I have an allergy to metals, especially nickel and cobalt. Would it still be possible for me to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant or do I need something else because of the metal?
You actually have a couple of good options. The first is to go ahead with the traditional type of dental implant. These are made of titanium. While titanium is metal, it is one of the most biocompatible metals around and it is extraordinarily rare for someone to have an allergy to it. For decades we’ve used it in a variety of prosthetics, including hip joints. The metal allergies you mentioned are two of the most common. I don’t think you are very likely to also have a titanium allergy. However, if you are worried, you can either get tested for that particular allergy.
Other than that, your second option is to look for a dentist who offers non-metal dental implants. Some dentists offer metal-free zirconia implants. They haven’t been around as long so you may have to do some searching to find a dentist who works with them. If you have an allergy to titanium, though it will be worth the effort.
Dental implants are the best tooth replacement options available. It will be like having your own natural tooth again. One thing to be careful about no matter which type of implant you get is that you find a dentist with significant post-doctoral training in dental implants. This is an advanced procedure that is not taught in general dental school. Post-doctoral training will be essential. Another plus will be for you to find a dentist who does both the surgery and the restoration. This cuts down on the risk of miscommunication between the dentist and the oral surgeon.
If you can’t find a dentist qualified to do the surgery, then make sure it is the dentist who determines the implant placement, not the surgeon.
This blog is brought to you by Sugar Land Dentist Dr. Siny Thomas.