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Biocompatibility of Dental Materials

This is probably the most controversial issue in dentistry. The American Dental Association, dental colleges, and the majority of dentists firmly and honestly believe that the materials used to restore decayed tooth structure and to replace missing teeth are basically inert and do not affect the body's physiology, except in rare situations. However, the criteria have been for the material itself rather than the person or animal into which it is implanted. The criteria used are if the material will be strong enough to withstand the forces of chewing (often 300-400 lbs/sq inch), if it will look natural whenever possible, and if it is easy to work with for both the dentist and the dental laboratory. These criteria obviously must be observed if dental treatment is to last a reasonable amount of time.

But, what if these materials are not inert and could cause some people to have autoimmune dysfunction and chronic illness? What if these materials could block energy flow through the acupuncture meridians? What if dental metals create small electrical currents in the mouth (known as oral galvanism and measured in microamps) that may be disruptive to the nervous system? And if it were a problem for people, is it for all people or just some? Does it have a major or minor effect? Is the effect immediate or delayed? Does it produce overt symptoms or is it subclinical? Which then would be more important . . . a dental material that is highly durable or one that potentially does not disrupt normal physiology? Because of these concerns and potential side effects, some patients want to know what materials are being used, and given the option to choose different materials or different treatment based on what the tests suggest.

How does a person determine what materials are potentially disruptive? That is also controversial, but the following are common tests of which we are aware:

1. Blood Serum testing - Immunoglobulin challenge at a cellular level by laboratory method
2. Energy testing - Measuring energy flow disruption through:

o Electrodermal Screening
o Kinesiology
o Intuition

3. Provocative testing - Place or bond a piece of the material in your mouth or skin to see if a reaction occurs over a specified period of time

No test or tester is infallible, and some people combine results from more than one test. Others who are not concerned with possible reactions to dental materials choose no testing at all, and instead use a material that statistically has low reactivity. Also, please realize that testing for possible dental material biocompatibility is totally different from testing for metals detoxification of the body's cells.

We offer names of facilities and practitioners who are knowledgeable in the area of dental materials biocompatibility testing. Please not that we are providing these names for reference purposes only. We do not endorse or recommend any particular treatment or practitioner because we strongly believe that it is patient's responsibility to understand their unique health problems in order to choose the most appropriate practitioner and treatment (or no treatment) for, and because some treatments are considered controversial and not the standard of care in conventional dentistry and medicine. It is the patient’s responsibility to call these practitioners and ask any testing related questions.

I. Blood Serum testing - Immunoglobulin challenge at a cellular level by laboratory method. Laboratory kits can be obtained from:

a. Clifford Consulting and Research, Colorado Springs, CO, Phone: 719-550-0008,  
b. Biocomp Laboratories (formerly Scientific Health Solutions), Colorado Springs, CO, P: 800-331-2303,

• Blood specimens can be drawn and must be sent overnight delivery by Methodist Hospital, St. Louis Park, MN.

II. Energy testing – Utilizing a dental materials test kit to measure energy flow disruption 

III. Intuitive testing (no test kit needed)