Crowns with a metal allergy

I recently had a root canal on one of my molars. The other molars need crowns too. My dentist says I need porcelain fused to metal crowns because they are stronger. The problem is I have a metal allergy. What should I do?

Jennie P. from Little Rock, AR


If you’ve gotten a rash from inexpensive jewelry than you are probably allergic to nickel. A good dentist will include a question about sensitivity to metals in your health history.

There are three types of metals used in dental crowns: 1. Base metals-which are considered non-precious. 2. Noble metals-which are semi-precious. 3. High noble metals-which are also called precious metals. The base metals are the least expensive and will almost certainly have nickel in them. The second group will have at least 40% of a combination of gold, platinum, and palladium, which are precious metals. The remaining elements will be silver, and small amounts of other metals such as indium, gallium, copper, tin, zinc, and possibly some others. The high noble group will have about 60% of precious metals such as gold and palladium.

You shouldn’t have an allergy problems with the noble and high noble metals. However, if you have any questions about whether you can trust your dentist, which I would if that question wasn’t on your health history, I recommend you ask for the Identalloy certificate of your crown before it is cemented in. If there is any If there is any nickel, cobalt, beryllium, or chromium listed, then I would not accept the dental crown. In that case I would also recommend finding another dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

You may also be interested in CEREC Crowns.