Dental implants have been around since the mid-1960s. Most implants are pure titanium or titanium alloy, and there are others that are non-metal, which we call zirconia implants. I’ve placed more than 10,000 dental implants and I have never personally seen an allergic reaction.
There are some patients who have immune system problems that can make the implant appear it may be something that they’re allergic to or that the implant could be unsafe or be rejected from their body. Titanium and titanium alloys integrate into the jawbones. That means your body accepts them. It doesn’t see the implants as a virus.
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Are Dental Implants Safe?
Video transcript lightly edited for easier readability.
Are dental implants safe? That’s a great question. I get it all the time.
Dental implants have been around since the mid-1960s. There are different formulations. Most implants are called pure titanium or titanium alloy, and there are others that are non-metal, which we call zirconia implants. I can tell you, across the board, that dental implants are safe. I’ve placed more than 10,000 dental implants and I have never personally seen an allergy.
They are reported. Can it be possible? Yes, it’s extremely remote. I have yet to see it and this is all that I do over 20 years. Some patients have immune system problems that make the implant appear that it may be something that they’re allergic to or that the implant could be unsafe or reject from their body. But the reality is, dental implants are very safe.
Titanium and titanium alloys integrate into the jawbones. That means your body accepts them. It doesn’t see them as a virus. Here, we’re in the middle of Covid-19 right now as I’m making this video, and your body would see that virus, would recognize it, and mount an immune response to try to kill it.
In the body, your body can’t see the implant at all. It can a little bit and there are some poorly made implants that they can shed the layers of, I wouldn’t call them toxins, but little titanium particles, off into the bone that could they cause a problem. Though I have not seen that at all. I use a very high-grade manufacturer.
I prefer a grade 5 or grade 23 type of dental implant that is an alloy that’s very strong, that doesn’t break. The problem with some of the very pure zirconia implants is that they break. So even though they may be technically a little bit purer, they have a lot of problems. Where the wall or the connection will break off, you’ll have to have the whole implant pulled out of the bone and redone again. Keep in mind, about 35% of my practice is redoing implants and revising them, and part of them are broken implants. So we actually see a lot more today than I did in the past because there are some really thin-walled implants that have come out. A lot of them are based out of some of the Asian nations that break…the top just comes right off.I’ll post a link to that as well.
Dental Implants Are Very Safe
Dental implants are very safe, obviously when done properly. I’m talking about from a standpoint of whether your body rejects them. Of course, you have to be assessed to make sure that you’re healthy enough for it. And I can make a separate blog post on that about the health of us before we have an implant because that’s extremely important. If you’re not healthy, the implant may not heal well, the bone graft may not work and the teeth come loose because the implants are not really permanent. They’re permanent that they stay in place, but they may not last your whole lifetime. So have it done right the first time.
From a safety standpoint also, people are focused on the implant themselves. I mentioned zirconia as the implant not being a great material. Zirconia for the crown or the bridge or the abutment, meaning the top part, not the part that goes in the bone, but the white part or the part that goes just through the gum to connect to the implant, zirconia is great for crowns and bridges and abutments. It’s (zirconia) just not great for implants themselves. So my suggestion is a grade 5 or grade 23 type of implant. If your dentist does not know what grade their implant is or what they use, they may not have a lot of knowledge on this particular topic. And there are better implants.
Most of the implant manufacturers are good, but there are some that the layer can shed off and leave a residue that your cells can see that’s really not supposed to be there. There are certain light coatings on the outside. None of the implants that I use are done that way. I’m very, very selective about what I use on my patients. I’ve placed more than 10,000 implants and I’ve followed them up for 20 years at this point. So I really have a good feel on what is right and what works. And I can tell you I’ve placed implants in my own family and I would place it in my mother and my brother. Everybody would benefit from having dental implants as long as you’re medically safe to do so. Thanks for watching.
Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry