Dental implants, in general, are considered very safe.
They’re the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth - and even better, they allow your new teeth to feel, look and function naturally.
But, in recent years, oral surgeons have begun to change the way they think about dentistry overall. And when it comes to dental implants, their views on the safety of titanium is shifting drastically.
To understand where this is coming from, I need to tell you the story of this crazy dentist from the 1930’s.
Dr. Weston Price had been practicing dentistry for decades when he began to feel that there was a link between tooth decay and disease.
He started traveling the world to look for answers - as any crazed researcher would.
As he studied the oral health of dozens of diverse cultures, he began to make some shocking discoveries.
Not only were cavities and gum disease non-existent in more primitive cultures, but so were other Western diseases, like tuberculosis.
What did cavities have to do with disease? How could gum disease be correlated with something like lung function?
Dr. Price didn’t have all of the answers right away, but again and again he observed the sick to have tooth decay and those with tooth decay, to be sick.
The rest of the medical community thought he was nuts. The mouth was completely unrelated to the rest of the body! One had no bearing on the other, they thought. He was grasping at straws!
But Dr. Price ignored the criticism and continued to study and contribute to the understanding of what we today refer to as holistic dentistry.
And he’d be thrilled to see the progress we’ve made. Our acceptance of the intimate relationship between the mouth and the body is still slowly coming around, but we’re on a different planet from where we were 80 years ago.
Amazingly positive signs
When I got pregnant with my son, my obstetrician was adamant that I see a dentist. He would badger me about it at every appointment and I remember being a little bewildered.
Why was he worried about my teeth? Did pregnancy cause gum disease or something?
Or was it my unborn child he was worried about? Did tooth decay cause health issues for fetuses?
To my shock, the answer to both of those questions was, “YES.”
Hormonal changes, like those that come along with pregnancy, can absolutely bring on gum disease. And inflammation caused by gum disease can interfere with development in the womb, often leading to premature and low-birth weight babies.
I had no idea! I had to know more...
He told me that the key word to remember here is inflammation. Gum inflammation doesn’t just affect the mouth. That way of thinking is terribly old school.
Gum inflammation can cause blood vessels and other organs to become inflamed. It can cause bone loss. It can cause fatty deposits to build on the walls of blood vessels and leak bacteria into the lungs.
My OB’s concern for my oral health was a direct concern for my unborn child. The mainstream medical community was starting to accept the link between oral health and the rest of the body!
Back to our original question. Are titanium dental implants safe?
Think about it like this. This metal fixture makes itself at home in your gums and fuses with your bone. And just like any other metal would, the moment it settles in, it starts to corrode.
Metal particles and bacteria are leaked into your gums, then into surrounding tissues, then into your bloodstream - causing irreversible inflammation.
There’s no way to stop it. In fact, trying to stop it, only makes it worse.
And as more and more dentists now know, gum inflammation causes health issues that reach far beyond the mouth - meaning the consequences of these titanium implants, may be far more serious than they ever imagined.
A solution we can be proud of
Thankfully, there’s another dental implant option. One that doesn’t corrode or cause inflammation. One that’s hypoallergenic and biocompatible with our bodies.
This new material is a metal-free ceramic called Zirconia. Dentists who understand the importance of ridding the industry of inflammation-inducing metal, recommend Zirconia dental implants exclusively.
Dr. Cody Kreigel, owner of Corridor Dental in North Liberty, Iowa states:
“Your bloodstream is a superhighway! Any pathogens (bad bacteria) or infections in your mouth have a direct pathway through the gums and into the bloodstream to spread throughout the entire body. Ceramic implants have no metals. Period. That means no titanium release, and no associated inflammation.”
We’re taking steps in the right direction, people!
Hopefully in the not too distant future, all of dentistry will embrace this holistic approach but until then, educate yourself and know your options.
If you’re on the hunt for a dental implant solution, schedule an appointment with one of our holistic dentists today, specializing in metal-free, Zirconia dental implants.