I want to get a dental implant for a tooth I am losing. My problem, however, is that I have some metal allergies. I am allergic to nickel, cobalt, and mercury that I know of. I haven’t tested for every metal, so there could be more. I know that dental implants are made of metal. Is there a way to know what metals so that I can see if I am allergic?
I’m glad you wrote. The metal in dental implants is titanium. You should know it is extremely biocompatible. They have been used for decades in various prosthetics in the human body and, to date, I haven’t known anyone allergic to them. That does not mean a titanium allergy is impossible. Based on this information you have a few choices.
First, you could go ahead and just have the dental implant done, with the consideration that this kind of allergy is rare. A second option is to pay to get tested for a titanium-specific allergy. Lastly, you could go with a metal-free option for your dental implant.
Metal-Free Dental Implants
In recent years, there has been a development with dental implants and some dentists have begun to offer zirconia implants. Zirconia is sometimes nicknamed ceramic steel because of how strong it is.
You will find that not every dentist offers this yet. It is not because there is any known deficiency when comparing the traditional implants with the metal free implants. It is simply a matter of there not being as much data collected on the zirconia. They simply have not been around as long, so there are no long term studies.
If you really want one, your best options are to do an internet search for either a metal-free dentist or a holistic dentist. Either one of those will be more willing to work with you around both your allergies and your preferences.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentist Dr. David Marion.