If you're planning on boarding a flight in the near future, and you have a dental appliance or installation of some kind, you might be worried about the Transportation Security Administration. While the TSA can be rigorous about screening folks who trigger their scanners, you don't need to worry. Metal dental appliances are quite commonplace, and if you follow these steps and plan ahead, you'll be able to breeze through security.
The Use of Metal
Many kinds of dental appliances use metal: braces, dental implants, crowns, and some fillings are made out of varieties of metal. Unfortunately, metal can trigger x-ray scanners, metal detectors, and they often show up on the more modern full-body scanning devices that many airports use to screen passengers today.
If you have metal in your teeth from a filling and want it replaced with a more natural-looking and feeling material, a dentist will be glad to replace that for you. Clear plastic braces may also be an option if you don't want metal on your teeth. However, many crowns and all dental implants require metal.
Crowns use metal because metal can withstand the constant pressure of your teeth pressing on each other while you eat, talk, and possibly grind your teeth. Dental implants need titanium posts to securely attach the replacement tooth to your jawbone. There's no getting around having metal in your mouth in these cases, but getting through security is easy if you come prepared.
Before you go to the airport, visit your dentist and request some documentation showing why you have metal in your mouth. A signed doctor's note may be enough, but if you're feeling insecure, you can always ask for a copy of the dentist's documentation of your dental procedure and negatives of any x-rays they have. Your dentist may even be able to mail these forms to you, but make sure to call well in advance so you don't run out of time before your trip.
Once you have your documentation, don't fret about being screened by the TSA. While the paperwork and dentist's signed note will help them to screen you more quickly, you're not the only one going through this. Fifteen million people in the U.S. have crowns or bridge replacements, and three million have dental implants. Many people go through security without being bothered by the TSA about their teeth at all, but it's always good to come prepared, just in case. In the worst-case scenario, without documentation, the TSA may ask you to come to a private screening room to examine your teeth.
Sadly, people have come up with strange ways to smuggle substances that have no business on planes, and that means any abnormality on a scan can make the TSA take notice. However, with your dentist's note and documentation at the ready, you'll be cleared for take-off in no time. If you have any questions and don't have a regular dentist, consider contacting a local dentistry, such as Olympia Dental and Implant Center, to discuss your concerns.Share
24 November 2015
When the bottled water craze began, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else who was drinking water from bottles instead of from the tap. I wasn't sure why bottled water was healthier, but I liked the taste. When I went for my next dental check-up, I had my first cavity in a while, so I had it filled and didn't think much of it. Well, I had two more during my next check-up after that, and I began trying to think of why my teeth were suddenly going bad. The only change in my habits was the switch to bottled water, so I made the switch back to tap water and my teeth began to improve. I created this blog to encourage others who have begun getting cavities suddenly to look into their changes in habits. They may find they made a change similar to mine.