Flying with Dental Implants: Is There Reason for Concern?
You’re always running late, so why would the day of your flight be any different? You navigated through morning traffic, had to jog quite a way through the parking lot with your suitcase, and you just might make your flight!
Oh drats, everything will have to go perfectly with airport security if you are going to pull it off. Will dental implants set off the metal detectors? You only got them six months ago, so you just aren’t sure, but all you can do is cross your fingers, which is making it harder to hold your suitcase.
Keep reading to find out if dental implants should be a concern when trying to make your next flight!
Will the titanium in my dental implants set off metal detectors?
Since dental implants have a titanium base, it makes sense to wonder if you could potentially be flagged down by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents every time you fly.
First of all, dental implants need that titanium base because it is a durable material that can fully bond to the bone in your jaw, a process called osseointegration. Because of that, it is also used in prosthetics and surgeries that require installing hardware in joints.
Years ago, most reconstructive medical materials were made from stainless steel, a type of metal that does set off metal detectors of all sorts, including those in airport security. Okay, okay, we’re finally getting to the answer; your dentist uses titanium and zirconia dental implants. Titanium is only slightly magnetic and zirconia is not.
TSA airport security systems work by creating an electromagnetic field. When magnetic metals pass through, this electromagnetic field becomes energized, causing the alarm to go off.
Magnetic metals include iron, nickel, steel, and cobalt-chromium. Since none of these materials are used in dental implants, you should be able to walk through that line confidently.
What if I travel internationally with my dental implants?
TSA is under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This means their regulations are not necessarily implemented worldwide.
Though safety procedures are very similar from country to country, some international airports do have higher technology designed to detect even the most minute amounts of metals.
So, it is technically possible your dental implants could set off these detectors. If you are traveling internationally, give yourself extra time to go through security. You can simply explain that you have dental implants, and you’ll likely undergo an additional pat-down before being sent on to your plane.
Now, you know what to expect as you plan your trip. As it turns out, the biggest factor for your dental implants is if you are traveling out of the country.