In Ballston Spa, NY, Dr. Fred Dreher and his dental team are dedicated to providing patients with services that do more than ensure optimal oral health. We offer patients the best options for their whole-body health. Most patients we treat will need dental restoration at some point. Whether they need a filling, crown, or dentures, it’s essential to renew patients’ smiles with materials that work well with their bodies. Dental toxicity affects many patients every year, but Dr. Dreher and his team have the solution: biocompatibility testing.
Dental toxicity occurs when the immune system recognizes a dental restoration material as a threat. Metals, composites, and ceramic materials do not prompt immune response on their own. However, when placed in the body, these materials can combine with other molecules to trigger an immune response. The molecules that restoration materials combine with are known as antigens, foreign matter to be eliminated by the immune system. Some of these antigens are necessary for bodily function like bacteria. These are known as self-antigens. Other antigens are not naturally present. These are known as non-self-antigens, and include things like toxins and parasites.
When a substance is biocompatible, the body either accepts it as part of the body, or only recognizes it as part of a non-self-antigen. When the latter occurs, the body continues to reject non-self-antigens which is a natural immune response. However, when the body recognizes restoration materials as self-antigens, there’s a risk that patients’ bodies will continue to stay on high alert removing even necessary self-antigens. This reaction leads to dental toxicity.
Dental toxicity is frequently compared to allergies because different people are adversely affected by specific materials. Like allergies, dental toxicity can be tested for. Before we choose a dental restoration material, our team conducts serum biocompatibility testing to determine what, if any, reaction a patient’s body will have to the restoration material. This allows us to offer patients dental restoration that protects their oral and whole body health.
The test itself is relatively simple. We’ll take a small blood sample, and separate the blood serum that contains antibodies. Once we have the serum isolated, we introduce the chemical components of restoration materials, and keep track of the reaction. We can then offer patients treatment recommendations based on these results.
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If you’re interested in biocompatible dentistry, dental toxicity, or any of the service available from Dr. Dreher and his Ballston Spa dental team, contact us today to schedule an appointment.