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Alternative to Metal Dental Implants

Posted by writeradmin

I am in my sixties and have lost a tooth. My hope is to get a dental implant but I have some pretty bad metal allergies so I am concerned about placing something metal in my jaw. I am allergic to nickel and cobalt.  I can’t wear jewelry or anything with snaps or buckles. So the idea of putting the metal internally has me pretty freaked. Is there an alternative to metal? I do understand that dental implants are the best tooth replacement option so I am hoping to find a way to make it work, especially because there is a good chance I am going to lose a couple more teeth.

Thank you,


Dear Carol,

An image of both titanium and zirconia dental implants


I am sorry that you’ve lost a tooth. That is never fun. However, you are correct that dental implants are the best tooth replacement. It’s the closest thing to having a healthy tooth again. The good news is that there are a couple of great alternatives for you.

First, you can just get the traditional dental implants. These are made from titanium, which isn’t like your typical metal. It is inert and biocompatible. I’ve never heard of a titanium allergy. They’ve also been used for decades in prosthetics, including things like hip replacements. The benefit of this option is there are massive amounts of data on their longevity and stability.

A second option, if you are still nervous about the metal option, is to get zirconia dental implants. These are strong enough to support your teeth. Zirconia is known as ceramic steel. Not all dentists are using it yet because they are comfortable with the titanium and some are waiting on long term data, but so far they’ve worked fine for the people using them.

There are two things to look for as you prepare to replace your tooth. First, you want a dentist who has invested in post-doctoral training for dental implants. Dental school alone is not enough. For example, Dr. Long is a graduate of the Dawson Academy, which has fantastic cosmetic and implant training. He also holds a fellowship in implant prosthodontics.

The second thing to look for is the cosmetic ability. This is especially important if the tooth you are replacing is visible when you smile. The best cosmetic dentists are AACD accredited. Please note this is different from membership. An AACD accredited dentist will be able to create a stunning, natural looking smile.

One other recommendation. If you were considering whitening your teeth, make sure you do it before the implant crown is made. Once the color for the crown is completed, it cannot be changed. If you whiten your teeth later then you will have to replace the crown.

This blog is brought to you by Naples, FL Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Long.