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  • Writer's pictureDr Bebeau

How are Dental Implants Made?

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

Dental implants can restore your smile and help you get back to eating your favorite foods. They feel just like natural teeth, and they last for a long time. Whether you are considering getting dental implants or already have them, you’ve probably wondered exactly what dental implants are made of. Dr. Bebeau at Oral Maxillofacial Surgery of Phoenix specializes in dental implants, so if you’re ready to learn what materials dental implants are made of and how they are tailored to your smile, read on!

What are dental implants made of?

There are three parts to dental implants: the screw that is inserted into your jawbone, the crown that is placed on top to give you a natural-looking tooth, and the abutment that connects the screw and crown together.

The screw that Dr. Bebeau inserts during an All-on-4 procedure is made of titanium, and so is the abutment. Titanium is a durable metal that bonds extremely well with bone. Its high dielectric constant keeps it securely in place and insulates the gums. Titanium is also resistant to bodily fluids and high pressure, making it a favorable option for dental implant procedures.

The crown that covers the implant is made from zirconia. This byproduct of the natural mineral, zircon, is derived by melting zirconia sands at high temperatures. Zirconia crowns are fairly new, but zirconia is a strong material that doesn’t attract bacteria. It also has a low fracture rate, which makes it highly successful for long-lasting crowns and implants.

How are dental implants made?

The materials in dental implants make them as strong and durable as natural teeth! Now that you know what dental implants are made of, let’s take a look behind the scenes at how Zirconia crowns are made.

Dental Impressions

To get the correct shade and shape for the dental implant crown, dentists take impressions of your teeth. This can be done in two ways: with trays of FDA-approved gel or a 3D scanner. The traditional dental impression method uses alginate gel, which is derived from brown seaweed. The dentist will ask you to bite down with the gel trays in your mouth for a period of time. Once the gel sets, the dentist can begin to make the crown(s) for your implants.

A quicker and more advanced method for dental impressions is using a 3D scanner like the TRIOS intraoral scanner. It takes less than a minute to complete a full dental scan. 3D scanning is not only faster and more accurate, it is also more comfortable for you. During a 3D scan, your dentist will move the wand-shaped scanner along your upper and lower teeth. The dental impression will be uploaded to software that also allows for color matching and cosmetic adjustments.

The Zirconia crown can either be hand sculpted or created using 3D printing tools. After the Zirconia is formed to match the size and shape of your teeth, a lab paints the crown to match your tooth color and polishes the crown to remove any imperfections. And there you have it—the process of how we make dental implants to give you the smile you want.

Contact Oral Maxillofacial Surgery of Phoenix

The more you know about dental implants, the more comfortable you’ll feel about them. Now that you know what materials dental implants are made of and how they are made, we hope that you will be better able to decide whether or not they’re right for you.

If you still have questions, we’re more than happy to answer them! With his years of experience as an oral surgeon and extensive professional knowledge, Dr. Bebeau can help you understand the intricacies of implant surgery.

If you live in Phoenix or Scottsdale and you’re thinking about getting implants, please contact us for a consultation. We’ll help you choose which dental implant procedure is best for you so you can show off your smile again.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/19/2022). Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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