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Will Your Dental Implants Set Off the Metal Detectors at the Airport?

May 21, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drrusso @ 11:43 pm
Metal detectors at airport security checkpoint

You’re making your way through airport security, hoping that you’ll make the flight that you woke up early for. Right now, you’re waiting in line for the metal detector, and when it’s almost your turn you suddenly think: “What about my dental implants?” The last thing you want is to be held up by pieces of metal that you can’t take off, but is it really something you’ll have to worry about? Here’s what people with dental implants in Lake Eola Heights can expect when traveling.

How Metal Detectors Work

First of all, you should take the time to learn about how metal detectors work. A magnetic field is created around you via a series of pulses that create an echo. When a metal object passes through the detector, the existing magnetic field creates a new magnetic field around the object in question. As a result, the echo is larger and longer than it normally is, which tells the machine that a metal object has been found.

So Do Dental Implants Set Off Metal Detectors?

Most of the time, dental implants in Orlando actually don’t set off metal detectors, meaning you’ll likely be able to pass through airport security without incident. Interestingly, the exact reason for this isn’t clear. There are three main theories:

  •  Some think that the implants might be insulated because they’ve been placed in the bone. That’s possible, but it doesn’t account for the fact that replacement hips and other orthopedic implants (which should theoretically be just as insulated) have a tendency to set off the metal detectors.
  • The implants are made out of titanium, which is very weakly magnetic. Many older metal detectors were incapable of picking up titanium, and some titanium alloys tend to produce a weaker magnetic field than others. As such, the material used to make implants might be a factor.
  • There are some people that theorize that implants might be too small. This is based on the fact that small titanium screws also do not set off metal detectors. That said, aluminum gum wrappers have been known to set off the detectors, so the amount of metal isn’t the only factor.

The most likely explanation is probably a combination of the three preceding explanations: not only are the implants small, but they’re insulated by the body, and the material they’re made of is hard to detect to begin with.

It’s still possible for dental implants will set off a metal detector, so you should probably give yourself extra time to get through security; fortunately, dental implants are quite common, so airport security will understand if you explain that you have them. That said, most of the time you’ll get through the checkpoint easily.

If you still have concerns about your dental implant and how it might affect your travel plans or your everyday life, talk to your implant dentist in Orlando. They can give you important tips on what to expect from life with implants and help you prepare accordingly.

About the Author

Dr. John Russo was born in Orlando and is proud to have spent over 25 years bringing his community healthy, confident smiles. He is a member of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and he has undergone the Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Implant Continuum with the Implant Educators University of Florida College of Dentistry. If there’s anything you want to know about dental implants, you can schedule a consultation with him via his website or by calling (407) 843-2112.

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