I am about to retire. Though I think I’ve taken good care of my teeth, I have lost a couple. I’m thinking of investing in dental implants for them. However, I have some metal allergies. In fact, it even affects what type of clothing I can wear. There can’t be metal snaps, buttons, or buckles on anything. It limits a lot of what I can wear. I’m concerned I’ll run into a problem with dental implants. Is there a metal-free solution for people in my situation?
First, let me express a “Happy Retirement” to you. I hope you have big plans in how you’ll enjoy your days from here on out. Dental Implants are the best tooth replacement you can choose, so I’m glad you’re looking into how to make them work with your metal allergies.
While some metal allergies are common, such as nickel and cobalt, dental implants are made from titanium. Very few people have a titanium allergy. You could have your dentist check you to see if that is an allergy you need to be concerned about. If it turns out you’re fine, then you can just go ahead with the traditional implants.
However, if your concerned that you could develop an allergy to titanium over time, there is now a new alternative.
Metal-Free Dental Implants
Zirconia implants are a fantastic alternative for people in your situation. Zirconia is sometimes referred to as ceramic steel. It has the strength of titanium, but the natural look of ceramic. Many dentists still prefer the titanium option. That’s not because they’re superior, but just because they’ve been used for a long time and have a proven track record. There’s no evidence to show that zirconia implants are inferior. They simply haven’t been around as long.
Not all dentists offer zirconia implants, so how do you know? Your safest bet is to look for a metal-free dentist. They’re much more willing to work with patients in your situation. Some dentists, especially those who are old-school aren’t on board with the whole metal allergy thing.
The Big Picture
You didn’t mention where your dental implants will need to be placed. If they’re in a visible spot, you may want to consider the long-term. Once the implant crown is made, the color is permanent and can’t be changed. If you’re considering updating your smile in the future with teeth whitening, you may want to do that before your crown is designed. That way the dentist can match your implant crown to your new, whiter color.
If that’s not feasible for you, that’s okay. It just means that once you do whiten your teeth, the crown will have to be re-made to match. Of course, if you’re talking about back teeth, all this is irrelevant to you. It won’t matter if it matches.
This blog is brought to you by Drs. Drake and Wallace.