by Dr David Cowhig, Dental Wellness, The Gap, QLD
I have been a holistic biological dentist for the past 20 years and my patients are always looking for a safe, metal-free answer to their dental problems. For the past five years, I have solely placed zirconium dioxide bioceramic implants. They’ve had a successful history of use in Europe for two decades and there are multiple different systems available in Switzerland and Germany.
What’s good about it
About 10 years ago, I became accredited with the TGA-approved Z-Systems implant system. The implant was a challenging one-piece and the surgical kit was also totally metal free with zirconia drills and instruments, including the scalpel.
Over the past five years, they have developed a two-piece system with cemented abutment and more recently a bone level two-piece screwed abutment implant. I’ve found this two-piece system to be more desirable as it allows you to adapt the emergence profile, as you would with a titanium implant. You can place a super structure above the implant, adjust the angles and properly prepare for the crown. A biological approach to the host is essential with high-maintained levels of vitamin D3 and consistent low cholesterol levels.
The results so far have been exceptional. Peri-implantitis is rare, lowering the oral systemic health risk and the aesthetics are great. No more darkness with thin biotypes. The results are fantastic on anterior teeth with an immediate self-tapping thread and a delayed two-piece option.
What’s not so good
Zirconium implants are more expensive than titanium implants as they have to be ordered internationally from Europe. Currently, the two-piece implant is bonded but a screw version that allows for better retrievability in the future has just been released.