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Time to Chew with Ceramic Teeth

Published:Monday | January 25, 2016 | 1:00 AM
Dental surgeon, Sammy Noumbissi.

A growing number of doctors and patients worldwide are opting for ceramic implants, steering clear of the effects of titanium alloy on their health, says one of the leading dental surgeons in the United States, Dr Sammy Noumbissi.

During an interview with The Gleaner on Friday, Noumbissi asserted that non-metallic dental implants are being used to replace missing teeth roots for a variety of reasons, including aesthetics and health concerns.

The surgeon, along with some 16 other dentists from all over the world, will address the issues at the International Academy of Ceramic Implantology (IAOCI) conference, set for the Hilton Rose Hall in Montego Bay, February 3-6.

"After so many years of using metal implants, a number of persons have developed problems such as vertigo, skin rashes, fatigue and other types of metal toxicity," he stated.

EFFECTS OF METAL

What's known now is that patients can be sensitive to the metals in the alloy, he added, noting that these implants can corrode in the oral environment, "owing to three factors - fatigue or stress corrosion, as a result of chewing; microbial corrosion, as a result of bacteria in the mouth as well as galvanic."

Explaining 'galvanic', Dr Noumbissi pointed out that because metal implants have multiple parts which are made of different metal alloys, they are prone to galvanic electrical activity, which ultimately leads to corrosion and release of metal irons in the surrounding bones, lymph nodes and distant organs, such as the spleen and the liver.

"As a result, there has been growing interest in ceramic implants because they are made from the transformation of zirconium into zirconia," he noted.

According to the dental surgeon, to date there have been no reports of sensitivity or health problems as a result of this type of implant. Ceramic implants, he said, are not susceptible to corrosion; have superior physical properties; and are highly aesthetic.

"They do not allow for dental plaque, little to no plaque attaches to it. They are very hygienic, non-allergenic and non-metallic."

Metal toxicity stemming from a dental implantation; optimising bone integration of implants; the long-term success of implants; the aesthetics of ceramic implants; soft tissue behaviour and biological surgery are among issues to be discussed at the conference.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com