The office of Philadelphia and Williamsport Periodontist Dr. David DiGiallorenzo recently was selected by Z-Systems, a Swiss biotechnology company, to be the first U.S. office to begin evaluation, dissemination and usage of a holistic alternative to titanium dental implants.
Known as Z-Look implants, these metal-free, zirconia dental implants provide an alternative to patients who have been diagnosed with titanium sensitivity by their chiropractor, acupuncturist or medical doctor, said DiGiallorenzo, a Philadelphia and Williamsport dental implants expert.
“The zirconium implants have a strong dental following in Japan, where most of the original science originated,” he said. “The soft and hard tissues respond particularly well and aesthetics are metal free, which is fabulous.”
DiGiallorenzo is developing a clinician outreach in the U.S. along with other clinicians, and he is creating a public awareness campaign. He also is developing a clinical review board to collect data on clinical success, which will be presented at two national symposiums later this year.
“We have a long history in dentistry of ceramics,” he said. “However, zirconium dioxide seems to be particularly well-accepted and proven in dental implantology.”
The number of registered holistic, metal-free dentists is on the rise, with as many as 5,000 practitioners nationwide. It is estimated that four percent of Americans are sensitive to titanium, so a metal-free option will be useful for this population base, he said.
Titanium sensitivity is diagnosed through muscle, blood or patch testing, DiGiallorenzo said, adding that the Melisa Foundation offers information about this on its Web site: www.melisa.org. DiGiallorenzo offers this test in his office.
Titanium and titanium alloys have been used for years in the fabrication of dental implants, according to ResearchGate Scientific Network. Zirconia has gained popularity as a suitable implant material because it has good biomechanical characteristics, it is biocompatible and its coloring is similar to that of a natural tooth.
More than 50,000 zirconium implants have been placed worldwide with similar success to traditional titanium metal implants, DiGiallorenzo said. “Many of the world’s leading dental implant manufacturers are now coating the titanium with zirconium for better biologic outcomes,” he said. “So far in my office, the results have been nothing but exceptional with fantastic hard and soft tissue integration.”