I am 63 years old and lost my first tooth. This old fella has his pride though and I want the best replacement possible. My dentist told me that would be dental implants. I did some reading and it looks like they are made of metal. What if I have metal allergies? I’m allergic to nickel and cobalt. Is there a metal substitute for dental implants?
The older I get, the less 63 seems old. I’m glad you are looking for dental implants as your replacement though. Your dentist is right. It is the best tooth replacement. Nickel and cobalt allergies are fairly common. I hope you’ve told your dentist about them, because there are certain things he will want to avoid in your dental care. One that will be especially important for you is to only get mercury-free fillings.
As for dental implants, they are made completely of titanium. These are highly biocompatible and it is quite rare for someone to have an allergy to one. Titanium has been used for decades in multiple types of joint replacements, such as hips. You should be just fine to have traditional dental implants.
However, if you are concerned, you have a couple of options. First, you can have allergy testing. You will want the testing to be specific to titanium. A second option is to find a dentist who is willing to place zirconia dental implants. Zirconia is known as ceramic steel and is strong enough to place a dental implant. They have been doing quite well.
The only reason some dentists hesitate to use them is they don’t have the long term data the titanium implants do. That’s because they’re new and not because they are inferior. It could be in two decades the data shows them to be superior. It takes time to gather that kind of data though.
Where Your Dental Implant is Placed Matters
If your dental implant is placed in a visible place, your dentist can make it match your teeth perfectly. You need to be aware, however, that the color the implant is made is permanent. If you are happy with the color of your teeth, then you’re good to go. If you are considering whitening your teeth, you will want to do that before the implant crown is made.
Once your teeth are whitened, your dentist can match the crown to the new color and you’ll be happy with it on a more permanent basis. If you are in a hurry, some dental offices offer Zoom Whitening which can be done in one appointment.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.