I’ve complained about my partial denture to two dentists, and they are not listening. I know that I am allergic to the metal in it. I had metal testing last month and found out that nickel is one of my allergies. I think the partial denture is making me physically sick. Will switching to dental implants be any better? – Thank you. Nicholas from UT
It is disappointing to hear about patients with metal allergies whose dentists refuse to acknowledge it. Yes, a metal allergy can make you sick regardless of whether the metal is in jewelry, in your mouth, or otherwise. The American Academy of Dermatology says that about 18 percent of North Americans are allergic to nickel. A dentist should ask if you are allergic or sensitive to metals.
Metal allergy with a partial denture
Many partial dentures are made with clasps that do not contain metal. Vitallium is a metal alloy containing chromium and cobalt but no nickel. But less expensive alloys contain nickel or other metals that are known to provoke reactions. Your dentist can contact the lab that made your partial denture and ask for information on what the denture materials contain.
Are you sensitive to acrylic resin?
Additionally, partial dentures contain acrylic resins that provoke a reaction in some people. If you have multiple allergies or sensitivities, check for acrylic resin as a potential culprit.
Metal allergies – What to expect with dental implants
Most dental implants contain titanium, a biocompatible material. Although titanium allergies and sensitivities are rare, they do occur. If you do not know if you are allergic to titanium, it is best to get tested. Zirconia dental implants are an alternative to titanium. But get comprehensive testing to avoid choosing an option that may provoke a reaction.
Dental implants are a longer-lasting alternative to a partial denture. And implants are comfortable and look natural.
You can schedule a consultation with a skilled implant dentist to discuss your concerns about sensitivities to dental materials. And you can discuss your dental implant options.
Dr. Brian LeSage, a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, sponsors this post.