How do they make dental implants

Dental implants

One-piece dental implants

This includes variants in which the abutment is already integrated into the implant body. One-piece dental implants are less expensive to set and, thanks to the firmly connected components, are more break-proof. Such prostheses have a smaller diameter so that they also fit into small gaps, for example as an implant for an incisor in the front of the lower jaw, and can be used even if the jawbone is shallow or the upper or lower jaw has a porous structure. However, a permanently integrated abutment cannot be individually ground, so that the crown of the implant may not be optimally aligned and the aesthetics also suffer, which is why they are used less often.

Mini implants

One-piece constructions are often used in the form of mini-implants, with which the dentist can securely attach existing prostheses or regulate misaligned teeth in orthodontics. Mini-implants have a diameter of less than three millimeters and can be used in the lower jaw as well as in the upper jaw. Because of their small size, surgery and scarring are minimal, the small wound usually heals quickly, and the tiny implants hold in place even if the jawbone is not very deep, stable, or in the process of degradation. Mini-implants are often assigned to the category of short dental implants, which are a maximum of eight millimeters long and thus save the patient an expensive bone structure. This is particularly true of implants in the upper jaw, as this is more porous and softer than the lower jaw bone and it is therefore difficult to anchor a conventional dental implant securely, especially with lateral and canine teeth.

Materials: what is a dental implant made of?

Since the implant body will grow together with the jaw and become part of the bone, when choosing the material it is important, among other things, that it does not trigger allergies, intolerances or other problems. The budget of the respective patient is also decisive for the choice of material. While traditional ceramics were used in the past, there are currently more functional materials for dental implants that are recommended and used.

Ceramic dental implants

Implants made of ceramic were very popular for a while because they grow well into the jawbone and can be optimally adapted to the natural tooth color. Since the material is very brittle and ages, dental implants made of ceramic break easily, which is why they have not been used since the late 1980s. Ceramic implants are now being used again in the form of high-strength zirconium dioxide.

Titanium dental implants

Titanium is currently the material of choice when it comes to dental implants. It has a high level of biocompatibility. This means that it is well tolerated and does not trigger any allergic reactions. In addition, the titanium implant has a direct molecular connection with the jawbone and the costs are lower, since implants made of titanium can be manufactured and processed comparatively inexpensively.

However, titanium is not always an option: tests by the Berlin Institute for Medical Diagnostics have shown that around 15 percent of people experience the side effects of titanium dental implants in the form of intolerance symptoms such as an increased risk of inflammation. Another disadvantage of titanium implants: The gray color of the metal can emerge if the gums or jawbones recede later.

Zirconium implants

Due to their white color, zirconium oxide ceramics are particularly interesting for aesthetically sensitive areas. "This material has material properties that are more like a metal than a ceramic," explains Christian Berger, President of the Federal Association of Dentists Working in Implantology in Europe (BDIZ EDI). The material is corrosion-free and tissue-compatible like titanium. Due to the tooth-like color, a zirconium implant is less noticeable and an alternative for people who "don't want to have metal in their mouths".

However, it takes longer for this high-performance ceramic to form a firm connection with the bone. In addition, zirconium implants - unlike titanium - have to be kept free of stress for a while and heal under a splint. In addition, there is currently no scientific knowledge of how zirconium oxide implants behave as dental prostheses in the long term. In any case, they are more sensitive than titanium ones. This sensitivity is also reflected in the costs: Zirconium implants are more difficult to process and therefore more expensive.