While dental implants are a proven way of replacing missing teeth, implants are not suitable for every patient. While most people simply need to tick oral health boxes with their dentists before they opt for an implant solution, people with metal allergies may have other issues to consider. What do you need to think about before deciding if a traditional metal implant is right for you?
Which Metals Does an Implant Contain?
The posts used to anchor implants in your mouth are typically made from titanium. This metal is used because it is very strong; it is also usually very biocompatible. This compatibility is important for the success of an implant; it helps avoid problems with infections or your body rejecting the implant post, for example.
However, if you have an allergy to titanium, then this kind of implant may not be a good option for you as your body may react against the titanium. Even if you aren't aware that you are allergic to titanium but you know that you are allergic to another metal, it's worth talking to your dentist to find out the exact composition of the implant post and to get advice on whether you need titanium allergy tests.
As well as containing titanium, implants may contain traces of other metals such as nickel or aluminium. This may increase your sensitivity reactions to the implant even if you aren't allergic to titanium. It's also worth remembering that being allergic to another metal may increase the chances that you are actually also allergic to titanium.
Are Ceramic Implants a Better Option?
If you're allergic to titanium or other common metals, you may be wary about having a metal post implanted in your mouth. If you're not sure, you may also not want to go through allergy tests to find out. If you can't tolerate, or don't want, implants that are made from metal, then you can talk to your dentist about alternative types of implant post.
For example, you can use implant posts made from ceramic materials, such as zirconia. Traditionally used in medical procedures such as some kinds of hip replacements, ceramic implants are strong, effective and biocompatible so you won't lose out on those scores. The big bonus from your point of view – if you have a metal allergy or don't want metal implanted into your body – is the fact that ceramic implant posts don't contain any metal at all. Talk to a dentist for more information.