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Do Dental Implants Trigger Alarms through Airport Security?

Written By: Dr. Nadia Rivera

If you are thinking of getting dental implants or if you have recently got dental implants, you might be wondering whether your implants could set off the metal detectors at the airport. The short answer is – no.

In this short guide, we will take a look at how dental implants work and why they are unlikely to set off alarms at the airport.

What are Dental Implants and How Do They Work?

Dental implant is a device that can be surgically inserted into your jaw to support your artificial tooth. It consists of two parts – abutment and body. The body of the implant (the artificial root) is implanted into your jawbone. The abutment is attached to the body using a fixation screw. The artificial tooth (which can be a crown, bridge, or denture) is attached to the abutment.

The fixation screw which connects the body and the abutment extends well into your mouth and provides a strong base for the tooth. One of the biggest advantages of dental implants is that they can integrate well with your jawbone. Over a period of time, the implant will completely fuse with your jawbone and will not cause you any kind of discomfort or pain.

Dental Implants are Unlikely to Trigger Airport Security Alarms

Photo of Dental Model and Dental Equipment

In order to understand why dental implants do not set off alarms at the airport, we must look into how a typical metal detector works. Metal detectors are designed to detect the presence of metal by creating an electromagnetic field.

When an object which is made of metal or contains metal passes through the electromagnetic field, it becomes energized, which causes it to transmit an electromagnetic field of its own. Once the metal detector receives the electromagnetic response from the object, it tends to set off the alarms.

The important thing to be noted here is that metal detectors are only meant to detect metals that are magnetic in nature. These include iron, steel, chromium, and nickel. It is why hip and knee implants, which are primarily made of metal and plastic, tend to set off metal detectors.

On the other hand, a vast majority of dental implants that are used in tooth replacement treatments are made of titanium, which is a non-magnetic metal. It is the primary reason why your dental implants will not set off the alarms at the airport.

Moreover, dental implants are very small in size – around 5 to 15 mm in length and 3 to 5 mm in diameter. They are not large enough to set off metal detectors. Some dental implants are made of zirconium, which is a metal. Still, the amount of zirconia in dental implants is too small to set off alarms in most cases. 

Exceptional Circumstances When Dental Implants Might Set Off Alarms at the Airport

There are certain circumstances under which your dental implants might set off alarms at the airport. These include:

  • If your dentures contain a milled bar attachment, they can set off alarms, since the bar contains metal and can be detected by metal detectors.
  • Many airports in the US these days use full body scanners to check the passengers. Unlike metal detectors, which detect the presence of metals using an electromagnetic field, full body scanners use low-level radiation or radio waves. These waves are capable of detecting the presence of metal in your dental implants.
  • Many international airports in other parts of the world have highly advanced metal detectors and body scanners that are capable of detecting objects that contain even trace amounts of metal.

It should be noted that even if your implants set off metal detectors, you are unlikely to be bothered by TSA agents, since millions of Americans have dental implants and it is unlikely to be considered a reason for additional screening.

Dental Implants – Key Things You Should Be Aware Of

  • Artificial teeth that are supported by dental implants tend to work exactly like natural teeth. You will be able to talk, smile, and eat like you normally do without any sense of discomfort.
  • Dental implant surgery is performed under local anesthesia, so you will not feel any pain during the procedure.
  • Dental implants do not affect the healthy teeth or the supporting tissue in the surrounding area in any way.
  • While dental implants are not as vulnerable to bacterial growth as natural teeth, you should still brush and floss them regularly. If you neglect the artificial tooth, bacteria can start building up in the surrounding areas, which can eventually lead to gum disease.
  • People with gum disease or bone disease are generally not considered the right candidates for dental implants. Similarly, people with certain chronic inflammatory disorders and people who have undergone cancer treatment might not be a good fit to get dental implants. Only a qualified Hicksville dentist can evaluate you and determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants.
  • If you are a smoker, it is prudent to quit or minimize smoking before you get implants. Smoking can affect the post-implant healing process and can also have an adverse impact on the long-term success of your implants. The more you smoke, the higher are your chances of developing an implant-related problem.
  • If maintained properly, dental implants can last for a really long time.
Photo of Dental Equipment

R+R Dental – The Trusted Choice of Hicksville, NY Residents for Dental Implant Treatment

If you have missing teeth and looking to get dental implants, the highly skilled dentists at R+R Dental can help you. From bridges to dentures and implants, we offer a number of solutions to replace your missing teeth and to help you regain your smile and confidence.

Leading dentists Dr. Michael Richer and Dr. Nadia Rivera have been serving patients in Hicksville and surrounding areas for more than a decade now and have earned an outstanding reputation for excellence in dentistry.

If you have any questions about dental implants and other solutions for missing teeth, call our office today at 347-431-0749 or use our online contact form and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Hicksville, NY dentists. 

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