replacements. Because zirconia implants cannot be similarly covered, there is a greater chance that osseointegration will not occur satisfactorily. When choosing dental implants, therefore, it is often best to select titanium implants. Tried and tested for decades within the industry, and with strength, flexibility, and ease of use on its side, titanium offer patients a long-lasting way to enjoy effective dental implants. Crowns put on dental implants are made of ceramic. A dental implant procedure will often end with the placement of a crown on the connector to create a tooth replacement that is durable and beautiful. Crowns can be made of a variety of materials, including stainless steel, metals, ceramic, porcelain, or resin. Some materials, such as ceramic or porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal, give the tooth replacement a more natural look, but materials such as metal tend to last longer. Your oral surgeon can help you determine the best material to use for your crown. Dental implants offer patients a way to restore facial features and deal with missing teeth beautifully and durably. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. For maximum durability and effectiveness, they are often made out of titanium. This metal maximizes osseointegration and encourages the development of a strong base for the placement of a crown. Crowns themselves can be made of a variety of materials, with the right material depending upon your needs. If you want dental implants placed by an experienced oral surgeon, consult with Heart of Texas Oral Surgery. We provide both titanium and zirconia dental implants in a compassionate environment. The procedure is designed to restore your facial features and prepare you for an effective tooth replacement.