My husband recently received implant overdentures. He only has the temporary dentures, which are acrylic. There are porcelain ones being made. Before those are attached, I wanted to reach out to another dentist because I think we need to switch his dental implants from the metal ones to the ceramic ones. There is a horrible smell in his mouth since getting these metal implants. I feel certain I can smell the implants themselves and the metal is reacting with his mouth. I think this will have long term negative effects on him, not to mention how I can’t stand being by his mouth at the moment. But, his dentist thinks there is nothing wrong. I think he just doesn’t offer the non-metal kinds and does not want us going somewhere else. Is there a way I can convince him something is wrong here?
While there is something wrong, I don’t think it is what you’re thinking. The metal dental implants are made from titanium, which not only is biocompatible with decades of data. There has been no data showing any reactivity with titanium. It’s often used as a prosthetic and not just for in dental work. It’s used in other medical procedures too. One example is a hip replacement.
As to the smell, titanium is an inert metal, which means it doesn’t have any real smell. You could even ask the dentist to smell one and you’ll understand what I mean. However, none of that answers your question about the smell. A bad smell is an indication that something is wrong. My first place to look would be the denture used for his implant overdentures. It may have some open gaps that are allowing food and other bacteria to get trapped in there, which would make a horrific smell.
I would try having your husband use something like a WaterPik to help clean out the area. If that is the problem, the smell will go away. He’ll need to be extra tedious with his oral hygiene.
Another possibility for a bad smell is an infection, but that is generally accompanied by other symptoms such as pain and / or fever. I would start with the WaterPik and go from there.
Re-Doing a Dental Implant Procedure
Having him switch to ceramic (zirconia) dental implants is not as simple as taking metal implants out and putting non-metal in. First, he’ll need the surgery to remove the implants. This procedure will remove much of the bone in the area. Because of that, he’ll need a surgery for bone grafting to build back up that bone giving the implants a chance of success. Then, after a period of healing from the grafting, it will be time for the dental implant surgery. That’s three additional surgical procedures to switch these implants. Not an easy thing to ask anyone to do.
This blog is brought to you by Marietta Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.