Zirconia Dental Implants

Zirconia Dental Implants

Over the past few decades, more people have become aware of the innovative new standard of tooth replacement: dental implants. Most commonly, dental implants in San Diego and across the country are made of titanium. This material could not be considered holistic because it is a metal, and it is not a naturally aesthetic option. Dr. Chen, your San Diego holistic dentist, uses dental implants made from zirconia.

Specifically, our dental implant patients receive the Z-Look3 implants made of Zirconium Oxide. To ensure the most suitable form of treatment is provided, we perform Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing as a precursor to dental implant treatment.

About Z-Look3 implants

Two words can be used to best describe the Z-Look3 Zirconium implants used at the La Jolla Center for Holistic Dentistry: safe and beautiful.

These dental implants do not contain metal. Instead, they are based on a certain type of ceramic, Zirconia. This material is biocompatible and non-irritating to the soft tissues of the mouth. These implants have no metal in any part and they have a success rate that is comparable to titanium implants, lasting many years with proper care to surrounding gum tissue. This type of dental implant is still relatively new in the U.S., but has been extensively studied and used regularly across Europe for decades. Today, zirconium dental implants are a proven contender, safe and effective for the lifelong replacement of missing teeth.

Made from ceramic rather than metal, the zirconium dental implants Dr. Chen places are white by nature. This is a stark contrast to the gray color of titanium. Where titanium implants may cause a dark line to appear where the gums meet the tooth, zirconium implants are not noticeable beneath a crown, bridge, or denture appliance.


Dental implants are the optimal choice for tooth replacement. Inserted directly into the bone tissue of the jaw, implants are firm foundations for replacement teeth or denture appliances. This leads to the full restoration of chewing and speaking function, and a return of confidence that allows you to smile, laugh, eat, and speak freely, without concern over the function or aesthetics of your smile.

Dr. Chen is committed to providing the safest, most attractive smile restorations using holistic materials for dental implants. Contact our La Jolla dental practice today to learn more about our services.

Titanium Dental Implant

When the need arises to replace a missing tooth or teeth, dentistry has a new and improved way of handling the situation – dental implants. The development of implant technology has been an incredible improvement over the conventional tooth replacement options of dental bridges and dentures. When a tooth or teeth are lost or removed, the root structure is lost, as well. In the absence of the total structure, changes occur above and below the gum line. Where bridges and dentures can restore a natural appearance, as well as chewing function, these solutions do nothing to preserve bone tissue, which will diminish without proper stimulation from a tooth root.

Dental implants contain the artificial tooth structure in the form of a dental crown, and a root replacement in the form of a post. This post is inserted into healthy jawbone tissue, where it will fuse to the bone over the course of a few months. This natural integration process leads to the type of permanent stability that is inherent to natural teeth.

Most of the time implant posts are made of titanium. This material is commonly found in the medical and dental fields, used also in stents, pacemakers, and the brackets of braces. Orthotic implants, such as for the knee or hip, are also commonly made with titanium. The material is an obvious choice for such applications due to its strength. Many even believe it to be biocompatible.

Not every person has immediate issues with titanium dental implants. However, there are those who are hypersensitive to this material, which is one reason biocompatibility testing is so vitally important before commencing dental work. The constant release of metal ions into the oral cavity also has the potential to trigger allergies, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases in those who are particularly susceptible. Just like other forms of metal dental materials, titanium implants can lead to oral electrogalvanism through the reaction between metal and saliva.

In studies, titanium implants have been shown to have the potential to lead to health problems such as skin inflammation, depression, neurological problems, chronic fatigue, and pain in the nerves, joints, and muscles. If you are seeking tooth replacement with dental implants, Dr. Chen can help you determine the most appropriate material, such as zirconia implants.

It is your dentist’s job to guard the health of your teeth and gums, and to see beyond the obvious and realize the connection between the mouth and body. Contact the La Jolla Center for Holistic Dentistry to discover true health.

“I just want to thank you for all of your work to restore my smile. You made me feel very comfortable the entire time – all done without the typical discomfort.”

~ Sandra D

Mini Dental Implant

The technology of dental implants has allowed dentists to provide permanent tooth replacement to more people, in a way that is comfortable and stable. In some instances, mini dental implants may be the most suitable solution for tooth replacement. These prosthetic devices are smaller than standard implants, measuring approximately 2mm in width. First used over two decades ago, mini implants may be used on their own in some cases, or as a support to a fixed dental bridge or denture appliance. Like standard implants, mini dental implants have been shown to remain strong and stable for several decades, providing the same level of function as natural teeth.

A mini dental implant, such as those used in our San Diego holistic dental practice, can be an ideal support for a lower denture, where the jawbone is slightly narrower. Today, more than 50 million Americans are in the position of needing full replacement of all of their teeth. Many who wear conventional dentures struggle daily with discomfort and instability. Compelled to keep dentures in for function, some people find that they begin to withdraw from healthy social engagement due to fear of their denture slipping or falling out. Bad breath is another potential effect of dentures, which is very common, but often the patient is unaware of the malodor. Those who have added the support of mini dental implants to existing dentures have found freedom from both bad breath as well as social discomfort.

The insertion of mini dental implants is regularly performed today, with, typically, four implants placed at the front of the lower jaw. This procedure is carefully performed under local anesthesia, and it produces no discomfort to the patient. After placement, mild jaw soreness may occur. The implants are only about the size of toothpicks, and are placed strategically for the optimal support of a denture. The existing appliance is then precisely adjusted in a way that will allow it to attach to the implant posts. Snapping a denture appliance onto implants leads to a newfound confidence to speak and eat, even in social settings.

The placement of mini dental implants takes only about an hour, and the attachment of a denture can be done immediately. Many patients who undergo this treatment are able to have a light meal within just a few hours of the procedure.

Tooth replacement should restore full oral health, not just the look of a healthy smile. Contact your San Diego holistic dentist, Dr. Chen, for more information on dental implants and the mini implant process.

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