What Is the Best Material for Dental Implants?

July 20, 2023

 Dental Implant - Full Denture
Greg Schubert | Blog Author at Pro-Craft

Written by:
Greg Schubert

Dental implants enable you to make a big difference in the lives of patients who need tooth restoration. For the past several decades, titanium has been the gold standard for replacement teeth. But today, there are more options. 

Some dental practices are using zirconia implants in addition to titanium. We’ll explain the pros and cons of each dental implant material to help you determine the best fit for your patients. 

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

The majority of dental implants are made from titanium or a titanium alloy. A lot of dentists prefer this metal because of its strength and predictability. 

Titanium is widely recognized as one of the best materials for dental implant components because it osseointegrates with the jawbone, increasing the chances of long-term implant success.

Additionally, because it’s been in use for so long, most dentists and oral surgeons are comfortable recommending it to their patients. They know it works well. And they know what the potential complications are and how to resolve them. Essentially, with titanium, there aren’t a lot of surprises. 

However, titanium isn’t perfect. It has a few drawbacks, some of which can be a deal-breaker for certain patients. That’s where zirconia comes in.

Zirconia is a relatively new dental implant technology — in 2011, the FDA approved zirconium oxide for use in the United States as a dental implant material. It is a type of ceramic, and it’s often used as an alternative to titanium implants. 

There are also other dental implant materials, including polymers and gold. However, none of these materials have been able to compete with titanium or zirconia. 

The Pros and Cons of the Different Types of Dental Implants 

The truth is that there is no one best material for dental implants. But there is usually a good fit for every individual looking for a restoration solution. 

You’ll want to be familiar with the benefits and drawbacks of the different implant materials in use today so you can offer your patients life-changing dental restorations. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of titanium implants, zirconia implants, and other less frequently used implant materials. 


Titanium has been the leading material for dental implants since the 1960s. It fuses well to the surrounding bone, allowing it to become a part of your mouth 

Pros of Titanium Implants

Titanium’s osseointegration benefit is the main reason why it’s so widely used for dental implant bases and abutments. However, there’s more to love about this metal.

  • Titanium is budget-friendly, allowing you to offer your patients more affordable teeth restoration solutions.
  • It’s both durable and lightweight, leading to a comfortable fit for many patients.
  • Titanium is the strongest material for dental implants. It’s less prone to fractures and has been shown to last for years without becoming loose or cracking.

One thing to keep in mind when deciding on the best dental implants is the material’s track record. And titanium has an impressive one. Implant failure due to fractures is very rare with titanium.

When it does happen, it’s usually because of a defect in the manufacturing process. That’s one reason why it’s so important to work with a dental lab that has years of experience crafting high-quality dental implants.

Titanium alloys, which are usually made with aluminum and vanadium, are also prized for their durability and strength, and they’re known to resist corrosion.

Cons of Titanium Implants

Even though titanium is, so far, the best dental implant material, it does have its shortcomings. Some people are allergic or sensitive to titanium or one of the other metals in a titanium alloy. Sensitivities and allergies can cause inflammation of the gums and hives in the mouth.

Titanium dental implants can corrode over time, which can also cause inflammation of the surrounding tissues.

Sometimes, the metal base or abutment is visible beneath the gum line. That’s where titanium dental implants are a good choice for posterior restorations, but for the more visible anterior implants, your patients might prefer zirconia.


Zirconia was developed in the 18th century, but this ceramic material didn’t become a candidate for dental implants for a couple of centuries. Today, you’ll see more practices offering zirconia as a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to titanium. 

Pros of Zirconia Implants

Here are some of the benefits of zirconia:

  • With zirconia implants, there are no visible metal parts along the gingival margin, and the whitish color mimics the look of natural teeth. 
  • For people who are sensitive or allergic to metals, zirconia can be a good option as it’s free of metals. 
  • Less dental plaque accumulates around zirconia implants compared to titanium implants. 
  • While we’ll still have to wait for long-term research on this implant material, there are short-term studies pointing to better biocompatibility than titanium and the potential for osseointegration.

Cons of Zirconia Implants

The main downside of zirconia is that it’s not as strong as titanium. It’s more prone to cracks and fractures, so your patients with zirconia implants are more likely to require more dental restoration work in the future. 

You’ll want to keep this in mind when deciding between screw-retained and cement-retained implant restorations. Cement-retain restorations are more difficult to remove if you need to replace them. 


Polymer implants are more aesthetically pleasing than metals, and they’re easier to manipulate than more durable alternatives. However, polymers aren’t the best choice for dental implants because they aren’t strong enough to do the job. They also won’t adhere to bone like zirconia and titanium will.

Gold and Other Metals

In the past, dentists used other metals for dental restoration. Gold, stainless steel, and cobalt-chromium all have good biomechanical properties, and they can be easily sterilized. Because they simply aren’t as effective as titanium, the best dental implant brands rarely use them to make restorations. 

The Best Dental Implants for Your Practice

Both titanium and zirconia dental implant components can be a good choice for your patients. Titanium is extremely durable. It works well for posterior implants that aren’t easy to see. Zirconia can be used when your patients need to avoid metal for medical or cosmetic reasons.

While the material impacts the end results, the quality and construction of the restoration itself can play a bigger role.

At PRO-Craft Dental Lab, we offer a variety of high-quality implant components and restoration products, including custom abutments, screw-retained prosthetics, and screwmentable restorations, which include our custom titanium bases and a restoration hand-made in our lab.

We also offer 3D-guided dental surgery systems to help our clients achieve even more impressive results. Learn more about our dental implant solutions and how they can help your practice offer life-changing restorations.


Keep Reading

Dentist holding up mirror for a young woman to look at her teeth
April 26, 2023

Guide to Materials & Strengths of Zirconia Dental Restorations

Zirconia has revolutionized the dental industry with its versatility and robustness. It is renowned for its strength, making it a material of choice for dental restorations. Moreover, zirconia is...

Read More
40 Years of Quality & Commitment: The PRO-Craft Story
March 31, 2022

40 Years of Quality & Commitment: The PRO-Craft Story

40 Years of Quality & Commitment: The PRO-Craft Story InTRUview visits PRO-Craft Dental Laboratory in Murrieta, CA to interview the team about their secret to becoming a leading industry standard for...

Read More
Dentist looking inside a patient's mouth with a dental tool
June 01, 2022

How do you handle rush dental cases?

Life can be unpredictable, and your full-service dental lab should be able to support you and your patients when an urgent circumstance presents itself. In this video below, we are answering one of...

Read More

As an industry leader in CAD/CAM technology, we have taken the fabrication of digital restorations to a new & exciting level of service.

25791 Jefferson Ave, Murrieta, CA 92562

Search The Site