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I Can’t Stand the Smell of My Husband’s Dental Implants

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Question Submitted by Felicity:

I am about to lose my mind. My husband got those teeth in a day dental implants. He has the provisionals on right now and I swear his mouth smells like rubber. I can’t even sleep in the same bed with him. I told his dentist about this and feel that problem must stem from the fact that he gave him the metal implants. I think his body is reacting with this metal to create this smell. I’ve recently learned there are zirconia ones. I think these would be better for our situation. I know I’d certainly like to get to sleep with my husband again. Unfortunately, his dentist thinks I’m crazy and will not hear of switching out the dental implants from the metal ones to the zirconia ones. Is there any documentation you can give me that will help convince him?


Dear Felicity,

All on 4 dental implants diagram.


I am glad you wrote and I think I can be of help to you here. First, for those who may not be aware of what “teeth in a day” are, this is a name sometimes used for the all-on-4 dental implants procedure, which I have pictured above.

While I do believe you are smelling something, so you are not crazy, I do not believe it is the dental implants, here is why. The titanium implants are deeply embedded in the bone and you would be unlikely to smell that. Even when they are just out in the open, such as a supply of them at your dentist’s office, you won’t be able to smell them. This is because titanium, which is what the metal dental implants are made from, is very inert. I bet if you asked your husband’s dentist to allow you to smell one, he would allow you.

So, if the implants are not the problem, what could be causing the smell?

While I have not examined your husband, my suspicion is that you are smelling a combination of the acrylic used for his temporary denture and some food debris getting caught beneath it. If I am right, using a Waterpik regularly to help get out that debris will help substantially. Periodically rinsing with hydrogen peroxide will help as well, but be certain not to do it too often or you could end up stimulating the growth of an oral yeast infection.

Why You Don’t Want to Switch Out Dental Implants

An image of both titanium and zirconia dental implants.

While it may sound like a simple matter of taking out one set of dental implants and replacing them with another, it is actually much more complicated than that.

First, he’ll have to have a surgery to remove the current implants, that are intact and doing well. When he has that surgery, it will take some of his jawbone with the implants. This jawbone is necessary for any new implants to be properly supported. Because of that, he will need another surgery to graft some new bone into place. Only once that is successfully completed and healed will he then be able to have a third additional surgery which will place the next set of dental implants. This means that he will have three unnecessary surgical procedures each of which could lead to problems. Your dentist would make a lot of money from that plan and he is speaking against it. That tells me he has integrity. I would listen to him and work to find the real source of the smell. Start with the Waterpik I suggested above.

This blog is brought to you by Tucson Dentist Dr. Howard Steinberg.