(520) 805-0894

Gilberto Tostado E, DDS, MS, FICD, FPFA

Calle 2 y 3, Av 6 #255, Centro,
84200 Agua Prieta, Son., Mexico
Family Dental

Technologically advanced, beautiful, long-lasting dentistry

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Can I Get Dental Implants with a Metal Allergy?

I have two removable partial dentures. I am not loving them. I’d like to get some dental implants to replace them, however I do have some pretty annoying metal allergies. I can’t wear any metal buttons or snaps and I could not even wear a traditional wedding ring. Is there any non-metal type of dental implants I can use?


Dear Barry,

An image of both titanium as well as zirconia dental implants

I am glad you wrote. I think you will feel much happier with dental implants than you have been with your removable partial dentures. Dental implants are secure and don’t move around the way that your dentures do. You’ll find it much easier to eat. As for your metal allergy, dental implants are made from titanium. This particular metal is very biocompatible and has been used for decades with great success in several prosthetics, including hips. A titanium allergy is extraordinarily rare. I would never say impossible because every human body is extraordinarily unique.

You have a few options. The first is to just get a titanium dental implant going by the fact that an allergy to it is highly unlikely. The second is to get an allergy test to see if you are allergic. A third option is to get a zirconia dental implant.

Zirconia implants are metal free, which would take all fear of your metal allergy acting up. The main reason that most dentists prefer the titanium implants is that they have been around much longer. As a result, there is a much larger body of evidence as to their longevity. There is nothing to say that the zirconia implants would not last as long. We simply don’t have enough data yet.

Whichever you choose, you will be much happier with an implant.

This blog is brought to you by Douglas, AZ Dentist Dr. Gilberto Tostado.
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Diabetes and Dental Implants

I have a tooth that is going to need to be extracted due to a car accident. I was in the hospital and couldn’t get to the tooth right away. I have never lost a tooth and was hoping to replace it with a dental implant. Unfortunately, my dentist said that my diabetes disqualifies me from dental implants. I’m disappointed, but what can I do? Is there a second best option for me?


Dear Michael,

dental implant in three stages

While diabetes is a complicating factor when it comes to dental implants, it does not actually disqualify you from getting them. However, do not pressure your dentist to do them. His statement tells me more about his comfort level with dental implants than it does your situation. This is an unregulated segment of the dental industry and training in dental school (alone) is inadequate.

If you decide you want the dental implant you will want a dentist with significant post-doctoral training as well as experience. Do not be afraid to ask them where they did their post-doctoral training as well as how many cases they’ve done along with their success rate. These are important details that will have a big impact on your outcome.

While pre-procedural diagnostics are always important when it comes to dental implants, they are even more important in your case. Make sure whoever you go to gives you 3-dimensional diagnostics too, such as a CT scan. Though if they don’t suggest that on their own, that would be a bit of a red flag for me. You will also need to be monitored more closely throughout the procedure.

If you go to a dentist who needs to use an oral surgeon for the placement, make sure it is the dentist who determines the placement–not the surgeon. This is important, whether you have diabetes or not.

If you decide not to go with dental implants, then your second best option would be a dental bridge. This puts a dental crown on each of the adjacent teeth and then suspends a false tooth between them.

This blog is brought to you by Douglas, AZ Dentist Dr. Gilberto Tostado.



Dental Implants After 10 Years

I wanted to get dental implants from the very beginning but did not have the money. I decided to just get the regular dentures and save up. Unfortunately, I had several setbacks including a car wreck that left me hospitalized and without income for a couple of months. I’ve finally got enough money to get the dental implants, but it has taken me a little over ten years! Am I too late? I hope not because I REALLY hate these dentures.


Dear Maggie,

dental implant in three stages

I am so terribly sorry about the accident you were in as well as all the hardship that has resulted from the accident. It says a lot about your perseverance and character that you were still able to save up for dental implants after that. Honestly, I’m impressed.

Here is some good news for you. You are not too late. Technically, you can get dental implants at any point after getting dentures with two caveats. First, you must be in good general health to be a candidate. Second, depending on how long you have been in completely removable dentures, you will need to have bone grafting done in order to have a successful outcome.

When your teeth were removed, your body began resorbing the minerals in your jawbone in an effort to be as efficient as possible with your its resources. Unfortunately, this has the side effect of shrinking your jawbone. That jawbone in needed in order to retain the dental implants. In dental circles, we call this facial collapse.

In your place, I recommend seeing an experienced implant dentist, one who has post-doctoral training in the procedure. Have him or her do some great diagnostics, including a CT scan to see where you are bone-wise. That will determine how much bone grafting you need. Once that is done and you’ve had some time to heal, you will have the go-ahead for dental implants.

The great thing is, now that you’ve been living with dentures for the last ten years, your quality of life is going to go up dramatically after your dental implant procedure is completed. You’ll feel like a new woman!

This blog is brought to you by Douglas, AZ Dentist Dr. Gilberto Tostado.


Getting Dental Implants After 30 Years in Dentures

I have been in dentures for over 30 years. My “teeth” have never been attractive. I just inherited a large sum of money and would be able to get dental implants, which I think would give me a beautiful smile. Is it too late for me to get that?


Dear Avery,

Image of implant overdentures


While technically it is never too late to get dental implants, the length of time you have been in dentures means that you have probably lost a significant amount of the bone structure in your lower jaw. Maybe you have noticed that it has become a little more challenging to keep your dentures in place. Because that bone is important to keep your dental implants anchored, you will need a procedure done to build that bone back up. This is called bone grafting. Once that is done you should be good to go with the dental implants.

When you are missing all your teeth, it is too cost-prohibitive for you to get a dental implant for each missing tooth. Instead, you will get implant overdentures. This will take four to eight dental implants and then anchor your dentures to them. These will be completely secure.

As for the beauty of the smile. That can happen with dentures, implant supported dentures, or straight dental implants. What determines whether or not the smile will be beautiful is dependent on the cosmetic skills of the dentist. I would certainly make sure they have done some post-doctoral training in cosmetic work. In addition, I would ask to see some before and after pictures of actual cases they have done. That should give you a pretty good idea what kind of result you will get with that dentist.

In addition to their cosmetic training, it is extremely important that you look into their post-doctoral training in dental implants. This is extremely important. Dental implants are an advanced procedure and if they do not have significant training in this there can be disastrous results. There are countless horror stories from dental implants gone wrong. I would start by looking at their implant training and then look at their cosmetic training.

This blog is brought to you by Douglas, AZ Dentist Dr. Tostado.


Half My Dental Implants Have Fallen Out

I received eight dental implants in total. I’ve already paid for five of them and will pay for three more and some dentures in a couple of months. However, they’ve already started falling out. Today, I lost the fourth one and it has only been a little over a week since they’ve been placed. I feel I should get a refund on these so they can be redone. I’m also wondering if I should be concerned over the remainder of them. Have you seen this happen before?


Dear Laurie,

dental implant in three stages


First, this is not normal and should not have happened. Your dentist has a 50% success rate for the dental implants he’s given you thus far. Most competent implants dentists have a 95% success rate and even that 5% of failure doesn’t happen for a year or more out. As for a refund. I would not just ask for a refund. Getting dental implants redone is not as simple as replacing the ones that failed. Instead, you have to first have a bone grafting procedure to build back up all the bone that was lost during the failure and removal of your dental implants. That costs even more than what you paid him originally. What I would like you to do instead is request him to pay to have these redone by an implant dentist of your choosing.  My recommendation is you find someone with extensive post-doctoral training in dental implants as well as a high success rate so you can be certain you are getting competent work done.

Before moving forward with your replacements, I would like you to get a solid explanation for why they failed in the first place.

Common Reasons for Dental Implant Failure

  • Infection at the implant site.
  • Inadequate bone support. This is always the fault of the dentist. If he or she does adequate diagnostics, the problem would be realized and dealt with using a bone grafting procedure.
  • Cheap implant fixtures. Rather than pay high fees for implant fixtures held to rigid standards, some dentists will try to increase their profits by purchasing cheap fixtures.
  • Incorrect placement of the implant – Also completely the fault of the dentist.
  • Premature loading. This means the dentist placed the crowns or dentures too soon. The bone needs time to integrate with the implants in a process known as osseointegration.

This blog is brought to you by Douglass, AZ Dentist Dr. Tostado.


My dentist is struggling to get the right color for my implant crown

About a year ago, I was so excited to get a dental implant to replace my missing right upper front tooth. Everything went fine with my implant procedure, but I’m disappointed in the resulting esthetics. My dentist has really struggled to get the crown color right so that it matches my left front tooth, and we’ve redone this crown at least three times now. Sometimes it’s been too dark, at other times it was noticeably too light.

I don’t know why my dentist can’t get this right. He’s getting frustrated with me, telling me I should just be grateful the implant is doing well and that it’s not his fault that my tooth color is hard to match.

He also told me that continually manipulating my implant to change the crown could compromise the implant itself.

I don’t mean to be so difficult; it’s just that I want my new implant to look like a natural tooth since it’s so visible. But I also don’t want to risk damaging my implant.

What should I do at this point?

Thanks for any advice you can share,

Paul from Phoenix, AZ


Getting matching dental crowns makes a world of difference!

A close-up of a smile showing multiple dental crowns and natural teeth of conflicting colors and hues. When implants are restored with matching dental crowns, the result is much more natural-looking.
A close up of the same smile after receiving brand-new porcelain dental crowns. Dental implants look much better when crowned by a skilled cosmetic dentist.





Dear Paul,

Getting a dental implant is an exciting step that can change your life for the better, so we’re glad to hear your procedure was successful. But we’re sad to hear that you’ve had such a frustrating experience with your current dentist.

The good news is that your situation is not as hopeless as it may seem. You can safely get a new crown for your implant that matches the neighboring teeth!

There are three things we want to make sure you’re aware of.

Point number one: it may help you to hear that you are not being unreasonable. Given that the tooth in question (maxillary central incisor) is one of your most prominent teeth, it’s only natural to want your implant restoration to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile, so there’s no need to worry that you’re being a “difficult” patient.

Point number two: it is perfectly safe to grind off your current crown in order to replace it with a new one. Get a second opinion from a dental implant dentist who has extensive experience in esthetic implant restoration.

This brings us to:

Point number three: your current dentist doesn’t seem to be a very experienced cosmetic dentist, and this could be the reason he’s not interested in creating a closer match for your implant crown.

It’s not an easy feat to get a perfect match. Even skilled cosmetic dentists need to try in a crown more than once to make sure the color match is true before they bond the crown in place.

Many general dentists rely on an industry-standard shade guide to pick colors for their crowns. This guide, however, doesn’t account for all the subtle variations in color that can occur naturally in human teeth. Dentists who rely heavily on this guide and have little to no interest in achieving an exact match don’t put in the time to customize the hue or to communicate specific color instructions to their dental lab ceramist.

So in short, it sounds like your current dentist may not be putting in the effort necessary to create a well-matched restoration for your implant. You need to work with a dentist who takes an artistic approach to restoring dental implants and is willing to try in your dental crown and make needed adjustments multiple times before permanently cementing it onto your implant.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Tostado, a cosmetic dentist near Douglas AZ.