August 2, 2019 — Which dental materials are responsible for the most contact allergies? Researchers looked at patient data and found metals topped the list, but other common culprits included composites and cosmetic materials.
The number of people with allergies is rising, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Nearly 40% of schoolchildren worldwide have a sensitivity or allergy, and some of those allergens appear in the dental office.
The researchers looked at documented contact allergy data from 86 patients who visited the prosthodontics clinics from 2012 to 2016. Women were far more likely to experience a contact allergy than men (84% versus 16%), they found. Patients with contact allergies also tended to be older with an average of five allergies.
Metals accounted for the largest percentage of contact allergy complaints. Nickel and cobalt were the most frequent metal allergens, but patients also reported reactions to amalgam, gold, and titanium.
“It is the dentist’s responsibility to choose which materials and combinations of materials to use.”
— Constanze Olms, Dr med dent, and colleagues
“Patients with objective and subjective symptoms of contact allergies to dental materials should not be exposed to allergens,” the authors wrote. “We recommend that in daily clinical practice dental professionals pay more attention to symptoms of contact allergy and allergy in the patient’s history. It is the dentist’s responsibility to choose which materials and combinations of materials to use.”