Dental Implants: The Metal-Free Option

PHILADELPHIA, PA – In the nearly two years since Philadelphia, PA Periodontist Dr. David DiGiallorenzo’s practice was chosen by Z-Systems to be the first U.S. office to offer the metal-free implant alternative, a multitude of our patients have benefited from the innovative system.

Dr. DiGiallorenzo, a Philadelphia, PA dental implants specialist, was selected in 2009 by the Swiss biotechnology company because he is a key opinion leader in the metal-free implant field.

He has placed roughly 100 metal-free dental implants- including brands other than Z-Systems- since he began using them two years ago.

Metal-free dental implants provide several benefits. Zirconium has become a popular implant material because it has favorable biomechanical characteristics. We have seen that our patients’ hard and soft tissues also respond well to it.

As far as holistic considerations go, zirconium implants make it possible to avoid using titanium or other metal in implant procedures, said Dr. DiGiallorenzo, a Philadelphia, PA periodontics expert.

Aesthetically speaking, zirconia compares in color to your natural tooth color, which eliminates the dark line around the gum that is characteristic of titanium dental implants.

In terms of dental hygiene, many periodontists like zirconium because it retains less calculus and plaque than titanium. That means gums stay healthier.

Metal-free implants have been popular in Japan for a few years. Most of the original science originated there. They continue to gain a devoted following here in the United States as well, due to the growing popularity of metal-free, holistic dentistry. They also serve as a viable alternative to our patients who have been diagnosed with titanium sensitivity by their medical doctor, acupuncturist or chiropractor.

It is estimated that approximately four percent of Americans have titanium sensitivity. Diagnosis of this condition is done through blood, muscle or patch testing. Dr. DiGiallorenzo and the other Philadelphia, PA periodontists offer this testing in our practice.

In the past two years, Dr. DiGiallorenzo has developed a clinician outreach in the U.S. with other clinicians, and he has created a public awareness campaign. He also created a clinical review board to gather data on clinical success, which was presented at two national symposiums in 2009.

“When it comes to the use of ceramics in dentistry, there is a significant history,” he said. “Zirconium dioxide is proving to be particularly well-accepted and proven in dental implantology, and I foresee it becoming as accepted in implantology circles as ceramics are in general and cosmetic dentistry circles.”

The number of registered holistic, metal-free dentists continues to increase, Dr. DiGiallorenzo said. Currently, there are about 5,000 practitioners nationwide.

“Many of the leading manufacturers of dental implants are coating titanium with zirconium to generate improved biologic outcomes,” he said. “Since I began offering the metal-free option in my office, the results have been nothing but extraordinary with phenomenal hard and soft tissue integration.”