If a person places an unknown substance in her mouth, there will be a serious concern as to how that substance would affect the rest of her body. The same holds true with dental materials placed for restorations in the mouth. These materials range from mercury found in dental fillings to fluoride to metals alloys placed in bridges and dentures. Some effects can range from being toxic, immunologic microbiologic and even galvanic (2 different types of metals causing an electric charge the mouth). To some individuals, the reaction can be immediate such as an allergic reaction. More often, however, the effects may be slow and ongoing, creating health ailments over time.
“First do no harm” goes the Hippocratic Oath. The constant challenge for the biological dentist is to figure out how our bodies react to adding foreign or synthetic materials to it. The goal is to minimize any and all reaction of the body to these materials. Today the approval of most dental materials have a “Grandfather Clause” by the FDA and the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). This clause allows a manufacturer to only demonstrate that a new material is “substantially equivalent” to one that was legally in the market prior to May 28 1976. So everything we use in dentistry today, from amalgam to 7th generation bonding agents get approved based on a vague similarity to materials used more than 38 years ago.
The Best Option…
A personalized biocompatible test of dental materials is the recommended way to ensure that materials used in an individual is compatible to that person, and does not have any adverse systemic effect.
The mouth is the gateway to one’s health, and we as dentists need to be very aware about everything we place or leave in the mouth. That it represents a systemic exposure and that it must be accounted for. Testing for biocompatible materials is one of the extra steps a biological dentist takes in making sure that, as healthcare providers, we are assisting in improving a patient’s health, not causing more harm.
For more information about holistic dentistry ask the expert, Dr. Huguette Duteau.
You can visit her at Dental Health Connections