In the past, people have been too complacent about what doctors and dentists decided to introduce into our bodies. The dentist said you need a filling and we never stopped to question what that filling was made of. Then it turns out that the fillings we received were made mostly of mercury, one of the most toxic elements known.
So now we know: it’s a good idea to ask what a dentist is putting in your mouth. Holistic dentistry reminds us that whatever goes into your mouth is likely to pass into the rest of your body. Either it will be dissolved in saliva and swallowed, it will evaporate and be inhaled, or it will seep through the tooth into the bloodstream. So it’s important to ask a few questions before you agree to having the material put into your teeth.
Is It Biocompatible?
Biocompatibility should be considered the bare minimum for all restorative and cosmetic dentistry materials. Biocompatibility is a bit of a buzzword, so let’s make sure we’re clear on the definition. Biocompatibility means that a material, in general, isn’t harmful to living things.
In order to be biocompatible, a material must be:
- Non-toxic (mercury is toxic)
- Non-carcinogenic (some phthalates and other volatile organic compounds are known to be carcinogenic)
- Not an endocrine disruptor (BPA interferes with some of the body’s hormones)
- Should not cause inflammation
- Ideally, should be bio-inert (doesn’t interact with the body at all, chemically)
At Contemporary Dentistry in Rochester, NY, we carefully evaluate all the materials available and select those that are most biocompatible for our patients. You can trust that we will do our best to screen the materials we use before selecting them.
Is It Personally Compatible?
Materials can be generally biocompatible, but may not be personally compatible. Unless a material is completely bio-inert, which is rare, there is always a chance that it will trigger an allergic response in some people.
An allergy is when your body responds to generally harmless materials as though they were a threat. It’s an immune system response leading to inflammation and other effects. Although the immune system is supposed to protect the body, erratic or chronic immune responses can be damaging, so we try to avoid them.
Before we place materials in your mouth, we will do allergy testing to make sure they won’t trigger an immune response.
Is It Durable?
It’s also important to know whether your cosmetic restoration will last. Not all do. But the materials we select are durable, capable of giving decades of service when properly placed and cared for.
There’s a common misconception that tooth-colored fillings don’t last as long as amalgam. However, recent research shows that they do last as long as amalgam fillings. Restorations are supposed to protect your teeth from future damage. The longer they can last and maintain their integrity, the less damage your teeth will suffer.
We always choose durable materials for your restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Is It Attractive?
Looking attractive is an essential characteristic of your smile. A smile is communication that people have evolved to share, so it’s important to have teeth that let you participate in this ancient greeting.
You don’t want restorative materials that will make your teeth look unattractive. You want materials that will help you have confidence in your smile.
At Contemporary Dentistry, we always choose materials that give you a beautiful smile.
We Choose the Materials That Are Best for You
If you are looking for a dentist who always chooses materials that contribute to the health of your smile and of your body, Contemporary Dentistry might be right for you. Please call (585) 244-3337 today for an appointment with one of our Rochester, NY holistic dentists.