The Facts about Dental Implants and Metal Allergies
Can dental implants cause you to have an allergic reaction?
Implants are widely considered to be the best option to replace missing teeth, as they look, feel and function just like natural teeth. But while implant surgery is appropriate for most patients, not everyone is a candidate.
Fortunately we have good news, even for those patients with metal sensitivity.
What Metals Are Used in Dental Implants?
If you have metal allergies, you’re probably concerned about how your body will react to implants. You may wonder if this method of tooth replacement is even possible for you. The answer may depend on the specific metals that affect you.
Most patients who have metal allergies are sensitive to nickel; however, cobalt, copper and chromium are also common triggers.
Implants are made primarily of a titanium alloy. Trace amounts of other metals may be included, but titanium is the base metal.
What Is the Risk of Being Allergic to Dental Implants?
Titanium is considered to be nonallergenic and is the material of choice for dental implants. Thanks to its high resistance to corrosion and its biocompatibility with the body’s immune system, titanium is also preferred by the medical field for orthopedic implants that are placed within bones.
In addition, titanium dioxide, the most common titanium compound, is used as an additive and flavor enhancer in many foods and consumer products, including toothpaste and cosmetics.
Despite its wide use, studies have shown that people can be allergic to titanium-based materials. Symptoms of this type of metal allergy may include muscle pain, swelling, fatigue, a metallic taste in the mouth and skin rashes or lesions.
However, titanium carries a much lower allergic risk than other metals. So patients who react to implants are often allergic to the other metals that make up the titanium alloy.
Can You Get Dental Implants if You Have Metal Allergies?
If you have any metal sensitivities or other medical health conditions, bring them up at your initial implant surgery consultation. To determine if you are a candidate for implants, our oral surgeons must have a clear and complete picture of your overall health.
For patients with a history of allergies or a hypersensitivity to metals, a patch test or blood test can help answer your questions. These tests may be able to determine if you will have an allergic reaction to the titanium or any other metals used in the dental implant posts.
Implants rarely trigger metal allergies, even in people with known sensitivities. But if a reaction does occur, removal or replacement of the implants with a different titanium alloy typically provides relief from any symptoms.
Dr. Maxfield and Dr. Partridge, the implant surgery specialists at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, can answer all of your questions about tooth replacement. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule your dental implant consultation.
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