We decided to move forward with all-on-4 dental implants for my husband. They were placed on top, in the front of his mouth. He has had temporary dental implants placed on the posts until it’s time for the permanent dental implants.
The problem for me is that I have a real issue with chemicals and am extremely sensitive to them. I am reacting to something in the implants, or one of the substances that was used. If I get too close to him, all I can smell is rubber. It is appalling and I literally have to move away or hide under the covers at night. The smell is so intense. I can’t stand it.
As far as I know the implant posts are titanium. Then, I’ve been told that the teeth are acrylic for now and will eventually be porcelain when they are placed over top of the implant posts. Of course, my husband isn’t interested in starting the process over or getting them replaced with something else. I feel terrible that I’m even considering asking him to do that. But, the chemical exposure is all I can think about and it is impacting my health. I’m sure the chemicals in his mouth can’t be good for him either over time.
When we talked with the implant dentist and oral surgeon, they informed us that the titanium posts are really the best thing for his treatment plan. He talked about the ‘standard of care’ and didn’t seem at all concerned about the reactions and health issues I’m dealing with. He probably has no reason to explore alternatives, so I’m not surprised he isn’t recommending anything different.
Is there anything that can be less toxic and that would still function appropriately for the implants? Any ideas or information you have on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
-Paula in Iowa
Thank you for reaching out about what you are experiencing with your husband’s dental implant treatment. There are several possibilities that may be contributing to the smell with your husband’s treatment. Your husband may be relieved to learn that it is actually quite unlikely that the titanium posts are causing the issue. The implant posts are surgically placed into the jawbone. So, it is doubtful that they are the main cause of the smell at this point. Even if the titanium was exposed to air, it shouldn’t be putting off any odor. You could always go back to the dentist and ask to smell one of the titanium posts at the office to rule that component out.
It is possible that you are reacting to the acrylic in the temporary teeth. There is a slight smell that can be present with that material. The other possibility is that there may be food that is collecting somewhere in his mouth, which could be causing a foul smell. It is possible it could be underneath the temporary implant appliance. If that is indeed the case, it would be worth following back up with the dentist to confirm. And your husband may also need to improve his oral hygiene. The dentist may be able to make some recommendations if that is the case. A Waterpik may help keep that area clean, or possibly a hydrogen peroxide rinse may help keep things cleaner for him. It is worth mentioning that you shouldn’t use hydrogen peroxide for more than 14 days or you could be at risk of stimulating an oral yeast infection.
It is understandable that your husband and your dentist for that matter, would be hesitant to replace the titanium dental implant posts. The surgical procedure would be quite elaborate. It’s not a simple process because the implant posts actually fuse with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Therefore, some of the bone would also need to be removed, and then bone grafting may be required to replenish the bone again before being able to move forward with new implants being surgically placed. The whole process could take several months. Once there was enough bone built up again at the implant site, zirconia posts could be used. But, you need to be 100% sure that you don’t react to zirconia. Titanium actually is extremely bio-compatable and it is very rare for there to be allergies or sensitives to that metal. So, it would be wise to start investigating the acrylic to see if that is what is causing issues for you.
In summary, it would be an extensive and potentially drawn out process to replace the implants for your husband. It would be wise to try to better pinpoint your issue and see if it is resolved after the porcelain crowns are placed.
Thank you for your question. Hopefully this information is helpful to you as you figure out the next steps.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane.