What is Biocompatibility Testing? Learn Why Your Dentist Uses It!

August 8, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Benjamin Hornstein @ 1:13 pm

A scientist performing tests.

Most people do not realize how often they are exposed to certain materials throughout the day. Whether it be in the foods they eat, the water they drink, or the air they breathe, chances are they aren’t aware of the materials inside them or how their body will react to it. However, holistic dentists are increasingly aware of the many substances used in the medical field as well as the possible reactions these materials can trigger in the body.

For this reason, a dentist may ask patients to participate in biocompatibility testing before providing treatments. Inside, you will learn exactly what this testing entails.

What is Biocompatibility Testing?

Biocompatibility testing is a laboratory screening process intended to confirm if specific patients carry unique sensitivities to commonly-used dental and orthopedic devices placed in the body. This test is particularly important for individuals who carry rare or unique health concerns preventing them from receiving specific treatments. Whether it be a dental crown, implant, filling, or orthodontic device, the test helps you and your dentist confirm if receiving these devices will cause a negative reaction.

Keep in mind that the testing does not only focus on how the body reacts when dental devices are placed initially. It also accounts for the body’s response to the corrosion byproducts of the materials themselves. For example, as a dental filling wears down over several years, the possibility of a corrosive byproduct entering the body is present. By testing patients for material biocompatibility ahead of time, dentists can better plan treatments for sensitive patients and avoid the use of certain materials altogether.

How Does Testing Work?

Once a lab has received a blood sample from a patient, they can use it to determine how that patient’s immune system would react to certain medical materials. Any time a foreign material enters the body, antigens alert the antibodies, which begin performing a defensive action against the material. Once created and activated, the antibodies begin the process of targeting, destroying, and eliminating the substance from the body, just as they would harmful bacteria.

Antibodies are not well equipped to attack substances associated with restorative and reconstructive biomaterials, however they will still initiate defensive measures against the substance in question. By measuring the antibodies’ response through a relevant clinical threshold in a lab, scientists can confirm if a patient has an adverse reaction to the substance.

How Does This Testing Help Dentists?

With this information, dentists can be more informed on sensitivities that patients have to specific substances. To prevent negative reactions and complications caused by medical materials, dentists will opt for a material they know will not cause adverse reactions. This leads to more catered and more effective treatment plans overall.

A holistic dentist always takes the entire body into account when providing treatment, not exclusively the mouth or structures associated with it. By identifying your sensitivity, they can easily correlate that material and products by trade-name, allowing them to filter materials and fine one that works for you, both immediately and in the long-term.

Have more questions about the test or want to get tested yourself? Schedule an appointment today to learn more!

About the Author

As a holistic dentist, Dr. Benjamin Hornstein understands that dentists use thousands of different materials in dentistry, all of which can cause unique and negative reactions in patients. That’s why he offers a third-party generic test to determine specific sensitivities patients may have when their immune system is introduced to certain materials. To learn more about the test and learn what your body can handle, you can contact him through his website.

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