I’ve just arrived at Santa Marta regional airport for a short internal flight; it proudly boasts a safety record which is the fourth best in Colombia. This in a country where the use of lawnmower parts is strictly limited to non-critical systems.
I spent the tortuous four-hour bus journey here trying not to think about it; I have more immediate concerns:
* Will my flight be on time?
* Will my dental implants set off the metal detectors?
* Will we need to take a bus for the 20 yards from the gate to the plane?
* Can the uncanny ability to always pick the slowest queue really be considered a talent?
* Why is that security guy putting on rubber gloves? And did he just wink at me?
I finally made it through an excruciatingly rigorous security to arrive at the gate. There are about 5,000 people and 50 seats, most of which are occupied by bags of duty free. At a guess, 4,850 of my fellow travellers are children, none of whom are mine, but all of them seem to be at the peak of their winter cold.
I’m pretty sure that my flight is delayed, because I just heard the announcement on the Russian 1970s PA system “Attentn ladrgs rrggh gruntlemed srrrr grrrup harlll blurrrr hunssyrt not urr fault, bedhrb of delayed inbound plane.”
Well, that’s ok then. Maybe they just need to give it a drop of 2-stroke engine oil and sharpen the blades a bit? This is followed by something that sounds like an offer of a voucher for cold tea, redeemable in the cafe conveniently located before security.
So after an hour-and-a-half of reading the instructions on all the fire extinguishers, painting my cuticles, and rearranging the apps on my phone by colour, I finally grab a seat by executing a strategy which involves hovering over an octogenarian, confident that his limited bladder capacity would be his undoing.
It turns out that the answers to the questions above are: no, no, yes, yes to the point of psychic, and Sergio said that I was very special, and that he’ll never forget the brief but intense moment we shared behind security screen number 3.
Such is the nature of holiday romance.
So, to answer the initial question…
Dental implant surgery is very minor; the implants are tiny (typically about 4mm * 10mm long) and titanium is non-magnetic.
So, even if you replaced every single tooth with an implant, it’s still not enough to set off security.
By Dr. Nick Beirne