If you need to have a dental implant fitted, you will generally find yourself having to choose between implants made from titanium or from zirconia. Both can be integrated successfully with the bone, but they do differ in some very significant ways.

Here are just three important reasons why you might want to stick with titanium over zirconia.

1. Versatility

Firstly, zirconia implants are not as versatile as titanium implants. To understand why, you need to appreciate the differences in their design.

A titanium implant is a two-piece system. The lower part is fused to the jaw, creating an abutment above the gum line that can be used to anchor a fake tooth. A zirconia implant is a one-piece system; this means that the same piece of material that is fused to the jawbone is used for the actual fake tooth.

Two-piece systems are far more flexible since they can be used for different types of dental implants; if one needs to be changed, you don't have to remove the entire implant. They can also be used to support overdentures, which might become necessary if you lose more teeth later in life, and they can be placed at angles more easily. Zirconia implants do not boast these benefits, and there is very little room for error when they are fitted.

2. Strength

Titanium is a material that has become synonymous with strength, and that's no coincidence. The great thing about titanium is that it's a metal that is both very strong and very light. This is partially why it is used for hip or knee replacements. In short: it's very likely that your titanium implants will ever break.

Unfortunately, the same as not true of zirconia implants. This is still a strong material, but it is a ceramic instead of a metal, so it's not unknown for cracks and fractures to occur. In fact, the very force used to adjust a zirconia implant can create micro-fractures that impact its structural integrity.

3. Healing Time

Finally, titanium implants will normally take a little less time to be finished. When you are fitted with implants, you need to wait for the bone to fuse with or grow against the lower part. With a titanium implant, this is relatively simple since the lower part can be placed right below the gum line. A one-piece zirconia implant cannot be placed below the gum line, so the healing phase can be a little trickier and will generally last a little longer.