Dental crowns are used to strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by injury or decay. They can be made of metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or all porcelain. The metal crowns are overwhelmingly the type of dental crowns that patients develop reactions to.
The metal crowns are typically alloys, meaning that they are a combination of different metals. Nickel, in particular, seems to be the main cause of allergic reactions in patients. It is often included in the alloy with such metals as cobalt, palladium, and platinum. Nickel allergy usually involves the gum tissue receding and pulling away from the allergen. The gum tissue may also become irritated, raw, and swollen. It is not uncommon for the tissue to become ulcerated. When porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are used, even though there is a porcelain exterior to the crown, the metal portion often contains nickel as well. Furthermore, nickel has been shown to weaken the immune system.
The only real solution to a nickel allergy is to replace the metal and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns with all porcelain crowns. Tissue starts to heal immediately after the nickel allergen has been removed, often fully recovering within 24 hours of the replacement. If you believe you have developed an allergy to your dental crown, contact our Los Angeles dental crown dentist to schedule a consultation.