I got three dental implants in late October, and since that time, I’ve had bumps on the same side of my mouth as the implants. My dentist says the bumps, itching, and tingling are not unusual, but something is wrong. This dentist’s fees were $800 less than three other dentists I checked with, so I may have gotten a bad deal. Could I be having an allergic reaction to the implants? Thanks. Chad from Long Beach, CA
Thank you for your question. Your concerns about your dental implants are understandable. We encourage our readers to thoroughly research dental implant providers’ credentials before selecting a dentist or specialist based on their low fees. Although Dr. Pumphrey would need to examine your implants and gums and take a 3-D x-ray to determine their condition, we will provide general information.
Can You Have an Allergic Reaction to Dental Implants?
You can have an allergic reaction to dental implants, although titanium dental implants are biocompatible and reactions are rare. Estimates are that 0.6 percent of people have titanium allergies. Research shows that dental implants have a long-term survival rate of 94 to 99 percent. Still, some titanium dental implants contain trace metals or other impurities that can provoke a reaction.
What Are the Symptoms of a Reaction to Dental implants?
Symptoms of a reaction to dental implants include:
- Bad odor around the implants
- Irritation in your oral tissue
- Loose implants
- Persistent pain
- Swelling in your gums around the implants
How Do You Know If You Are Allergic to Titanium?
You can determine whether you are allergic to titanium by getting allergy testing. Memory Lymphocyte Immunostimulation Assay (MELISA) tests small blood samples for hypersensitivity to metals and environmental toxins.
What If You Are Allergic to Your Dental Implants?
If you are allergic to your dental implants, your dentist must do the following:
- Remove the implants
- Consider whether you are eligible for an alternative, such as zirconia implants
- Determine how much healing time you need before getting new implants
- Determine whether you need bone grafting to support new implants
- Explain other tooth replacement options if you cannot get new implants
We recommend getting a second opinion from a dentist with a periodontist to discuss your oral health status and options.
Dr. David Pumphrey, an Atlanta periodontist, sponsors this post. A periodontist is a specialist with two years of post-graduate training in gum and jawbone health. Dr. Pumphrey offers high-quality affordable implant dentures.