I have need of a dental implant for a lateral incisor I’m losing. The problem I have is I’m horribly allergic to most metals. I can’t even wear watches or anything with metal that would contact my skin, like buttons. Does this mean I need to get a dental bridge? I don’t like the idea of grinding down tooth structure unnecessarily. Maybe there’s another procedure I don’t know about?
I have fantastic news for you! You have two very good options that will not require a different procedure. Dental implants are possible for patients with dental allergies.
Option One: Titanium Implants
While titanium is a metal, it is very biocompatible and it is extraordinarily rare to have an allergy to it, even among those with metal allergies. However, if you’re worried, your doctor can arrange to test you specifically for a titanium allergy. If you are not allergic you can go ahead and get the titanium implants.
Option Two: Zirconia Implants
These are metal-free and made from zirconia, which has been nicknamed ceramic steel. It is strong enough to replace a tooth root. Not all dentists are working with the materials yet. If it turns out you’re allergic to titanium, you may want to look for a dentist who has extensive training in dental implants, who also considers themselves either a metal-free dentist or a holistic dentist.
Titanium Versus Zirconia Implants: Which is Better?
It isn’t that one has been definitively shown to be better than another. If that is the case, why aren’t more dentists availing themselves of the metal-free option? The answer is simply that the titanium implants have been around longer. That means we have hard data on their longevity. One day we may have that same longevity on the zirconia implants. We may even discover they’re better than their metal counterparts. Until then, each dentist has to decide for themselves which they’re comfortable using with their patients.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.