Minus wisdom teeth, a healthy adult mouth has 32 teeth. However, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that adults aged 20 to 64 have an average of 25 remaining teeth. While the exact cause of tooth loss varies from person to person, patients have many contemporary options to replace natural teeth. Unlike dental prosthetics of the past, metal-free dental restorations, like implants, crowns, bridges, and dentures, provide a natural-looking, safe, and sturdy alternative.
Metal-free prosthetics are composed of biocompatible materials, including BPA-free thermoplastic, zirconia, ceramic, and composite resin. How can this impact health?
Although titanium is widely utilized as a dental implant material and is considered the “most biocompatible metal option,” it is still heavy metal. The International Journal of Implant Dentistry warns people about titanium toxicity due to corrosion and wear. Titanium and titanium alloy dental implants are at a higher risk for bone loss due to inflammatory reactions and yellow nail syndrome.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. By eliminating the use of common heavy metals, such as titanium, our dental prosthetics are safe and reliable.
Due to the physical properties of ceramics and zirconia, metal-free prosthetics are the most aesthetically pleasing alternative to natural teeth. Porcelain and zirconia are raw materials that refract light, much like enamel. Additionally, these materials can be color-matched to most teeth to blend seamlessly into a smile.
Metal-free materials are not only attractive, but they are durable too. While porcelain is not indestructible and behaves similarly to natural enamel, they are still resistant to the normal chewing forces and can replace missing teeth for years.
Though ceramic is tough, zirconia is superior and rated as an 8-8.5 out of 10 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale. Zirconia has a low thermal conductivity, which reduces the risk of the material becoming brittle over time. In clinical studies, zirconia is proven to be good or better than titanium in terms of osseointegration (bone fusing with implant).
Metal allergies are prevalent in the general population and nickel allergies affect 17% of women and 3% of men. Metal allergies are induced by environmental exposure. Metal-based dental restorations and implants can trigger allergic reactions (typically contact and systemic dermatitis) and implant failure.
No Metallic Taste
Medically known as parageusia, a metallic taste in the mouth can develop suddenly or over long periods. Metallic tastes typically signify oral health issues, such as:
- Poor oral hygiene and gum infections
- Sinus issues
- Kidney and liver problems
- Undiagnosed diabetes
- Central nervous system disorders
- Certain cancers
How does this work? Olfactory (smelling) nerves and taste buds on the tongue control the sense of taste, and they transfer information to your brain to identify specific flavors. When medical conditions affect this complex system, it can cause a strange, metallic taste.
However, metal-based restorations also cause a person to have a metallic taste in the mouth, making it difficult to determine whether the issue stems from the restoration or a serious medical condition. By avoiding metal-based restorations altogether, patients can seek treatment for changes in taste, which may improve overall health or even save their lives.
Visit Well Rooted Dentistry
Ironically, metal-free dental prosthetics can be the silver lining in the tooth replacement process. Metal-free replacement teeth are safe, look great, last a long time, and boost self-confidence in the wearer.
To learn more about our bridges, dentures, or implants, schedule a consultation at Well Rooted Dentistry by calling (401) 443-4007 or contacting us online at your earliest convenience.