Do Dental Implants Set Off Alarms At Airport Security?

Many patients ask if their dental implants will set off alarms at airport security. The simple answer is NO. Dental implants are made of titanium metal and therefore are not magnetic. Hence they do not set off alarms at airport security.

How about other kinds of implants used in orthopedics? Researchers from the orthopaedic surgery department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard Medical School) in Boston have published a report, in the April 2007 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, which lists the implants that are most likely to trigger detectors with new security sensitivities. They found that:

  • More than half of all orthopaedic implants may be detected by metal detectors.
  • Ninety percent of total knee replacements and all total hip replacements were detected, whether they were unilateral or bilateral.
  • Plates, screws, intramedullary nails and wires are rarely detected.
  • Cobalt-chromium and titanium implants are much more likely to be detected than stainless-steel implants.
  • Lower-extremity implants are detected 10 times more often than upper-extremity and 11 times more than spine implants.
  • Upper-extremity prostheses, such as total shoulder replacements, total wrist replacements and radial head replacements, were not detected.

In contrast to orthopedic implants, the titanium in dental implants is pure and not combined with other types of metals such as cobalt-chromium which can increase detection. So go ahead and get your dental implants with no worries of a TSA officer doing an oral pat-down!