Among holistic dentists, there has been a theme of pushing for better biocompatible materials. The hope is that there will be minimal impact on the human body as a result of having restorative materials placed. The largest concerns likely stem from having amalgam fillings in the mouth, which have been located in trace amounts in other portions of the body. As a result of the concern about amalgam fillings in the mouth and other medical biocompatibility concerns, there seems to be a push to eliminate metal from dental restoration materials with the idea that the metal is not an ideal biocompatible material.
Common Dental Materials
Despite the concern some have for metal free dentistry, the field seems to still have many of it’s materials metal based. The following materials have been used in varying amounts over the years:
These have been proposed as non-reactive biocompatible substitutes for several metal containing materials:
Some have started using zirconia as a material for implants to replace titanium. Their claim is that zirconia is not only biocompatible but that it is osseointegrative and might retain less plaque and calculus than titanium.
Fortunately there are areas of improvement for future dental materials. The sought after resolution of biocompatible materials would be excellent, unfortunately it might not be as ideal as we hope. Although major improvements have been made, trace metals are still used for coloring and zirconium (the base of zirconia) is right below titanium on the periodic table of elements meaning that it is technically metal based. Titanium implants have been used for an extended period of time and have been proven to provide amazing osseointegration resulting in strong long lasting treatments. Some are concerned that the materials used will negatively interact with the human body however, while the standards for biocompatible materials are not defined, precautions can be taken to avoid materials that have higher potential to do harm.
Contact us to discuss your specific concerns about metal free dentistry.