I am concerned that my metal crowns are toxic. They contain palladium, and I want them all removed. There is nothing wrong with the crowns because they are only five years old. I have changed my lifestyle and thinking since I received them, so I want them out. How do I find a dentist who will replace them with emax or zirconia crowns? My dentist will not cooperate. Thank you. Dylan from Wyoming
Thank you for our question.
Palladium is a noble metal in the platinum group and is moderately biocompatible. Almost every dental alloy used to make crowns and bridges contains palladium. Although palladium sensitivities are rare, they are not impossible.
Still, if you are interested about metal-free alternatives for dental crowns, consider these factors.
Metals and Our Physiology
Certain metal ions are essential in our diet and essential to life.
- Sodium – Although sodium as a pure metal is toxic, when it is combined with chlorine, it becomes sodium chloride—or salt—which is essential to life.
- Iron – Although metallic iron is not healthy to consume, iron ions are an important part of our diet. Iron ions are found in the hemoglobin our blood, and they give blood its red color.
- Other metal ions – Many metal ions are needed for a healthy diet and adequate nutrition. Some of them include:
What about Ceramic Crowns?
- Lithium – The metal lithium is in the same family as sodium and is found in ocean water. It is reactive, flammable, and does not occur freely in nature. It can be found naturally in its ionic form combined with other elements. Lithium disilicate is a very strong ceramic E.max crowns are made of lithium disilicate.
- Zirconium – Combined with oxygen, zirconium is known as zirconium dioxide, or zirconia. Zirconia is a high-strength material that is used in aerodynamics. Zirconia crowns can be used to make highly durable dental bridges that do not require a metal framework. Other ceramics are not that strong.
- Porcelain – Although porcelain has been used to make dental crowns for many years, it is not that strong. It is mainly used for front teeth, and teeth that are not used for chewing and grinding. Dental porcelain contains kaolin, a clay that is comprised of silica and aluminum oxide—an ion, not a metal.
We recommend scheduling a consultation with a cosmetic dentist to discuss your concerns about your crowns and metal-free alternatives.
Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane sponsors this post.