June 28, 2019
The human body is a remarkable and complex creation made out of multiple elements and many interconnected systems. Thus, medical and dental professionals face a significant challenge: How can they treat the body in a way that does not interfere with its overall function? What materials should they use to address problems without causing further issues? The answer lies in biocompatibility. A holistic dentist in Sunnyvale is here to discuss what biocompatibility is and how it should affect the way dentists treat patients.
What Is Biocompatibility?
Let’s break down the word “biocompatibility” into two parts. “Bio” refers to life, and “compatibility” is the ability of two or more items to work harmoniously together. Thus, biocompatibility in medicine is a measure of a material’s ability to interact well with the human body. In dentistry, biocompatibility is determined, not just by how a material works to repair certain oral health problems, but how it will affect the body as a whole.
Striving for Biocompatibility in Dentistry
Sadly, many materials that are currently in use in dentistry are not biocompatible. For example, some dentists still use silver amalgam to treat cavities. Amalgam contains mercury, which is a known toxin. Other metals are not ideal for dentistry because many individuals have an allergic reaction to them. Fluoride, another common material in dentistry, is also not ideally biocompatible; it may have minimal benefits for tooth enamel, but the risks it poses to a patient’s overall health far outweigh its advantages.
A holistic dentist, on the other hand, chooses only high-quality materials with a proven track record of biocompatibility. They create metal-free restorations, avoid the use of fluoride, and regard mercury as unquestionably unacceptable for use in filling cavities.
The Human Body’s Own Biocompatibility
One noteworthy example of biocompatibility that many holistic dentists advocate is the growing use of platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) to encourage healing at surgical sites. Platelet-rich fibrin is derived from a patient’s own blood, making it extremely biocompatible. The platelets in the blood can work to speed up healing time and reduce swelling. PRF has a number of potential applications in dentistry. For example, your dentist might include it as part of a bone grafting or tissue grafting procedure. It might even play a role in helping you find relief from TMJ disorder.
If you are about to undergo any dental treatment, be sure to discuss all the details of your procedure with your dentist. When you understand PRF and the other materials your dentist plans to use, you can make a confident and informed decision about your treatment. You may soon experience firsthand the benefits of biocompatible dentistry!
About the Author
Dr. William B. Langston has over 40 years of experience in dentistry. When he began his career, he practiced conventional dentistry. However, he soon realized the shortcomings of traditional care and decided to take a more holistic approach to dentistry. He hasn’t looked back since. If you would like to learn more about holistic dentistry and biocompatible oral healthcare, contact our office today at 972-270-6533.
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