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September 2017
Volume 38, Issue 8

Z-Systems’ Esthetic Zirconia Implants Standing the Test of Time

Oral surgeon Ted Fields, DDS, PhD, understands the importance of staying current on procedures and technologies that provide high-quality results in the field of dental implantology. Fields believes, as many other practitioners do, that implants today are the option of choice for tooth replacement.

Zirconia dental implants, such as the ceramic implants offered by Z-Systems, which Fields has been placing for nearly a decade with excellent results, have provided him with a high-performance, esthetic alternative to metal implants. “Over the course of the past decade, we’ve seen a drastic reduction in the use of metal in restorative dentistry. Today, I’d say at least 90% of the crowns made in the United States are completely metal-free,” he says.

When Z-Systems obtained FDA approval for ceramic implants and came to market in 2007, it was the first all-zirconia dental implant system in the United States. “The soft-tissue esthetics and healthy tissue response around the implants were unlike anything we had seen with other implants,” he contends. “While the esthetics were a big reason for trying zirconia implants in the first place, it was the healthy, inflammation-free soft-tissue response that kept us coming back and making them our implant of choice for many procedures.”

Z-Systems ceramic implants, according to the company, are the only FDA-approved 100% metal-free one-piece, two-piece, and tapered ceramic dental implants. Consisting of a pure zirconium-oxide, high-performance ceramic, the implants are made through the Zirkolith® process, which is unique to Z-Systems. The raw material is layered in various steps, then processed and ground to make implants. This process significantly increases resistance to breakage and aging, and the ceramic implants can be prepped in the mouth similar to a natural tooth. This allows fabrication of a final restoration with an ideal emergence profile.

Another advantage that Fields cites is the improved support this material provides to oral health. This is because plaque and bacteria attach less to zirconia than other surfaces in the mouth, thus lessening the chance of dental disease-related implant failure and problems with adjacent teeth. Additionally, the implant design, Fields says, allows the implants to be placed anywhere in the mouth that conventional implants can be placed, such as in immediate extraction sockets, immediate sinus lifts, and in other challenging situations.

“In fact,” he continues, “there are certain situations where we can place these implants—with excellent results—where we could never place other kinds of implants without first performing bone grafting for ridge augmentation. These implants frequently simplify the surgical procedure and allow us to deliver the final restorations in half the time than we could do otherwise.”

Fields, who claims the Z-Systems Z5c two-piece implant is his “workhorse” implant of choice, cautions that not all zirconia products are identical. “Z-Systems has the only two-piece implant system that also allows customization and fine-tuning by prepping the implant and the abutment if needed,” he says. “While other first- and second-generation zirconia systems have recently come to the market, Z-Systems is in its fifth generation, with a material strength that is still unmatched.”

The Z-System implants are complemented by the only fully ceramic surgical kit on the market with more than 15 years’ research and quality assurance, according to the company. The surgical cassette contains all of the instruments needed for implant placement, sorted to correspond to the treatment course and includes color-coded labels for ease of use.

Fields finds patients are increasingly requesting zirconia implants as they seek healthy and esthetic solutions. “The patients want them!” he exclaims. “Today’s patients have a good understanding of their healthcare options, and I have yet to see anyone not select a zirconia dental implant when given a choice among implants.” Fields also sees many referrals from these implant patients to friends and family specifically for zirconia implants.

“These implants allow us to provide a proven and predictable treatment with a level of tissue health and esthetic excellence that is flat out unmatched,” he affirms.

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