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Should I get a metal foundation crown if I’m allergic to metal?

By August 7, 2012November 30th, 2018Dental Crowns


My dentist wants to give me a porcelain fused to metal crown for my recent root canal. The problem is I’m allergic to metal. What about Zirconia? Would that be a better option?

Denise L. – Colorado Springs


If your rash comes from things like cheap jewelry, than you are more than likely allergic to the nickel.  Any good dentist will include a question about metal allergies in your health questionnaire. Hopefully your dentist asked you about that. If not, I would consider a different dentist for your oral health needs.

If your allergy is to nickel, than you don’t have to worry about any precious metals in your mouth. There are three categories of metals used in dental crowns.

  • Base metals (non-precious metals)-Base metals are still and inexpensive. They are very likely to have nickel in them.
  • Noble metals (semi-precious metals)-These are softer and more workable. They have  have at least 40% of a combination of gold, platinum, and palladium. The rest will be silver and very tiny amounts of indium, gallium, copper, tin, zinc, and others.
  • High-noble metals (precious metals)-High noble metals are even softer and more workable. These are more accurate than the other two. They’re made of at least 60% noble metals, usually more, with most of that being in gold and platinum.

You shouldn’t have any problems with a nickel allergy with either noble or high noble metals in your dental crowns. If your dentist is familiar AND experienced with using Zirconia then that will be fine. However, if he isn’t, than I wouldn’t push him. It is a fairly new technique and he’d need training with it.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

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