For a substance to be biocompatible, it must have qualities that enable it to exist within a living organism without causing harm. This term is relevant to dentistry because there are various materials used to repair and restore teeth. As we have learned with dental amalgam, which contains mercury, not all dental materials are as safe as some would have us believe. When you consider that you will have your new dental restorations in your mouth 24/7, this issue becomes very important.
The biocompatibility of a dental material comes from its ability to carry out the function for which it is intended without resulting in undesirable effects, either in the mouth or the body. Through this testing, we look for the lack of allergic, inflammatory, or toxic response in tissues surrounding the restoration. There should also be no negative impact on general health.
We do not believe in a “wait and see” approach when it comes to biocompatibility. In our Austin dental practice, we offer convenient biocompatibility testing that will provide us with detailed information necessary to provide each patient with truly customized care.
Dr. Cole does serum biocompatibility testing using Clifford Consulting and Research laboratories, located in Colorado Springs. This reputable immunology lab receives blood samples from our patients, which are drawn at a nearby medical office, and performs a comprehensive testing process that screens for sensitivities to biomaterials via detection of antibodies. Through this testing process, Dr. Cole is provided with a detailed list of the various dental materials that can safely be used in a patient’s treatment process.
The MELISA test, which also analyzes blood serum, is another way in which compatibility can be assessed. This test detects “delayed hypersensitivity” to metals such as titanium and gold, among others.
For those very discerning patients who like their practitioner to perform physiological testing, Dr. Cole will be happy to provide all the necessary materials.
Our approach to dentistry is to provide the highest level of care that will promote excellent oral and general health. Through biocompatibility testing, we can ensure that each patient is receiving the precise care that he or she requires.
Contact our office to learn more about us, or to schedule your personal consultation.