Metal Allergy and Sensitivity


If you have an allergy or sensitivity to metals, you may experience problems with dental metals used in posts, crowns and dental implants. Patients with nickel allergies sometimes experience swelling and inflammation after getting crowns or implants. This is often because even though the crown may be porcelain, the porcelain is fused to metal for added strength and stability in the mouth. Metals can keep the cost of restorative dentistry down, but can affect your body adversely


Dental fillings contain a mix of metals, including mercury. According to the American Dental Association, in a few people, these metals can cause localized allergy symptoms similar to a contact dermatitis. Dental metal allergies are very rare, but it is a little known fact that there are metal-free options out there. If you do have a dental allergy or sensitivity – or if you just want to avoid having metals placed permanently in your mouth and jawbone, you may want to have your current restorations replaces and future restorations made from metal-free materials. Ceramic and zirconia are two of the most biologically compatible materials available for dental patients. These biocompatible materials are white and look more natural in the mouth, and are better received by surrounding gum tissue. Patients with metal sensitivities will notice an immediate difference when they have their restorations replaces with zirconium metal-free dental implants.

What is sinusitis?

The inflammation of the paranasal sinuses is called sinusitis, and may be due to infection, allergy, or autoimmune disorders. It causes symptoms in the nose, ears, and eyes, and can last for long periods of time if left untreated. Our allergy clinic will perform the allergy tests that are necessary to determine if your symptoms are related to pollen allergy or allergy to dust mites, mold or animals. The tests will also help us determine if you need to see an ear, nose and throat doctor for further evaluation.

Acute sinusitis can develop as a complication several days after the first symptoms of a viral or bacterial respiratory infection.

Chronic sinusitis is most often a recurrent inflammatory disorder, but can also be caused by bacterial infection.

Sinus Nasal CongestionPossible Symptoms

  • Thick, colored, and/or profuse nasal drainage
  • Post-nasal drip, often foul-tasting
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Toothache
  • Headache
  • Facial fullness or swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, occasionally

Allergy CoughSymptoms of sinusitis can vary depending on the severity of the inflammation and the sinuses involved – all of the symptoms listed above may be present, or only a few.

Possible Causes

A viral respiratory disease (a “cold”) is the most common cause of acute sinusitis.

Allergies can also trigger sinusitis. When your sinuses are inflamed, bacteria may be allowed to linger, putting you at an increased risk of developing secondary bacterial sinusitis.

Structural abnormalities in the nose – polyps, tumors, narrow drainage pathways, or a nasal septum deviation – can also cause sinusitis.


Sometimes, symptoms of allergies can mimic sinusitis, so your NY doctor may recommend allergy testing to help identify the true cause of your symptoms. This will enable us to give you the best and most appropriate treatment.

Also, your allergist or your ear nose and throat specialist may order a sinus CAT scan using our Minicat™ CT scanner. NYASC has the only low-radiation in-office Minicat™ CT scanner in NYC. Our scanner is used to accurately diagnose sinus conditions such as a deviated nasal septum, concha bullosa, acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis, or nasal polyps.

Sinusitis vs Rhinitis

While many of their symptoms are similar, sinusitis and rhinitis are two different medical problems. Rhinitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes found in the nose – not the sinuses. However, poorly-controlled rhinitis can easily lead to sinusitis.

Treatment for Sinusitis

There are several over-the-counter medications and treatments that may help relieve your symptoms. In many cases, these products are sufficient to help you recover from sinusitis or a sinus infection. In severe cases and in cases where a bacterial infection is suspected, your New York doctor may recommend antibiotics.

For patients with structural abnormalities in their sinuses, surgery may be recommended to correct the structural problems and possibly prevent future symptoms. This type of surgery is performed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT).

If you are diagnosed with allergies, your allergist at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers can recommend medications to control your allergy symptoms, reducing the likelihood that you will develop any future infections. People with allergies or sinus problems should try to avoid airborne irritants like strong chemical vapors and tobacco smoke because they can exacerbate your symptoms.

Patients with sinusitis can have multiple factors that predispose them to infection. In these cases, concentrating on only one factor (just your allergies, for example) may not completely resolve the problem. Treatment options are best discussed on an individual basis and with an allergy doctor in NYC.

Sinus infections often are often misdiagnosed as tooth pain, resulting in extractions of back teeth, which are located below the maxillary sinus. A sinus lift is a procedure to augment the bone to lift the sinuses. An alternative option to replace missing back teeth is a graftless zygoma implant which will use the cheekbone to support the dental implant bridge. Often times, the implants can be placed and within the same day the prosthesis can be created as a procedure called Teeth in a Day or Smile in a Day where and immediate load restoration is placed over the dental implants without any bone grafting.

If you are experiencing vague tooth pain, it is very important to see a dental implant specialist (or implant dentist nyc) AND an allergy specialist to be sure of the root cause before taking action.


If you would like us to evaluate your sinusitis, the allergy specialists & doctors at NYASC are here to help. We have the latest treatments and testing, & we have convenient allergy and asthma clinics throughout the NYC metropolitan area: Murray Hill, Midtown, Upper West Side, Chelsea, and Queens. Also, we will help you find relief for any nasal and sinus problems, asthma, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) symptoms, skin conditions, and respiratory allergies. NYASC has pediatric and adult patients from all around the New York City area, including Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Manhattan. To make an appt, call NY Allergy & Sinus Centers at 212-686-6321.

Metal Allergy Frequently Asked Questions

Can Zinc-containing Dental Fillings Cause An Allergic Reaction?

Yes, zinc-containing dental fillings can cause an allergic reaction. It's best to get allergy tested for metals before getting metal fillings or implants.

How Can You Prevent Metal Allergy?

Avoid metal allergy by wearing hypoallergenic jewelry. Look for jewelry made from such metals as nickel-free stainless steel, surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium, 18-karat yellow gold, or nickel-free yellow gold and sterling silver.

How Common Is Metal Allergy?

Metal allergy affects 10% to 15% of the population. Metal allergies are increasing in the United States and can develop at any age. They are more common in women and girls than men and boys.

How Do You Treat Metal Allergy?

The first step in treatment is avoidance. You should avoid any metal that triggers a reaction. An allergist can also treat your symptoms with antihistamine creams.

How Is Metal Allergy Diagnosed?

An allergist can usually diagnose nickel allergy based on your skin's appearance, and a recent exposure to items that may contain metal. However, if the cause of your rash isn't apparent, your doctor may recommend an allergy patch test.

What Are the Symptoms of A Metal Allergy?

Symptoms of metal allergy may include redness, itching, swelling or a rash, with skin blistering or scaling at the site. Symptoms may range from mild to severe.

What Is the Most Common Metal Allergy?

Nickel is the most common allergy. It is the most widely used metal alloys on the planet. Stainless Steel contains trace amounts of nickel and iron and therefore may cause a reaction to those with hypersensitive skin.

When Do Metal Allergy Symptoms Appear?

You’ll usually see symptoms 12 to 48 hours after you come into contact with metal. However, some symptoms may appear immediately.

Which Metals Cause An Allergic Reaction?

Nickel, cobalt, copper, and chromium are common culprits of metal allergy. They cause the most severe reactions.

When Do Metal Allergy Symptoms Appear?

You’ll usually see symptoms 12 to 48 hours after you come into contact with metal. However, some symptoms may appear immediately.