Biocompatibility in Dentistry
Not all fillings are made the same. You may have previously visited a dentist who believes mercury amalgam fillings are completely safe and without risk to their patients. We do not share this belief.
At Heal Dental Care we consider every single material and medicament carefully before we commence treatment.
As there are so many different dental materials used we have developed our own system for assessing and considering specific dental materials and procedures.
What is the diagnosis? What is the objective of treatment? Is there a clear indication? It may seem obvious, but we must clearly establish the patient specific reason for treatment and use of materials before choosing anything from the shelf. Often times treatments are necessary because of pain, infection or loss of function; however elective treatments also use materials which can pose significant risks.
We clearly review the material, medicament or therapeutic substance including its components. The TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) mandates that a unique MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) be available supplied with all goods sold for therapeutic use in Australia.
Alternative materials, treatment options and clinical techniques are carefully evaluated. Often times the use of technology, or specific clinical techniques can completely eliminate the use of certain materials or at least, substantially limit a patient’s exposure and risk. Substitution of dental materials with the consent of a patient can often achieve clinical success without compromise.
Many risk considerations are necessary when evaluating materials. Some questions we ask are:
- Are this material contain any established health risks within dentistry or when used in other industries?
- Is the dose relevant?
- How many specific patent protected components (poorly described and explained) exist in the material or product?
- Whatsort of testing or research has been carried out on systemic interactions of this material?
- How long has it been used and what is the clinical feedback?
- Have there been previous recalls, product removals or changes of indication for use from the manufacturer?
- Are there technical steps the clinician can take to limit the patient’s exposure to the material?
We believe that patient specific factors must also be considered closely in risk evaluation. As an example; without improvement of oral hygiene, diet and lifestyle factors most types of fillings will fail quickly in the mouth.
The dentists at Heal Dental Care are concerned with the risks associated with:
- BisphenolAtype filling materials, bonding agents or sealers
- Mercury Amalgam
- Fluoride gels or varnishes
- Doxycycline and other antibiotics
- Choking hazards from use of traditional impression materials