How to Choose Between Titanium and Zirconia Dental Implants

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How to Choose Between Titanium and Zirconia Dental Implants

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Did you know that dental implants have been used in dentistry since 2000 BC? Thankfully, dental implants are not made from carved bamboo pegs anymore. Instead, modern dentists lean towards titanium and zirconia implants because they are biocompatible, strong, and long-lasting.

If you are searching for a dental implant expert in Atlanta, look no further. With over a 17 years of experience dental practice and becoming International Dental Implant Association Fellow, Dr. Abbey J. Lee understands that choosing an appropriate dental implant material is an important life-changing decision. Contact Smiles for Grant Park soon to discuss your options.

As the popularity of dental implants continues to rise, it’s beneficial to understand the properties of various dental implant materials if you ever need one. Here’s a closer look at titanium and zirconia dental implants in case you need one someday.

Metal vs. Non-Metal

Traditionally, dental implants are composed of titanium. Because titanium has been used for so long, researchers have been able to collect extensive data and have concluded that titanium implants yield incredibly impressive, successful results.

Though zirconia dental implants are relatively new to the United States, they’ve been used in Europe for decades and have proven highly successful. Furthermore, zirconia is the favored option for people that are sensitive or allergic to metal.


Consider where you are placing the dental implant. Some people have naturally thinner gum tissue. If this is the case, the gray metallic color of titanium tends to shine through. Although this could work for back teeth, titanium is not ideal for teeth that are visible when you smile.

Alternatively, Zirconia dental implants are preferred if you are replacing a front tooth. Zirconia is more aesthetically pleasing and can seamlessly blend into your smile because the physical properties of zirconia closely match enamel. Naturally, zirconia is off-white with a vitreous (shiny, nonporous) luster.


Titanium and zirconia dental implants have experienced extensive testing for strength and safety, and we can conclude that both materials are incredibly durable and safe. Nevertheless, with all medical treatments comes potential risk factors.

Specifically, titanium is metal, so corrosion and mechanical wear are possible. Consequently, metal ions may release and cause local inflammation and irritation for patients with autoimmune diseases.

Conversely, zirconia is very corrosion-resistant because they are ceramic. However, zirconia has a lower elasticity and high flexural strength, leading to microfractures (tiny cracks).


Bacteria is an omnipresent element of the mouth’s environment, but an imbalance of bacterial plaque leads to cavities, disease, and other adverse effects. The key aspect that enables plaque to stick to surfaces is how rough the surface is: plaque adheres to rough surfaces but is more naturally resistant to smoother surfaces. Subsequently, zirconia is viewed as the more hygienic option over titanium based on these characteristics.

Whichever Dental Implant Material You Choose, Dr. Lee Can Help

Do you have additional questions about titanium and zirconia implants? If so, Dr. Lee can go into greater detail about your dental implant options and help you decide on the best dental implant options based on your needs. Schedule your initial consultation for dental implants in Atlanta, GA by calling 404-328-7177 or messaging us online.

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