Material Choices for Implants

Porcelain fused to metal

The long-term reliability of PFM can hide metal abutments due to layering of opaque porcelain. Various gold alloy content alloys are available. 


Porcelain fused to zirconia

This metal-free option is strong, aesthetic and opaque enough to hide metal abutments beneath it. 


IPS e.max®

Lithium disilicate offers superb aesthetics but has structural limitations. If used on metal abutment, opaquing is needed.
For optimal aesthetics anteriorly, IPS emax® should be placed over a zirconia abutment.


Ceramic-Composite Hybrids

(eg. Lava™ Ultimate CAD/CAM Restorative, CERAMAGE®)

These offer a more resilient material and cushion the implant against occlusal forces.

Some ceramic-composite hybrids can be:

  • applied to  a titanium or cobalt chromium abutment
  • bonded onto a titanium base or
  • used as a cement-retained crown on a zirconia abutment

Hybrids can be readily repaired.


Fully milled zirconia

A high-strength metal-free material which is produced using a CAD/CAM process, allowing excellent marginal adaptation. Care with adjustment is required. Careful case selection is necessary to minimise wear of the opposing dentition.


Summary of Material Options

  PFM PFZ FMZ Resin / Hybrid Ceramics
IPS e.max®
Strength ✓ ✓ ✓  ✓ ✓  ✓ ✓ ✓  ✓  ✓ ✓ 
Longevity ✓ ✓ ✓  ✓ ✓  ✓ ✓ ✓  ✓ ✓  ✓ 
Cushioning ✓  ✓  ✓  ✓ ✓ ✓  ✓ 
Cost ✓  ✓ ✓  ✓  ✓ ✓  ✓ ✓ 
Aesthetics ✓ ✓  ✓ ✓  ✓  ✓ ✓  ✓ ✓ ✓ 
Indications Unlimited Aesthetics
Good Strength
Strength Cushioning /
Less force transmitted to implant (material wears)
Ability to be repaired intraorally Limited Limited Limited but rarely needed Excellent Some but still limited