I’m highly allergic to nickel. My dentist is recommending 2 porcelain fused to metal crowns for back teeth. I am concerned about having a reaction to the metal. My dentist said that I don’t need to worry. Should I be concerned? Can I get a zirconia crown instead? Thanks Rachel C. from Delaware
About ten percent of women have nickel allergies. The allergic reaction is more common in women than men. An allergic reaction to cheap jewelry or needing hypoallergenic earrings indicates a nickel allergy. In their medical history questionnaire, many dentists ask if you have metal allergies.
Base metal (non-precious), noble metal (semi-precious), and high-noble metal (precious) are the three categories of metal used in dental crowns. The metals are either used as the only component of the crown, or as the foundation of the crown.
Base metals are stiff and very likely to contain nickel. Forty percent of the noble metal will contain precious metals—gold, platinum, and palladium. The remaining composition will be silver, tin, copper, and other metals. Noble metals are softer and easier to manipulate than base metals. High-noble metals contain at least sixty percent noble metals, mostly gold and platinum. High-noble metals are the most pliable.
A noble or high-noble metal should present no problem with your nickel allergy. Your dentist can present you with an ldentalloy certificate before the porcelain crown is placed. This certificate is provided by the dental laboratory for every crown that is made. If the crown contains nickel, you can refuse it and find a dentist who is skilled in placing a zirconia crown.
This blog post is sponsored by Lowell cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek