How to Prevent Titanium Intolerance?

by Dental-Pedia

How to Prevent Titanium Intolerance? 

Dental implants are ideal for teeth replacement, and, in most cases, dental implants last a lifetime without complications. Titanium and zirconia implants show nearly perfect success rates, with a negligible risk of implant failure or complications. However, in some cases, patients with titanium implants may eventually display signs of titanium allergies, leading to a condition called titanium intolerance. 

Titanium intolerance is a condition wherein the patient’s body rejects the titanium dental implant due to an allergic reaction. Titanium is the safest and most biocompatible metal available, but some people can develop titanium allergies and suffer from implant failure. Titanium intolerance usually occurs when the gradually corroding titanium alloy particles interact with the surrounding bone tissues, leading to inflammation. 

The symptoms of titanium intolerance may manifest weeks, months, or even years after the implant surgery. As such, patients experiencing signs of titanium intolerance, such as redness around the implant site, hives, inflammation, etc., often can’t trace the root cause of their conditions. This makes the diagnosis and treatment of titanium intolerance difficult. 

Patients suffering from titanium intolerance generally need to have their implants removed. Zirconia implants offer a suitable alternative for patients who want implants without the risk of titanium allergies. 

Identifying Titanium Allergy

  • Erythema — redness around the implant 
  • Urticaria — hives around the gum and skin 
  • Eczema — skin and gum inflammation 
  • Swelling and severe pain around the implant 
  • Necrosis — the death of gum tissues around the implant
  • Loss of bone tissues around the implant 

  • Symptoms of toxicity around the nails 
  • Neurological problems 

Titanium Allergy Tests 

If you identify the signs or symptoms of titanium intolerance, you should contact a reliable dentist. Most titanium allergies can be diagnosed via a skin patch test. During these tests, the suspected allergens are applied to patches of skin, covered with waterproof bandages, and left for some time. After the specified time is over, the area is examined for signs of inflammation, thereby determining if the patient has an allergy. 

However, skin patch tests aren’t very accurate at identifying titanium allergies. For titanium allergies, the dentist may have to perform a MELISMA (Memory Lymphocyte Immunostimulation Assay) test, which tests a small sample of the patient’s blood for titanium sensitivity. During this test, the white blood cells are isolated from the rest of the blood and exposed to titanium. After some time, the blood sample is examined for signs of infection or inflammation, which would reveal a titanium allergy. 
While MELISMA is certainly more accurate than a skin patch test, it’s not 100% accurate. In fact, no test is yet deemed 100% accurate in identifying titanium allergies. 

3 Tips to Prevent Titanium Intolerance 

1. Zirconia implants instead of titanium implants 

Zirconia implants are a suitable alternative for patients who don’t want to risk titanium allergies. Zirconia implants are made of ceramic, a biocompatible and hypoallergenic material with no risk of allergies. Until recently, dentists were skeptical of zirconia implants because they weren’t deemed as strong. However, thanks to recent innovations in zirconia implant development, they have success rates similar to titanium implants, making them the ideal alternatives. Since zirconia implants carry no risks of titanium allergies, the risk of implant failure is significantly lower. 

2. Dental bridges instead of dental implants 

Crown-supported dental bridges are suitable alternatives for titanium implants, with no risk of allergies. A traditional dental bridge features one or more artificial teeth (pontics) supported by crowns on either side. The crowns are fastened to the healthy teeth on either side of the missing teeth. As such, the dentist must file down healthy teeth to accommodate the crowns, thus supporting the bridge. While this safely replaces the missing teeth, patients are often resistant to the idea of filling down healthy teeth. Furthermore, a dental bridge won’t support the underlying jawbone tissues, so you may experience jaw disintegration over time. 

3. Partial dentures instead of dental implants  

You can also opt for partial dentures to replace your missing teeth. In this case, a removable acrylic tooth would rest on a gum-colored base attached to your gums in the gaps left by your missing teeth. Partial dentures are far cheaper than dental bridges and zirconia implants, but they don’t look or feel natural. Partial dentures are removable, require extra maintenance (they need to be removed at night), and might slip off. As such, partial dentures might be a suitable alternative for a brief period, but they’re not suitable in the long run. 

Dental implants are undoubtedly the ideal replacement for missing teeth. That’s because they don’t just replace the visible crown but also the underlying root structure. A dental implant looks, feels, and functions like an actual tooth. If you want the ideal replacement for missing teeth while preventing the risk of titanium allergies, your best bet right now is to go with ceramic implants. However, please talk to your dentist and discuss your options to identify the ideal tooth replacement solution for yourself. 

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How to Prevent Allergies to Titanium Dental Implants
by Dental-Pedia

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