It is always important to consider the biological compatibility or biocompatibility of dental materials when performing certain procedures. There are some individuals who have allergies to certain amalgam materials such as gold, silver, and especially mercury. It can even lead to metallic poisoning, if there are too many teeth that requires filling.
Levels of BiocompatibilityThere are basically three distinct levels of biocompatibility that must be considered. This includes general, immunological, and bio-energetic biocompatibility.
General biocompatibility – this is the most basic of the three levels of biocompatibility and examines the way in which a specific material generally reacts with human tissue. For instance, how toxic is the material being used and at what cellular level is it toxic? Does it have the tendency to poison the cells? Since toxicity is usually an inherent property, every patient should react in similar fashion to the material. So the use of mercury, nickel, and other similar materials could have negative consequences.
Immunological biocompatibility – unlike general biocompatibility above, this level looks at the way in which the individual reacts to the material. In other words, think about how someone reacts when they unknowingly consume peanuts in a food they are eating and they are allergic to peanuts. It’s analogous to that type of scenario. The adverse reaction is attributed to an allergic or immunological type of response based on the biochemical make-up of the individual.
Bio-energetic biocompatibility – Eastern cultural medicine has been studying how energy can flow through the body for several thousand years. They have applied this to a variety of healing therapies such as acupuncture. In more recent times, a renowned physician spent four decades examining and recording the relationship your different organ systems have with your gums, teeth, and overall oral health. Using a blend of applied kinesiology (muscle testing) and EDS (electro-dermal screening), one can determine how a particular material will react energetically with the human body.
Common Biocompatible MaterialsAs dentistry has continued to evolve throughout its history, numerous advancements in technology have provided the industry with an ever-increasing number of options for repairing, replacing, and restoring our teeth. Biocompatible materials have literally become commonplace in the field of cosmetic dentistry. These materials actually simulate the natural appearance, physical properties, and structure of your teeth without the occurrence of any adverse side effects.
The more common biocompatible materials used today include ceramic, composite resin, glass ionomer, and porcelain. There are certain factors taken into account when selecting the material to use in the procedure including the biting surface, size of the affected portion of the tooth, and tooth function. When your dentist is deciding on a particular restorative procedure, aesthetics, cosmetic acceptability, durability, and strength are all key factors that must be considered.
Before having a procedure performed, be sure to sit down with your dentist and discuss the issue of biocompatible materials and if you have any known allergies that would require the use of them.