Is A Dental Implant Compatible With Security Screening Measures At Airports?

The end result of a dental implant procedure is a small titanium screw placed in your jawbone, which supports a highly-realistic porcelain tooth. However, frequent travelers (who regularly pass through airport security) may be reluctant to have a piece of metal implanted in their body. But does a tiny dental implant really have that kind of impact?

Surrounded by Bone

At the completion of your dental implant procedure, the placed implant will be surrounded by bone. It's surrounded because your jaw healed around it, regrowing new bone material, and allowing it to become an artificial tooth root. The natural-looking prosthetic tooth connected to the implant then has the same bite force as any other tooth, and this force (as well as the flawlessly realistic appearance of the completed work) is the primary attraction of a dental implant. Will this small piece of titanium affect your ability to pass through airport security without incident? 

A Considerable Number of Implants

It's difficult to estimate the number of dental implants in circulation amongst the global population, but the number is considerable—some 5 million implants are placed each year in the US alone. The dental implant procedure is commonplace, and airport security measures (should) reflect the relative normality of this form of dental restoration. The titanium alloy of your implant is unlikely to trigger security measures at an airport. 

Types of Metal Magnetism 

A ferromagnetic substance will activate metal detection screening devices. The titanium in your dental implant is paramagnetic, and has magnetism of such a low level that it shouldn't be relevant in relation to screening measures at an airport. It's also perfectly safe for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It's certainly possible that airport staff will note the presence of your implant, but noting and being concerned are not the same thing.

Metal Detectors and Full-Body Scans

Your dental implant may be made of a titanium alloy (primarily titanium, with additional base metals). These additional metals may be noted during a security screening, especially during the full-body scan that many airports use in lieu of (or in addition to) a traditional walk-through metal detector. However, even if the implant is spotted, it's unlikely to be queried because staff will know precisely what it is (remember—5 million implants are placed in the US each year). 

So if fear of constantly being flagged by security staff at airports is preventing you from undergoing a much-needed dental implant procedure, rest assured that it's not going to be a concern.

For more information about dental implants, contact a local dental office.