Biocompatible dentistry is used to refer to the holistic practice in dentistry. This approach considers a patient’s overall wellness and does not only focus on the health of the teeth, gums, and mouth. It takes into account how the chemicals used in dental treatments affect the rest of your body since this method views your body as a whole.
What Is the Philosophy Behind Biocompatible Dentistry?
Biocompatible dentistry acknowledges the connection between your mouth and your body. It believes that what happens in your mouth affects your entire body and vice-versa.
In line with this philosophy, a biocompatible dentist uses a proactive approach to dental health that addresses the underlying causes of a dental illness rather than the symptoms. They would prefer to proactively promote health and wellness via dental hygiene and nutrition instead of dealing only with the negative effects of not taking care of your teeth and eating poorly.
The Practice of Biocompatible Dentistry
Dental practitioners who practice biocompatible dentistry carefully consider what materials they put in the patient’s mouths since this can have a ripple effect on your general wellness. Biocompatible dental materials are non-toxic substances that don’t cause any adverse effects on a person’s biology when used in their mouth. Dentists also try to avoid invasive procedures, like surgery, when less-invasive means are feasible.
Here is a list of chemicals and practices that concerns biocompatible dentists:
Several biocompatible dentists don’t prescribe fluoride to patients since they believe there is already an adequate amount of fluoride in the water systems. In Canada, fluoride levels in municipal water are strictly monitored kept within the recommended levels. However, you have to make sure you don’t ingest additional fluoride from other sources, like toothpaste. This way, you don’t go over the safe levels of intake since excess fluoride can lead to fluorosis.
Note: The Region of Peel uses an additive to enhance fluoride levels in its municipal water to minimize tooth decay. Their use of the additive adheres to the accepted standards set by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
- Mercury Amalgam Fillings
The use of mercury amalgam is a controversial one in the dental health industry. These fillings contain 50% mercury, a toxic heavy metal that can damage the immune system and central nervous system.
While traditional dentists believe the effects of mercury in the amalgam to be benign, the biocompatible dentists believe mercury is still mercury and even tiny amounts can build up in the biological systems of patients and cause health issues.
Patients who already have mercury amalgam fillings will be advised by a biocompatible dentist to have them removed.
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is a compound usually found in various plastics, and it’s also in some composite alternatives to mercury amalgam fillings. Biocompatible dentists are extra careful about the alternatives they use to replace mercury amalgam.
Instead of traditional x-rays, biocompatible dentists use digital X-ray equipment since they produce less radiation.
- Biocompatibility Tests
Some biocompatible dentists use biocompatibility tests on patients to ensure that they won’t experience any systemic reactions to the materials they use. On the other hand, many traditional dentists don’t explain material options to patients or offer them a choice regarding which materials they prefer to use.
Mercury and Metal-Free Dentistry
For several decades, metal restorations were a staple in the dental field. Silver, gold, and mercury all played a huge role in protecting damaged teeth, filling cavities, and replacing lost teeth. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers safer, more pleasant, biocompatible alternatives to such materials.
As stated above, biocompatible dentists don’t use mercury amalgam fillings on their patients. They use resin fillings instead. Unlike mercury, resin fillings won’t cause any negative effects on your body. Additionally, placing them requires your dentist to remove less of the tooth structure compared to metal fillings.
Porcelain or dental ceramic is another biocompatible material used by a biocompatible dentist to restore teeth. The metal crowns and bridges cause tooth sensitivity, yet the porcelain crowns and bridges have a lower risk of sensitivity. Moreover, porcelain crowns won’t cause any allergic reactions or interfere with MRIs, unlike metal ones.
Another reason why numerous patients opt for biocompatible restorations is that they look better. The metal fillings, bridges, and crowns don’t look like your natural teeth and can affect the way your smile looks. Composite resin and porcelain are almost indistinguishable from your tooth’s natural enamel, so they blend in well with the rest of your teeth. Indeed, metal-free restorations are the best way to repair decayed or damaged teeth.
Are Biocompatible Materials Less Durable?
With their impressive longevity and other notable benefits, biocompatible materials are far better than metal. Yet how can you ensure that your biocompatible restorations will last for a long time? Here are some tips to follow:
- Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.
- Don’t eat a lot of hard or sticky food.
- Practice excellent oral hygiene.
- Wear a mouthguard when engaging in sports.
- Visit the dentist regularly so they can see how your restorations are faring and to get recommendations on when to replace them.
To foster the dental-physical balance, biocompatible regimens also include proper nutrition. It’s also essential to eat foods that give you strong teeth and healthy gums. Restorative procedures ensure your bite is well-aligned and healthy. Dental problems such as bruxism (teeth grinding), clenching, plaque accumulation, soft tissue irritation, and infection can be prevented and treated with self-care and visits to a dental professional who has your oral and dental health in mind.
A biocompatible dentist will take into consideration your overall wellness, compared to just treating individual teeth or symptoms. The different organs can affect your teeth and various dental problems can have an effect on the different parts of your body. The consideration of these combinations is a crucial part of a diagnosis, especially concerning the neck, head, tooth, temporomandibular joint, and face dysfunction and pain.
If you’re in Burlington and are searching for biocompatible dentistry near you? Look no further than Lakeside Family Dental. We are committed to providing patients with quality biocompatible dental services. Our office is here for all your dental needs. We’ll help you achieve that stunning smile in our safe and friendly environment. Give us a call now at (905) 637-0801 to make your appointment.