I need to get a tooth replaced. I really and truly want to do it with a dental implant but someone told me they are made of metal. I have some metal allergies, some of which are pretty bad. The ones I really need to look out for are nickel, cobalt, and mercury. Is there any chance in the world I can still have a dental implant? If not, what are my options and which one is the best after dental implants?
I have some great news for you! Not only will you be able to get dental implants despite your metal allergies, you actually have two options in dental implants.
The Metal in Traditional Dental Implants
Traditional implants are made from titanium. This is an amazingly biocompatible metal. It is also inert. It has been used in prosthetics throughout the human body for decades. Other than dental implants, one of its most common uses is for patients needing a hip replacement. While I would never be naive enough to say that no one is allergic to titanium, there is no documented allergy that I am aware of and I do try to keep up with these things.
If you are still concerned, you can either get specifically tested for a titanium allergy or go with your second option.
Metal Free Dental Implants
There are now zirconia dental implants. Though zirconia is techincally a ceramic, it is so strong it is sometimes called ceramic steel. This would definitely take away your fears of any metal issues. There are two other things to consider here, though. There’s always something.
The first is easy to overcome. Not all dentists are offering them yet. This is because they are newer and some dentists prefer to stay with what they know works. You will have more luck with a holistic dentist, a mercury-free dentist, or a metal-free dentist. Because of your allergies, you will need a mercury-free dentist anyway.
The second is a judgment call. Because they are new, there is not data on their longevity yet. We have gobs of data on the traditional dental implants so most dentists prefer them for that reason. That does not mean that they are not as good, just that we do not have the information yet.
This blog is brought to you by Enfield Dentist Dr. William Cummiskey.