Over 30% of the population is allergic to metals, primarily nickel. Nickel is a metal found commonly in dental fillings and crowns. Metal allergies typically manifest as a skin rash, or contact dermatitis, and occur more frequently in women than in men.
Metals have been used in crowns and fillings for years, the conventional wisdom being that amalgam fillings are more durable, or last longer than other materials would. This means that, if you have crowns, there is metal in your mouth. In addition to nickel, a known allergen, metals in crowns include platinum, palladium, cobalt and beryllium. Allergies to cobalt, or even cobalt and nickel cross-reactions, have been known to cause uncomfortable skin reactions.
If you have metal sensitivity or suffer allergic reactions to metals, your dentist can work with you to find solutions that keep your mouth – and your whole body – healthy.
I Have Porcelain Crowns… Is My Mouth Metal Free?
If you are experiencing metal allergy symptoms but you have porcelain crowns, you still may be reacting to metal in your mouth. Porcelain crowns are not metal free. In fact, the term porcelain crowns, is something of a misnomer. Porcelain crowns are comprised of metals that are found in amalgam crowns. The porcelain is baked over the metal.
Typically in the case of porcelain crowns, the metals you find are non-precious and can include nickel, cobalt, beryllium and others. So if you are experiencing symptoms and suspect a metal allergy, do not assume that the source of the metal is not in your mouth, just because you have porcelain crowns.
What is That Black Line on My Teeth?
Patients who visit our Encinitas dentist practice, where we perform cosmetic, holistic, and family dentistry, frequently ask about the “black line” that’s visible around their crowns. That black line is the proof that there is metal in your mouth, even if you have porcelain crowns. Over time and with wear, the metal below the baked on porcelain starts to show through, revealing the metal underneath.
An Alternative to Conventional Crowns
If you have metal sensitivities and are looking for a dentist in Encinitas that understands holistic dentistry and offers alternatives to the traditional amalgam fillings or porcelain crowns, come and visit us. We were the first dentist in Encinitas to use CEREC technology (over ten years ago!) for crown replacement in a single appointment. With CEREC, our Encinitas dentists are able to give you ceramic restorations using biocompatible dental materials that are metal free, with aesthetics that look like natural teeth.