Your Body’s Struggle With Titanium

Your Body’s Struggle With Titanium

Your Grandpa’s Implant Material

Your Body’s Struggle With Titanium | Sammy Noumbissi DDS

It seems more and more people are becoming aware of and concerned with the myriad chemicals, compounds, and materials that are going into their bodies.  It’s a legitimate concern indeed, as new substances seem to be finding their way into our food, medicine and overall environment at an increasingly rapid rate.  With all of these new molecules popping up for us to check out, it can be easy to take for granted that the materials we’ve already been using for generations are inherently safe.  As we’ve seen in the cases of mercury, lead and asbestos, that is certainly not always the case; toxic materials can sleep through the cracks of public awareness and remain in use for very long periods of time.

Thankfully, there are no doctors to my knowledge that are placing asbestos dental implants.  There are different materials being used in the dental implant industry today, however, and it is extremely prudent to be aware of the potential risks involved with any material that is being permanently inserted into your body.

As with many biological prosthetics, titanium has been the primary material of choice for dental implants placed around the world for many years.  It was seen as an ideal choice due to its light weight and durability.  It is relatively less difficult to integrate with the body than a lot of other metals, and under normal environmental circumstances it was believed to be practically impervious to corrosion.

What We Know Now

It turns out, however, that titanium is susceptible to corrosion as a result of contact with saliva and other bodily fluids.  Corrosion can also occur in dental implants as a result of stress caused by bite forces.  There is a possibility that the same bacteria-borne acids that cause tooth decay may also have the potential to corrode titanium implants over time, though further research of this issue is still needed.

As titanium corrodes it creates an electromechanical disturbance in the body, causing pain and discomfort.  Ultimately it can lead to the body rejecting the implant all together.  The broken down titanium can cause metal toxication as it seeps into the soft tissue, blood stream, and even the bone.  Symptoms include irritation and burning sensation in the soft tissue, pharyngeal swelling, labored breathing, narrowed larynx and abdominal pain.  In addition, titanium oxide nano particles have been shown to induce emphysema and lung redness in adult mice.

The surface of the remaining metal structure becomes more abrasive as it breaks down, which can contribute to bone loss and can also be a factor in soft tissue irritation.  Compared with a superior implant material like zirconia, titanium has an especially difficult time bonding with your gum tissue.

Allergic sensitivity to titanium is also a concern.  Studies have shown that 20% – 25% of the population has some kind of metal allergy, and titanium allergies specifically are believed to occur in 4% – 10% of all people.  Symptoms include oral ulcers, hyperplastic gingivits, oral dryness and loss of taste.

The Newer, Better Implant Material

Ceramic dental implants made of zirconia have many positive attributes that stand on their own merits.  It is definitely worth noting, however, that none of the risks listed here regarding titanium are a significant factor with zirconia implants.  It is a bio-compatible, nontoxic material that is not a known allergen.  In fact, patients who had their titanium implants replaced with ceramic ones due to their titanium allergy have experienced full-mouth rehabilitation from their allergy symptoms.  It’s no wonder why Dr. Noumbissi has been placing ceramic dental implants in his patients for so many years.  The real question is, why isn’t everyone else?

Are Metal Free Implants Better Than Titanium Implants?

Are Metal Free Implants Better Than Titanium Implants?


Are Metal Free Implants Better Than Titanium Implants? | Sammy Noumbissi DDSOwing to its biocompatibility, low density and ability to withstand abuse ceramics are a far superior product when compared to metal for implantation in the human body, and an excellent choice for dental implant surgery.

All-ceramic dental crown placed over an all-ceramic dental implant look and function very much like the natural tooth and they provide metal-free restoration, eliminating concerns of allergies and biocompatibility issues thereby lessening potential for damage to the immune system. The term ‘ceramics’ applies to a wide range of materials that, when compared to traditionally used metal implants, are harder and have higher temperature resistance, strength, lower density and excellent resistance to corrosion. These properties make ceramics invaluable for use in the oral environment where high temperature, corrosion and constant abrasion is ever present.

While dental implants are usually made of titanium, materials such as aluminum and vanadium are often alloyed or blended with the titanium which can create issues of allergy, galvanism and potentially impair the immune system in a number of ways. When differing metals are placed in the mouth or directly into the jaw bone as with a dental implant, those metals will eventually begin to secrete by-products from the oxidization process and are then circulated throughout the body.

Zirconia dental implants are now being introduced into the United States as an alternative to metal implants and they have been used quite successfully in Europe for some time. The advantage of these implants is that they are ceramic, and thus there is no concern of corrosion. Zirconia is not to be confused with Zirconium which is a metal placed just below titanium on the periodic table. Zirconium oxide is the product now being used for the production of dental implants and this is the ceramic called Zirconia.

  • Biocompatibility: Zirconium is an inert material with very low allergic potential
  • Strength: The strength of the dental implant is exceptional compared to other metal implants
  • Metal-free: No corrosion, no galvanism effect, no metallic taste, no electronic disturbances

When patients exhibit overall healthfulness and are generally of a robust constitution, they tend to tolerate implants very well, but before considering something as serious as an implant procedure, a full health assessment is in order. In conjunction with assessing the patient’s physical state and ability to heal from surgery, most holistic dental practices are also concerned about the acupuncture meridian upon which the implant is placed. Every tooth in the mouth is located on an acupuncture meridian, and therefore can potentially affect specific organs, muscles, vertebrae and tissues. Although Zirconia implants are preferable over metal implants for their biocompatibility factors there may still be some concern over how these implants affect the meridians, and so for example; placing an implant on the breast meridian of a woman who has a family history of breast cancer may not be prudent.

Another consideration in whether or not to place implants for a particular patient has to do with whether or not they grind their teeth which might cause damage to the zirconia over time. Habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco may also negatively affect the long-term success of implants. And ultimately, patients with implants must be conscientious in about maintaining good oral hygiene.

A reproduction of a tooth’s root is inserted in the jaw and over time, the implanted “root” bonds with the bone of the jaw. In other words, ceramic dental implants readily allow the bone to grow right up to the implant surface and is held securely in place by the bone. This process typically takes four to six months to completely heal before the restoration can be finished.




Unsaturated fats or so-called good fats provide a variety of health benefits, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and can help us maintain a healthy weight. The most common unsaturated fats found in our foods are Omega-3s and Omega-6s. These are essential fatty acids, which our bodies cannot make them so we need to ingest them through our diet. Critical to normal growth, they may play an important role in the prevention and treatment of heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

Unsaturated fats are of two varieties-polyunsaturated and monounsaturated-and are in products derived from plant sources. Because polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are less stable than saturated fats, they can become rancid quite easily when exposed to heat and light. When this happens, the chemical structure of unsaturated oils looks more like a saturated fat, thus turning a good fat into a bad fat. For this reason, the types of unsaturated oils you use, as well as how you use them can be very important.

The best oils to cook with are virgin coconut oil, olive, peanut, and sesame, as they have the highest percentages of oleic fatty acid. Extra virgin olive oil contains an antioxidant that protects against cancer and heart disease. Coconut oil is particularly beneficial, as it is the least fattening of all the oils and stimulates the metabolism, thus preventing weight gain. Try to avoid polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower, corn, soybean, and canola, as these are more susceptible to developing into trans fatty acids during processing.

Recommended Unsaturated Fat Foods




If you have a dental bridge and want to upgrade or prefer to have a metal-free implant, give us a call. For all of October 2013 we will BUY BACK your dental bridge! That’s right, schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Noumbissi and if you have your dental bridge replaced with a ceramic dental implant at Miles of Smiles Implant Dentistry, we will buy back your bridge for $750! ($750 buy back will be credited toward your implant purchase)

This offer is valid until October 31, 2013.



Decade-Long Feeding Study Reveals Significant Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods

By Dr. Mercola

Scientists in Norway have released results from experimental feeding studies carried out over a 10-year period, and the verdict is in: If you want to avoid obesity, then avoid eating genetically engineered (GE) corn, corn-based products, and animals that are fed a diet of GE grain.

As reported by Cornucopia.org1, the project also looked at the effects on organ changes, and researchers found significant changes that affected weight gain, eating behaviors, and immune function.

Read more …


Study questions benefits of 2 annual dental visits

By DrBicuspid Staff

August 6, 2012 — Having two annual dental cleanings does not reduce tooth loss in low-risk patients, but high-risk patients benefit from additional care, according to a study conducted on behalf of Interleukin Genetics.

The Periodontal Disease Prevention Study was conducted by the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, the company noted in a press release.

Researchers examined approximately 5,400 adults from a large dental claims database with more than 16 consecutive years of documented oral health history. Participants provided a DNA sample and information on other risk factors to classify them as low or high risk…

Read the full story:



If there’s anything we can do for you, your patients, or your friends and family (answer questions, schedule an appointment, etc.), please feel free to give us a call. Our office number is 301-880-1410 or 301-588-0768

Thanks for reading!
Dr. Noumbissi
Miles of Smiles Implant Dentistry
301-880-1410 or 301-588-0768

PS: We gladly accept referrals from other doctors. If you or your doctor would like to speak with me personally before sending a referral, please don’t hesitate. Our main focus is placing ceramic implants, especially difficult cases, and we are always here to help. Thanks!

Ceramic Implants For Teeth


In the world of medicine, zirconium oxide is being used more consistently as the material of choice for bone related reconstruction, particularly hip prosthesis. This growing trend has led to substantial clinical reports which confirm the high biocompatibility and quality of zirconium oxide, making it an attractive component for use as dental implants. Not only does Zirconium Oxide overcome most of the pitfalls of other dental implant products (such as Titanium), but patients now have a choice of a material that is esthetic, strong, pure, corrosion-free, biocompatible and capable of being used for all dental implant and appliance applications.


The immune system will typically respond to non-compatible dental materials as if they were infections or ‘invaders’ by initiating a cascade of reactions geared toward eliminating that ‘invader’. A good analogy to this would be how your body reacts to a cold or flu by elevating levels of lymphocytes and activating the immune system, a reaction that eventually rids the body of the cold or flu. The difference is that with dental toxicity the source of the problem is permanently imbedded in the mouth, and therefore there is no way for the ‘infection’ to be eliminated by the immune system.

Using only quality biocompatible materials that are proven to have very low adverse allergic reactions and present no negative responses from the immune system is highly important for the health of our patients. It is also the reason that biological, natural and holistic dental practices strive to use only materials that are as neutral as possible. Zirconium is a very strong, inert material with very low allergic potential and therefore a higher biocompatibility than other materials used as dental implants.


Considering that every person’s body and physiology is unique, some individuals will be more compatible than others with certain types of materials used in dental treatments and procedures. But ultimately, a biocompatible material will not cause:

  • allergic reaction
  • irritation
  • inflammation
  • foreign body response (rejection)
  • cancer and other autoimmune disorders

An all-ceramic dental crown over an all-ceramic dental implant looks and functions very much like the missing tooth did. Ceramic implants provide metal-free tooth replacement solutions, eliminating concerns of allergies and biocompatibility issues thereby lessening concerns for damage to the immune system. Zirconium Oxide provides safe, holistic results that are comfortable, natural in appearance and biocompatible:

  • Zirconia implant is the holistic dental implant for absolute metal-free dentistry
  • The white color of Zirconium far surpasses the metallic appearance of Titanium
  • Ceramic implants and crowns retain less plaque and calculus than Titanium and therefore promote healthier gums and mouth

Our objective is to make as many biocompatible options available to our patients as possible and it is important to us to achieve the highest level of biocompatibility, particularly in cases where patients have compromised immune systems. Whenever considering a dental restoration we strongly suggest that extensive biocompatibility and metal allergy testing be done beforehand to ensure the best results.

Metal Allergies And Dental Implants



By far, the most commonly implanted metals used in orthopedic and dental restoration devices are cobalt/chrome, stainless steel and titanium. Virtually all implants are alloys, meaning they are a combination of several different metals. The base metals (iron, nickel, lead, zinc and copper) are found in the highest quantities, but smaller amounts of other metals are also found in the implant. Considering that roughly ten to fifteen percent of the population experiences some form of allergic reaction to metal it is important to consider alternatives to metal implants.


An allergic reaction is a response of the body’s immune system when it detects an invasion of foreign substances, whether living or non-living. Allergic responses can range from a mild rash to death from a multi-system shutdown known as anaphylaxis. A person can become allergic to virtually anything, anywhere and anytime, including metals.

Environmental exposures to metals include; joint replacement, dental implants, dental restorations, jewelry, body piercings and even mobile phones. Traditionally nickel, cobalt and chromium have been the most prevalently reported contact allergens; however gold and palladium (primarily alloys that contain more than one metal) have drawn more attention recently. In the United States, studies show that the prevalence of nickel allergy is on the rise (likely due to the growing popularity of body piercings). Metal allergy is also being reported in association with certain device failures following surgical placement such as stents into coronary (heart) blood vessels, hip and knee prostheses, as well as dental and other implants.


Metal dental implants were originally made out of commercially pure titanium or titanium alloy, providing the only option for anyone wishing to undergo implant tooth replacement. One aspect of titanium and titanium alloys is that they are generally considered ‘osteophilic’ (bone-friendly) and therefore considered to be biocompatible, providing a clear improvement over dentures and bridges. With a growing body of evidence to the contrary provided by researchers and patients alike, we now know that placing metallic dental implants and other restorative devices can potentially provoke allergic reactions and implant failure. One study involving 1,500 patients helped to drive the fact home when it demonstrated that titanium allergy could be clearly detected in dental implant patients. A notably higher risk of positive allergic reaction was found in patients whose implants failed for no other known reason other than that they had a higher incidence of allergic reaction.


The most significant symptom which can cause the most severe problem is ‘chronic fatigue’. Muscle pain and chronic fatigue presenting without any known cause are the more serious symptoms associated with an allergy to metals. Unfortunately, since people don’t usually link overall fatigue with an immune disorder stemming from a metal implant they can suffer from this type of reaction for months or years before seeking help.


Between 15 and 25 million Americans are reportedly affected every year by one autoimmune disorder or another.  When you realize that an allergic reaction is actually the immune system turning on itself in a state of hyperactivity of the immune system then you can begin to see the correlation between autoimmune disorders and allergies, and doctors are now beginning to realize that allergies are quite often a precursor to autoimmune disease.

A growing list of health problems are suspected to be related to metal allergies potentially instrumental in the onslaught of autoimmune diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Psoriasis, and Scleroderma, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and others.  With this alarming rise in autoimmune diseases and the suspicion of a correlation between metal allergies and a weakening immune system it only makes sense to take whatever steps we can to ensure that our patients are biocompatible with an implant before allowing any substance or material to be permanently affixed into the mouth.


Today, ceramic dental implants are considered to be the best and safest alternative to metal implants. The advantage of these implants is that they are ceramic, they are made from zirconium oxide also called zirconia and thus there is no concern of corrosion, allergic reaction or electronic interference. Overall qualities of ceramic dental implants include;

Biocompatibility: the zirconium used in the manufacture of ceramic dental implants is an inert material with very low allergic potential.

Strength: The strength of the dental implant is exceptional compared to other metal implants.

Metal-free: no corrosion, no galvanism effect, no metallic taste, no electronic disturbances and no Gum irritation.

Hygienic: Oral plaque and tartar do not accumulate on the surface of zirconium imlpants, therefore they remain clean and allow for a healthy environment around the implant bone and soft tissue.


Our goal is to treat the whole person through the use of safe, natural and painless methods. Our innovative approach to dental care focuses on the health and wellness of the mouth in relation to the whole body, including identifying and treating issues pertaining to metal allergies and autoimmune disorders. We only recommend products that we know to be safe and that will provide the most positive, lasting results for our patients, such as ceramic dental implants. To learn more call to schedule your free personal consultation today.

Allergy Testing – An Important Part Of The Whole


Our innovative approach to dental care focuses on the health and wellness of the mouth in relation to the whole body, including identifying and treating issues pertaining to allergies and autoimmune disorders. In addition to providing allergy testing, we are able to recommend a variety of natural and herbal products that can help support the immune system – helping to bring our patients to a greater state of overall wellness. Knowing what can cause an allergic reaction in our patients sets us apart from practices used in traditional dentistry.


Dealing with itchy, swollen eyes combined with a persistent runny nose is something we commonly associate with a case of seasonal allergies, but for many people these symptoms and more also follow each time they visit the dentist. Allergic reactions in the dental office can be caused by normally innocuous materials or medications.

Allergic reactions to materials may include:

• Itchy, swollen eyes

• Runny nose

• Sneezing

• Asthma

• Hives

Masks, gloves and syringes in the dental office are typically made of latex; a natural rubber harvested from trees. For some people, prolonged exposure to latex dust from powered gloves is enough to trigger an allergic reaction. In addition, a small number of patients may also experience allergic reactions to local anesthetics used to numb the mouth and gums during dental procedure, but the materials used for fillings and repairs can be of even greater concern for patients with immune disorders or allergy issues.


Latex and local anesthetics are not the only materials that can stir up an allergic reaction, reactions can occur from many other chemicals and materials found in some dental materials or medications. Reactions to various metals or amalgams used in traditional dentistry can start out as an allergic reaction, which over time can create serious toxic effects on the body. Today we are finding an increasing amount of individuals that are allergic to and occasionally rejecting titanium dental implants, as well as being sensitive to the crowns that are placed over the implants. In addition to metals used in fillings and bridges, it is important to be aware that all dentists use a wide assortment of cements, anesthetics, bonding materials, temporary appliances, denture materials and more – and every one of these substances can potentially cause a negative reaction once placed in the sensitive environment of the mouth.

Fortunately for our patients, holistic dentists are constantly alert to the potential for compatibility issues with the materials used in our practices. We work hard to make sure that our patients are able to tolerate any substance introduced into the mouth.


Where allergies to latex and some medications present a fairly temporary exposure, allergies from devices or materials set permanently into the mouth present a larger issue for sensitive patients. There simply is not any one combination of materials that are compatible for every person since every patient presents their own unique physiology. However, there are some materials that are recognized as better tolerated by more people than other materials. For example with regards to dental implants instead of titanium, we are  providing ceramic dental implants which are made of zirconia. People with weakened immune systems have a particularly difficult time finding substances that can be tolerated, but fortunately there are ways to test everyone for compatibility.

The most common types of tests used by holistic dental offices include:

• Clifford Materials Blood Test

• Electro-dermal Screening (EAV)

• Applied Kinesiology

A blood test will offer results that are based on true allergens. Specifically the Clifford Materials Test is a blood test that will determine if a blood serum sample will react to known dental materials. Although this test can provide valuable information about existing allergies, results may not be as comprehensive when it comes to testing for materials the patient has not yet been exposed to.

Applied kinesiology is based upon the activity of muscles and the relationship of muscle strength to health. This test is based on bio-feedback and will give strictly ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Using applied kinesiology we are able to test both commonly used items and items that a person has never been exposed to, and by using the body’s biofeedback abilities, identify those items that weaken the individual.

Electro-dermal screening is performed by using a machine that tests dental materials according to their compatibility with the patient’s acupuncture meridian system. This test will allow us to determine more than just what materials are compatible, but which materials appear to be optimal for a particular patient. As with muscle testing, we can determine reactions to substances and elements the patient has never previously been exposed to.


Unfortunately many people don’t realize that the substances and materials mainstream dentists use, but do not test for compatibility, may be causing some serious health issues in their patients. Many long-term problems can start out as something as innocuous as an allergic reaction at the time of placement. To compound the problem, there is much evidence pointing to a correlation between allergies and autoimmune disorders. In other words, if the source of the allergy is not pinpointed and avoided, then potentially the resulting reaction could manifest itself as an autoimmune disorder.

While allergies to latex and anesthesia might commonly prevent allergy prone patients from visiting the dentist, holistic dentists are unique in that we have the ability to prevent issues before they start. Once evaluated for compatibility patients are much more likely to have good results, and so much less likely to experience an allergic reasons. Patients can also do their part by completing the medical history form in detail, outlining known allergies and past reactions to specific materials and drugs. Together we will make sure your dental experience is safe, healthy and as pain-free as possible.