In this podcast, Dr. Nammy explains metal-free dental implants. She talks about how they work, their benefits, and when patients should consider them. She also outlines situations where metal implants may be preferred due to grinding or clenching.
John: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California, helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. And author of the bestselling books Age with Style: Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living and Total Wellness: Understanding The Link Between Your Teeth And Your Health. Today, our topic is metal-free dental implants. Welcome Dr. Nammy.
Dr. Nammy Patel: Hi, John. Thank you for having me.
What Are Metal-Free Dental Implants?
John: Sure. So Dr. Nammy, are there metal-free dental implants, like metal-free fillings and crowns similar to that?
Dr. Nammy: So John, metal-free implants actually mean that there is an implant and it has a core which is surrounded by ceramic materials. And that ceramic material could be zirconium or it could be any type of ceramic material that can work really well. But it’s basically a biocompatible material, it’s definitely aesthetic, and it’s hypoallergenic is basically the coating that goes on the implant.
And the beauty of that is that your tissue doesn’t touch any metal. And what it does is that it allows a patient to have something in their mouth that’s metal-free and it allows patients to have a tooth that looks really nice and also not worry about having any sort of allergies.
Reasons to Choose Metal-Free Implants
John: So is that the reason why people might want metal-free implants is that they have some sort of an allergy to the metal touching their skin or their gums?
Dr. Nammy: Yes. So one of the biggest reasons patients want to have a zirconia or a ceramic implant is because what it does is it allows the body to have a hypoallergenic material. And the other thing is with metal implants, it’s really important to keep them clean. And they do have galvanizing force, meaning that over a period of time because the saliva hits the metal, it does recede or it does lose gum tissue.
It’s like metal crowns, same concept when it comes to metal crowns versus a zirconia and biocompatible materials. Biocompatible materials are really great because they don’t actually corrode and there’s no oxidation or anything like that. And it allows a patient to be able to have an allergy free or a hypoallergenic material for sure.
When Patients Should Consider Metal-Free Implants
John: So when do you recommend metal-free dental implants to some patients?
Dr. Nammy: I usually recommend metal-free implants for patients when they have some allergy to metal or if they’re really concerned about having any metals in their body or anything like that. I have to be honest, my favorites still are the titanium implants, mainly because the connection between a titanium implant is so much better than a zirconium implant. And also mainly for people who really clench and grind their teeth.
What I have found is patients who really clench and grind their teeth, if there is a ceramic implant, they tend to break it and that’s really my biggest concern ’cause can you imagine a bone with a ceramic implant and then it crackles? It’s like having porcelain China in the bone speckled all over. So that would be the only concern that I would have. If a patient is not a heavy clencher or grinder, then I am great with ceramic implants all the time. But if they tend to be heavy clenchers and grinders, that’s when I would probably recommend a titanium implant.
Materials in Metal-Free Implants
John: Okay. And what are some of the materials that are used in metal-free implants? You mentioned zirconia, what is that?
Dr. Nammy: Zirconia is a type of porcelain and it’s biocompatible, which is really lovely, it’s basically a lot of ceramic or glass material compacted together with high pressure and temperature, and it makes a lifelike, tooth-like color. And what it does is it allows the body to really create something that is biocompatible, meaning that it doesn’t cause any reaction. It’s an art when you put it into the body, it doesn’t cause any negative reactions basically.
John: Okay. Now are there other materials that you can use besides zirconia?
Dr. Nammy: Typically, it’s a type of zirconia or a type of ceramic. Typically, zirconia is a grade strong material because it’s the strongest that’s out there in the market. There can be other names of ceramic materials that are out there. The most brand names that you will hear are going to be zirconia because they’re really strong or just metal-free implants because they’re metal-free, basically.
Contact Green Dentistry Today
John: Okay. All right. Well, that’s really great information, Dr. Nammy, thanks again for speaking with me today.
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely.
John: And for more information about Green Dentistry, you can visit the website at sfgreendentist.com or call 415-433-0119.