I got three dental implants in late October and began to feel itching and tingling around the implants within a few days. All the implants are on the upper left side of my mouth, and I see bumps around the area that come and go. Could I be allergic to the implants, or are these symptoms typical while the implants heal? Thank you. Ian from Erie, PA
Thank you for contacting Bayou Dental Group. We understand your concerns.
Are You Allergic to Dental Implants?
You may be allergic to dental implants, although the titanium screws are biocompatible. Titanium allergies affect only 0.6 percent of patients. Some titanium implants contain trace levels of other metals or impurities that can provoke a reaction.
What Are the Symptoms of a Titanium Implant Allergy?
Symptoms of an allergy to titanium dental implants may appear within four days of implant placement and can include the following:
- Persistent pain
- A foul odor around the implants
- Skin rashes or hives
- Loose implants
How Can You Verify a Titanium Allergy?
You can verify a titanium allergy by scheduling an appointment with an allergist. The Memory Lymphocyte ImmunoStimulation Assay (MELISA®) is a blood test for metal and environmental toxin hypersensitivity—more reliable than skin tests.
What Happens If You Are Allergic to Titanium
If you are allergic to titanium dental implants, your dentist or surgeon must remove them. After you stabilize, your dentist may consider zirconia implants or alternate tooth replacement options, such as a dental bridge.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist for an exam and discuss your symptoms. Even if your dentist does not recommend allergy testing, it is wise to complete the test to determine if you are reacting to titanium. You may also get a second opinion from a skilled implant dentist who will examine your implants and the tissue around them.
Monroe, Louisiana, dentist Dr. David Finley sponsors this post. Dr. Finley is a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Academy of General Dentistry.