I have a very severe metal allergy. When my skin has any contact with metal from jewelry or even buttons on my pants, I break out into a rash that eventually blisters, oozes and scabs. I need to replace a missing tooth, and according to my dentist an implant is my best choice. I am very concerned, even though he has assured me that he uses pure titanium and that the implants are hypo-allergenic. My biggest worry is that this is something that will not just be touching my skin and I have no idea how my body might react. Will a pure titanium implant be ok?
Shelly in Omaha
Studies show that allergies to metals, especially nickel, are on the rise. It’s unfortunate that your dentist doesn’t seem to be listening to your concerns, so it’s great that you are looking out for your best interest.
Most people have no problem with pure titanium – even people like you who suffer from severe metal allergies. Titanium can be found in candy and even toothpaste. If you’re concerned about a reaction to titanium, consult with an allergist first to determine exactly what metals you have issues with.
Pure titanium dental implants do exist, but titanium alloy ones are common, too. Your dentist should get a copy of your allergy report and you should insist on seeing the package insert from your dental implant. If you have any questions or concerns, call the company to find out what metals are used.
If you do find out you are allergic to titanium, there are ceramic implants on the market. They are not as common, but if you do your homework, you can find a dentist who uses them.