Magazine article USA TODAY

Ceramic Implants as Sturdy as Metal

Magazine article USA TODAY

Ceramic Implants as Sturdy as Metal

Article excerpt

People missing teeth may soon find a better alternative to the artificial implants now on the market. A new type that utilizes some ceramic components is as reliable as the traditional ones with all-metal parts and is more aesthetically acceptable, according to Edwin McGlumphy, Jr., assistant professor of restorative and prosthetic dentistry, Ohio State University.

More than 106,000,000 Americans over 18 have lost some of their teeth, and many of those turn to implants--false teeth that are anchored into a patient's jawbone. These often are made with metal parts that can show through a patient's gums as dark grey. "If implant systems used ceramic parts, that wouldn't be a problem," he maintains.

Can ceramic parts hold up as well as those made of metal? McGlumphy tested two milled out of super-hard-chunks of ceramic produced under high pressure. "We were surprised to find that the material was so strong."

An implant has four components: the anchor that is implanted into the jaw, the sleeve which is screwed into the anchor and juts up through the gums, the false tooth itself, and a tiny screw that attaches the false tooth to the sleeve. …

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