We are excited to announce that we became the first dental office in San Francisco to offer the recently FDA cleared Metal Free Zirconia Dental implants. The time has come to talk about truly "Metal free Dentistry"
Is zirconiumoxide a new material? Zirconiumoxide is not new for medical applications. Zirconiumoxide hip implants have been in use for nearly twenty years (1.8 million implants) and long-term clinical studies exist for these applications.
For dental applications zirconiumoxide has been used for approximately ten years in root posts, and for the last even years in crown and bridge restorations.
Is zirconia radioactive?
The zirconiumoxide used for medical applications is not radioactive. This material has been in use for the last twenty years in hip implants in more than 1.8 million patients. Several hundred thousand root posts, crowns, bridges and implant abutments have also being used.
The material is under strict radioactivity monitoring. The maximum level is set at 250 mS/y (Milli-Sievert per year). The material produced by Metoxit has the lowest radiation levels compared to other manufacturers, and is constantly at 5.4 mS/y. This is only marginally more than human bone surface, with human bone surface naturally at 3.1 mS/y.
How does the mechanical strength of zirconia implants compare to titanium implants? In contrast to titanium, zirconiumoxide has a significant higher flexural strength. The flexural strength of zirconiumoxide is within 1200-1500 MPa, approximately three times higher than the flexural strength of titanium at 400 MPa.
Despite the initial fatigue of 30%, the long-term flexural strength is still around 800 Mpa. This is still significantly higher than titanium.
The monoblock design of Z-Look implants increases the stability by a further 100 - 200%, due to avoiding the reduction in wall thickness of conventional implant designs.
Have implant fractures occurred?
The world market leader for zirconiumoxide products have produced all Z-Look3 implants, with more than 2500 inserted implants. Only one implant fracture has occurred so far, due to trauma. In comparison, the zirconiumoxide abutments of most manufacturers are in some parts only 0.5 mm thick. The slimmest implant core, excluding the threads of Z-Look implants is 2.75 mm.
Hip implants despite the high forces acting on them, have shown to be very reliable.
Does zirconiumoxide dissolve when in contact with body fluids? No. Zirconiumoxide has a melting point of 2700 degrees Celsius and no free electrons.
Even very strong acids in very high concentrations will not be able to dissolve zirconiumoxide.
How are Z-Look implants sterilized and packed? Z-look implants are steam sterilized. If Z-Look implants are sterilized using gamma radiation, it will turn the implants purple and the ethyloxid component will make Z-Look implants loose flexural strength. Thatís why we had to make some compromises in regards to the sterile packaging. This has been done with your patientís safety in mind; we would like to ask for your consideration regarding sterilization.
In the future, silicone tubing is planned to be used as sterile packaging to improve handling.
What are the surface conditions of Z-Look implants?
Z-Look implants are sandblasted along the threads until reaching the emergence profile. The surface roughness is around 2-4 micrometer, and is equivalent to the surface structure of conventional titanium implants. This guarantees an optimal osteoblast (bone forming cells) adhesion.