Can you point me in the right direction? I have several missing teeth. While I have removable partial dentures for them, I’d really love to upgrade my smile to dental implants. However, I have a horrible metal allergy. I can’t wear my jewelry and even have to put fabric over all metal snaps and buttons, etc. Is it possible for me to get dental implants? Do you know if many people are allergic to them?
I am glad you wrote. Traditional dental implants are made from titanium for the root form and generally some form of porcelain for the crown. Titanium has been used for decades now in body prosthetics and is considered to be one of the most biocompatible materials available. Documented cases of titanium allergies are less than 1% of the population. It is extremely rare.
If you are still concerned, you have two options:
First, you can get tested specifically for a titanium allergy. Though, allergy testing can be expensive, especially if it turns out you are not allergic.
Your second option is to get metal-free dental implants. These are made from zirconia, which is nicknamed ceramic steel. It is more than strong enough to provide the prosthetic necessary for your biting forces. If it is just as good as the traditional dental implants, why don’t more dentists use them?
That is mostly because there is not as much long-term data on them. We have decades of data on the longevity of the titanium implants. The zirconia counterparts just have not been around as long so the data isn’t there yet. Many dentists prefer to stay with what they know.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.