There are many dentists out there claiming to be “metal-free” dentists. These dentists will tell you that metal amalgam fillings are dangerous, and that you shouldn’t get metal crowns. But then they will only offer you metal dental implants.
On the one hand, it’s true that titanium is a different case from the mercury in metal amalgam or the nickel that is found in some types of dental crowns. But on the other hand, there are some reasons why people might be concerned about titanium, and for these people, it’s important to offer a metal-free dental implant.
Metal Allergies Are Real
One reason why people are concerned about titanium implants is that metal allergies are real. Although being allergic to titanium is a lot less common than an allergy to nickel or other non-noble metals, it does happen. And when it happens, people can experience genuine symptoms that can cause implant failure or even systemic flu-like symptoms that can be troubling, even disabling.
The incidence of titanium allergy has been estimated at 0.6%, so it’s fairly rare, but for that 0.6% of people, having another alternative is important.
Titanium Implants Can Participate in Galvanic Circuits
Whenever you have dissimilar metals in the mouth, you can experience a galvanic circuit. Basically, your saliva acts to conduct electricity between the two metals. For some people, this can be very painful. It can also lead one of the metals to rust away, which significantly impacts the stability of the restoration. And some are concerned that the galvanic circuits could interfere with the body’s natural electromagnetic system.
Now, ideally, if a metal-free dentist is only offering titanium implants, you shouldn’t have to worry about a galvanic circuit–titanium would be the only metal in your mouth. The current would activate whenever metal tableware entered your mouth or if you drank from a soda can.
Some People Don’t Like the Idea of Metal
For some people, the problem with metal may not be something that Western medicine recognizes. There are many who just feel that we shouldn’t put metal in our bodies, it’s just too dissimilar to the body’s natural composition and may interfere with its normal functioning.
These are feelings that a metal-free dentist should understand and sympathize with. They should offer options that can make people feel more comfortable about their dental work.
We Offer Metal-Free Dental Implants
At Rice Dentistry, we don’t describe ourselves as “metal-free dentists,” but we do understand that many of our patients have concerns about metal in their dental work. That’s why we strive to offer as many metal-free options as possible. This includes full ceramic dental crowns, ceramic and composite fillings, and, yes, metal-free dental implants. We even offer metal-free orthodontics in Invisalign, which uses BPA-free plastic instead of metal to realign your teeth.