A dental implant isn't the realistic prosthetic tooth that fills the gap in your smile. Dental implants are actually the implanted section of the device—namely a small metal screw installed in your jaw. The bone heals around it, the implant's position is locked, and the prosthetic tooth is then fitted—becoming an artificial tooth that looks natural, and has the same bite force as a natural tooth. Implants are predominantly titanium or a titanium alloy. Is this always the best choice?
Titanium has become the market leader in dental implant manufacturing for a myriad of reasons. Firstly, it's strong enough to combine the functions of a tooth root and dental socket into a single device, able to withstand the ongoing occlusal forces experienced by the porcelain prosthetic tooth that will be bonded to it. Secondly, it's relatively inexpensive when compared to other metals of similar strength. Thirdly, it's biocompatible.
The biocompatibility of implants relates to how compatible they are with your biology. They are, by necessity, bio-inert. This means that they won't act as an irritant or allergen to surrounding hard or soft tissues, and so won't cause an adverse reaction that will compromise the function of the implant, or affect its initial integration with your jaw. Different patients have different needs, and you may be a patient with a metal allergy or sensitivity who still needs a dental implant.
Metal sensitivities take many forms. You may have a monosensitization (sensitivity to one specific metal), or sensitivity to different types of metal. Titanium implants are not necessarily entirely titanium, and alloys are commonly used to manufacture implants. Therefore, a cross-sensitivity is certainly possible. You might already be well aware of your circumstances (the condition typically becomes noticeable in early adulthood), with symptoms resembling contact dermatitis. This is clearly problematic when, by its very nature, an implant must be embedded in your body.
Because it integrates with your jaw and can then recreate the force of a natural tooth, an implant is the most natural tooth replacement. This replacement doesn't have to be metal. The prosthetic tooth attached to your implant may be made of zirconia, which is a form of ceramic. It's going to be slightly more costly, but the implant placed in your jaw can also be zirconia. This ceramic implant completely negates the possibility of metal sensitivity, as the implant, its tooth, and any connective devices used to secure the tooth will be entirely ceramic—which offers the same high level of performance as a titanium implant.
Don't let a metal sensitivity prevent you from receiving a much-needed tooth replacement. 100% metal-free implants are not difficult to arrange.
Reach out to a local dentist to learn more about dental implants.Share
30 May 2023
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.