Metal Mouth: Will Dental Implants Alert Airport Security?

December 5, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drvason @ 8:43 pm
People walking through a metal detector at airport security

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth because they’re the only restorative treatment that includes an abutment, or support rod. This pole is usually made of titanium and stimulates your jawbone whenever you chew to prevent it from deteriorating after tooth loss.

If you tend to travel frequently, whether for work or pleasure, it’s normal to wonder whether your dental implants will be a major inconvenience. Will they set off the metal detectors and hinder your plans? You wouldn’t want to invest in a prosthetic just to waste time and expenses at the airport, after all. If you’re wondering whether your dental implants would hold you back, keep reading to find out!

How Do Metal Detectors Work?

It can be helpful to understand the mechanics of metal detectors to understand how your dental implants interact with them. The device creates an electromagnetic field around you by emitting a series of pulses. When the pulses echo back to the detector, there are no issues. However, a metal object creates its own magnetic field and interrupts these waves which prompts the alarm. That’s why security asks you to remove jewelry, watches, or other metal accessories before stepping into one. If you have metal in your body, it has the same effect.

Do Dental Implants Trigger Metal Detectors?

Fortunately, your dental implants are not likely to sound the alarm with airport security. While the reason for this isn’t entirely certain, some theories are that:

  • Dental implants are insulated. Some believe that because the titanium is buried within your jawbone deeply enough to avoid disrupting the pulses.
  • Dental implants use titanium. This metal is non-ferrous, meaning that it doesn’t have magnetic properties and may not trigger the machine.
  • Dental implants are small. It’s speculated that because the titanium abutment is so small there’s not enough material present to set off metal detectors.

What Happens If I Set Off a Metal Detector?

Though it’s not likely, there’s unfortunately no guarantee that your dental implants won’t activate a metal detector. To be safe, you might want to give yourself extra time to get through security on your next flight. That way, even if something happens and you’re pulled aside, TSA can complete whatever additional screening is necessary without you being late at the gate.  Feel free to let the security staff know about your dental implants in that case, and you shouldn’t have a problem.

Now that you know your dental implants are probably safe at the airport, there’s no reason not to move forward with your procedure!

About the Practice

At Vason Family Dentistry, two dental experts provide a full range of services to meet all the oral health needs of you and your family, including dental implants. They both attended the renowned Pankey Institute and now work together to provide high-quality care. Their dedicated staff are happy to walk you through their 4-step process for dental implants, from the initial consultation to abutment surgery to finally placing the dental crown. You’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (404) 367-9799.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.