Two Dental Implant Solutions For People With Metal Allergies

Posted on: 1 August 2016

When you need to replace missing teeth, dental implants are the best option for this task because they are durable and blend in with normal teeth. However, the majority of implants use titanium posts to anchor replacement teeth to the jaw, which may present a problem for people allergic to this type of metal. If you have your heart set on getting implants, here are two possible solutions you can explore.

Zirconium Implants

At the current time, the only non-metal material that can be used for dental implants is zirconium. This is a type of ceramic that is as compatible with biological tissues as titanium but offers a few more benefits over this metal. First, zirconium comes in cream and white colors that can be matched to natural teeth. This eliminates the problem associated with titanium posts where the grey metal can sometimes be seen through the crown.

Another benefit is the material lets manufacturers make one-piece implants where the crown is built-in to the post. This allows for one-step implants. It also reduces the risk of gaps forming between the crown and the post, which can happen with titanium implants that use separate crowns.

One major drawback to zirconium implants, though, is they are not as durable as titanium ones. The material has been known to break after a period of use, with small diameter posts (e.g. those below 0.5 mm) presenting the biggest risk. Therefore, you may need to take special precautions or make lifestyle changes to increase the longevity of your zirconium implants.

Use a Different Type of Metal

Approximately 20 to 25 percent of the population is allergic to metal, but not everyone is allergic to the same type of metal. According to allergy testing organization Melisa, about 4 percent of patients tested were allergic to titanium. However, the most common metal allergy is to nickel. Since sometimes titanium posts are mixed with this metal or contain traces of it, the nickel may actually be the source of the problem.

Another possible solution to getting dental implants when you have a metal allergy is to find out exactly which material you're allergic to and opt to have the posts made in a different type of metal. For instance, if you're allergic to nickel, you can get implants posts made from pure titanium. Surgical steel has also been used to make posts for implants, which is a good option if titanium is the problem.

For more information about these options, contact a dental clinic like Oral Surgery Associates Inc.