The posts used in dental implants are typically made from titanium and, if you have a metal allergy, you may be worried that you'll have adverse reactions to the metal or that your body will reject the implant. Can you go ahead with an implant if you're allergic to other metals?
Titanium and Biocompatibility
Titanium is the metal of choice for most dental implants because it is biocompatible. This means that it is usually easily accepted by your body, which, in the case of implants, means that your bone will integrate around the titanium implant post without having an adverse reaction to it or treating it as a foreign body.
According to the NCBI, the outer layer of a titanium implant post is made up of an oxide, preventing the metal itself from corroding. Typically, this means that the metal stays intact and won't be broken down by your body fluids, making it less likely that the implant will cause problems.
Titanium and Metal Allergies
If you know that you're allergic to a metal, you may still be able to use a titanium implant but you may want to double check its suitability first. Talk to your dentist about your allergy and ask if titanium is likely to be a problem. If you remain unsure or want hard evidence, ask your dentist or doctor to help you organise an allergy test. Bear in mind that an allergy to another metal doesn't automatically mean that you'll also have a sensitivity to titanium.
Alternatives to Titanium Implants
If you do have a problem with titanium or prefer not to use a metal implant, you may be able to have a ceramic implant as an alternative. Ceramic implants are made from zirconia. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, implant posts made from zirconia are also extremely biocompatible and, as they aren't made from metals, may be an option if you do have an allergy or sensitivity to titanium.
Tip: If you've already had a titanium implant and you think you're showing signs of sensitivity to the metal, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you can. People with a titanium allergy may have different symptoms, including inflammation, problems with their skin, pain, or extreme tiredness, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation. Bear in mind that these symptoms in themselves may not mean you're allergic to the post and may be caused by a different problem with the implant, such as an infection, or by a different medical condition.
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