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Clin Oral Implants Res. 2011 Jul;22(7):673-680. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2010.02081.x. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Titanium allergy: could it affect dental implant integration?

Author information

1
Oral Implantology Research Group, Sir John Walsh Research Institute, School of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Degradation products of metallic biomaterials including titanium may result in metal hypersensitivity reaction. Hypersensitivity to biomaterials is often described in terms of vague pain, skin rashes, fatigue and malaise and in some cases implant loss. Recently, titanium hypersensitivity has been suggested as one of the factors responsible for implant failure. Although titanium hypersensitivity is a growing concern, epidemiological data on incidence of titanium-related allergic reactions are still lacking.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A computer search of electronic databases primarily MEDLINE and PUBMED was performed with the following key words: 'titanium hypersensitivity', 'titanium allergy', 'titanium release' without any language restriction. Manual searches of the bibliographies of all the retrieved articles were also performed. In addition, a complementary hand search was also conducted to identify recent articles and case reports.

RESULTS:

Most of the literature comprised case reports and prospective in vivo/in vitro trials. One hundred and twenty-seven publications were selected for full text reading. The bulk of the literature originated from the orthopaedic discipline, reporting wear debris following knee/hip arthroplasties. The rest comprised osteosynthesis (plates/screws), oral implant/dental materials, dermatology/cardiac-pacemaker, pathology/cancer, biomaterials and general reports.

CONCLUSION:

This review of the literature indicates that titanium can induce hypersensitivity in susceptible patients and could play a critical role in implant failure. Furthermore, this review supports the need for long-term clinical and radiographic follow-up of all implant patients who are sensitive to metals. At present, we know little about titanium hypersensitivity, but it cannot be excluded as a reason for implant failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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