Safety of Dental Implant Materials

Frank, a dental patient, asks us:
I’m looking at having a 3 tooth/ 2 dental implant bridge replacing an old bridge on my top front teeth. Are there any known safety issues with titanium?

I have heard that zirconium is much more bio-compatable, with less problems in the later years after dental implant placement. Zirconium also seems to have a lower failure rate than that of titanium.

Incidentally, I’ve had a practicioner say to me, “There’s nothing wrong with titanium, the percentages are with you”. Howevever, when when I research the area I find that the percentages are not necessarily with me, and perhaps there are alternatives I’d like to get some feedback on the safety of titanium and other dental implant materials. Is Zirconium a better choice of material? Thanks.

6 thoughts on “Safety of Dental Implant Materials

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Frank,

    At the moment, 99.9% of dental implants on the market are made of titanium. The zirconium component you speak of is attached to the implant as part of the restoration.

    The part that will actually fit into your jaw will be made of titanium, which has been shown to be biocompatible for a long time(think also joint replacements and screws for bone fractures).

    The debate whether to go with a zirconium or titanium abutment for the restoration is a little more heated. Some people like the “esthetic” nature of zirconium as is it white in color. On the other hand, titanium abutments have a longer track record.

    On the whole, implants and abutments made by reputable, established implant companies are very reliable.

    Finally, dental implants are a reliable, proven treatment for missing teeth and are considered a standard of care.

    I hope this addresses your concerns.

  2. Alejandro Berg says:

    Dear Frank:
    You are exactly right, zirconia is much nicer than titanium as abutment and as implants, the problem is that zirconia implants are in experimental fase(so not available for maybe 5 more years).
    Your dentist is also correct, if you choose a good surgeon and good dental implants you should have a good future in tems of function and coemetics(if you should choose implants you will also mantain bone or gain it if you get a graft).
    Eventhough there are some studies that demonstrate a slightly higher concentration of titanium oxide in tissues of implant patients, no illness or problem has ever been described in relation to this,so you can be assured that after near 40 years of titanium implants things are all clear and there is no problem at all with them.
    Hope this helps you

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dear Frank,

    The Z-Look Implants made by the Swiss Company “Z-Systems” are placed now in 5.000 cases since 2001 with a very high success rate (study shows 96,7%) and perfect support of the soft tissue.
    More informations about zirconia implants on and about titanium on

    Best regards, Ulrich

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Frank,

    The Z-implant does not yet have FDA clearance because of lack of clinical trials.

    You can go to Germany or Switzerland to get one, or get a safe titanium implant like many millions before you!

    Good luck.

  5. Albert Hall says:

    FranK, Zircoinia is a good product to use for the support of your final crown.
    Titanium is most used, butdo not let be impressed by doctor who buy the last technology and this technology is the advertising…..A Diagnostic and the prognose is still in the clinical expertise of doctors and not in new materials with less or none studies…..

  6. Grady says:

    Well guy’s it is now 2009 and the zirconia implant is in the states with FDA approval since October of 2007 on the Z system implant.

    Good stuff


Leave a Comment:

Comment Guidelines: Be Yourself. Be Respectful. Add Value. For more details, read our comment guidelines. Though we require an email to comment, we will NEVER publish your email.
Required fields are marked *

Posted in Dental Implant Safety, Patient Questions.
Bookmark Safety of Dental Implant Materials

Videos to Watch:

Maxillary Bone Reconstruction

This video demonstrations Maxillary Bone Reconstruction using Subnasal Floor Elevation and an Osteotome Closed Approach[...]

Watch Now!
Infection of Lower Premolar: Extract and Place Implant

In this video, the lower left 2nd premolar was extracted due to infection, and implants[...]

Watch Now!
Flapless Immediate Implant and Provisional

This video shows a technique showing using the patient's own tooth as a provisional at[...]

Watch Now!
Extraction and Immediate Implant with Luxator LX

Extraction of tooth #8, using Luxator LX, and then an immediate implant and provisional.[...]


Watch Now!
Dealing with the Implant Gap

This short video discusses how to best deal with the gap after immediate implant insertion[...]

1 Comment

Watch Now!
Lower Right Molar Extraction & Immediate Implant Placement Using i-PRF

In this video, the lower right second molar was extracted and grafted with i-PRF and[...]


Watch Now!
Maxillary Implantation with Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis

This video shows two cases where implants were placed following treatment of Sinusitis. [...]


Watch Now!
Suturing in Guided Bone Regeneration

This video provides clinical tips for suturing techniques in Guided Bone Regeneration. In Guided Bone[...]

1 Comment

Watch Now!
Socket grafting with Collagen Dressing and Bond Apatite

This video demonstrates socket grafting with just bond apatite and a collagen wound dressing.[...]

Watch Now!
Dental Implant for Lower Right Second Molar

This video shows implant placement on the lower right second molar.[...]

Watch Now!
Saving a Bridge with Periodontal Therapy

This video shows a case involving a 48-year-old male who was referred for periodontal treatment[...]

Watch Now!
Immediate Loading Full Arch

This video shows a case of Immediate loading of a full arch with simultaneous guided[...]

Watch Now!