Dental toxicity can occur when materials placed in a patient’s mouth cause that person’s immune system to react and “reject” the restoration since the components are never accepted in the same manner as one’s own tissues. This is probably one of the primary concerns facing dental patients today. With several thousand dental restoration materials available on the market, it is important to know how vigorously or minimally these materials will react with the body’s immune system. Serum compatibility testing provides dentists with one way to help determine which materials will react in a test tube with a patient’s serum proteins, and to what extent this will happen. Proper testing can help to prevent the placement of any of a number of materials in the mouth that could prove to be an ongoing source of toxins to a patient.
Reactivity to dental materials can be loosely compared to food allergies. While many people have no problems with foods such as peanuts, fish, or soybeans, there is a small percentage of the population who will have an allergic reaction to these foods. The reaction to dental materials that we are testing for is similar to an allergy, but it appears to often be much more subtle. Most people do not even notice that anything is happening since they experience no immediate symptoms, but there can still be a reaction taking place. The immune system can react to dental materials as if they were infections or just toxic substances, and it will begin to work overtime to remove the “infection” from the body, although this can obviously never occur as long as the substances remain in the mouth. Often these materials are placed with no investigation into potential problems because the dentists themselves are unaware of the hazards.
While no ethical dentist would ever knowingly place a toxic material in a patient’s mouth, most are simply unaware of the danger. Very few dentists are ever taught that patients can have a reaction to dental work, and those who are educated often believe that only certain types of materials are reactive, and that by avoiding them, they can avoid any such problems. The truth is that anybody can have an immune reaction to any material, and one very good way to minimize the possibility of such problems is to test the body’s reactions in vitro (in a laboratory) via Serum Biocompatibility Testing.
Elevate Dental Wellness uses BioComp Laboratories for your Serum Biocompatibility Testing.