With the advancement of science and technology, there is proven research to indicate metal usage in dentistry and medicine can cause harm to the body and specifically interrupt the immune system function. Mercury usage in dentistry is a more commonly known Metal implants are the most common and typically stainless steel, titanium and cobalt are the metals used. Implants are a combination of different metals, with the base metal being nickel, copper, lead or iron (typically).
It’s important to consider the growing awareness of allergies – especially to metals. Allergic reactions are the body’s way of telling you something is foreign and should not be there and reactions range from a mild rash to death (through anaphylaxis). There is a rise in body piercings and this has created an uptick in allergic reactions to metals – most commonly nickel, chromium, cobalt and gold. Allergic reactions are also being linked to failures with medical devices such as prostheses in the hips and knees, heart stents, and implants (dental and other). It is important to understand that reactions to metal implants can also occur years after placement and do not always have a physical reaction such as a rash.
Link to Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disease has been scientifically connected to exposures to mold and metals, genetics, and other environmental factors. If an allergic reaction is a response from your immune system, the correlation between allergies and autoimmune disorders is clear. Scientific studies have shown that the when harmful metal devices and implants are removed safely, there are improvements in patients who have various autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease, MS, and fibromyalgia. For many with autoimmune disorders, it may take months to years to connect metal toxicity to the immune disorder. A solution for this is biocompatible options such as zirconium implants.
Biocompatibility means that it is not harmful to the living tissue. The zirconium that is used in dental implants has very low allergic potential, it has great strength compared to metal implants, there is no corrosion and the implant remains clean which allows the bone and soft tissue to remain healthy. Testing for allergies to certain dental and medical materials is also an option and can be beneficial for yourself and your care providers to know exactly what is safe for you.
A big goal for biologic providers is raising awareness, both to the public and to other providers, the dangers of metals in the body. Many consumers aren’t aware of what metals are being put into their body so informed consumer consent is a pressing topic that is being emphasized. With education, our government, the general public, and healthcare professionals can all work towards making healthier choices for the environment and the people! If you have any concerns or questions, give us a call and we’d be happy to set you up with a consultation with Dr. Sheri!