When discussing biocompatibility in dentistry, this refers to materials or devices that are crafted to function harmoniously with the body. Many holistic dentists seek out materials that serve this function, as they contribute to overall health and have been proven to be effective.
Many patients don’t give a tremendous amount of thought to what materials their dentist is using for their crowns, bridges, and fillings. Discussing options with your provider can open the door to learning about the natural alternatives to the standard metal options, which can benefit your oral health and physical health in both the short and long term.
Biocompatible materials can include ceramic, glass, and composite resin. Even gold is biologically tolerated. These materials differ from amalgam materials, which may be used in fillings and implants in conventional dentistry. Harsh materials have led to concerns about patients and doctors being exposed to toxic substances, such as mercury. Metal implants made from titanium have the potential to cause allergic reactions and even lead to metal poisoning.
Biomaterials have been proven to be compatible with the naturally occurring tissue within the mouth. This is key when such material is coming into contact with sensitive areas. Natural substances, such as calcium phosphate, are safe choices and can lead to improved procedure outcomes.
Naturally, many patients want their crowns, fillings, or replacement teeth to blend as seamlessly as possible with their smile. When using biocompatible materials such as ceramic or resin to fill a cavity or otherwise mend a tooth, the tooth-colored appearance doesn’t stand out from the patient’s natural smile.
Bio-compatible alternatives can help to reverse tooth sensitivity and preserve the existing enamel coating on the teeth. As these materials have gained popularity amongst both holistic and conventional dental practices, their natural healing and protective properties have become one of the major selling points. As opposed to metal which can’t bond permanently with enamel, these naturally occurring substances result in stronger teeth overall.
It all adds up to better health, smile, body, and spirit!