Dr. Yuriy May, a leading biological and holistic dentist, uses several dental material tests to ensure that the dental materials selected for his patients are biocompatible with their unique biochemistry, making every attempt to avoid unnecessary negative reactions. The purpose of biocompatibility testing before dental treatment is to select those materials that pose the least amount of stress on the immune system and will form optimal integration with the body for the lifetime of the restoration.
Biocompatible Dental Materials
In dentistry today, over 2,000 dental materials are used across 16,000+ branded dental products. Knowing how each material reacts within a patient’s body is paramount to maintaining optimal health, ensuring longevity of dental restorations, and reducing adverse reactions. Using different metals, compounds, chemicals, and products in dentistry can pose a severe immune system challenge to patients who are reactive to them. Because each individual possesses a unique biochemistry, no single dental material is suited for every single patient as these materials interact differently with every individual. For some, certain substances (and their corrosion byproducts) can have toxic and hazardous effects and often result in serious health problems. Unlike food allergies, which are relatively short-lived and eventually can be eliminated through avoidance, dental materials are in your tissues for years and decades, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Who Should Get Tested?
Dental material testing is especially important for persons with existing allergies and autoimmune conditions, as well as those individuals that have more sensitive and stressed immune systems. Research has shown time and time again that placing one or more reactive dental materials in the mouth will burden the immune system even more, perpetuating and exacerbating the process of systemic inflammation, disease and deteriorating health.
Testing is especially recommended for patients who are or have been affected by:
- Autoimmune Conditions
- Weakened immune systems
- Allergies & Chemical Sensitivities
- Mercury Poisoning
- Systemic Inflammation
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Poor blood circulation
- Poor liver function
- Kidney Disease
What is Biocompatible?
Biocompatible materials are substances with qualities that enable them to exist within a living organism without negative reactions and harm. Bio-inert materials are those that are non-reactive to bodily tissues. Ideally, any material placed in the human body should be both biocompatible and bio-inert.
Benefits of Testing for Biocompatibility of Dental Materials
The purpose of biocompatibility testing prior to dental treatment is to select the materials that are the least immune challenging and then adhere to those chosen materials when continuing with your dentistry. The body is constantly exposed to harm – from exposure to bacteria, viruses to environmental toxins, and even everyday stress. Dr. May’s goal is to reduce exposure to additional stressors in the form of reactive dental materials to prevent the process of disease and to keep patients healthy and feeling their best. By doing this, patients avoid failed dental restorations, low-grade systemic inflammation, allergic reactions, gum inflammation, eczema, and dermatitis, worsening of auto-immune conditions, and the overall disease process.
Which metals can induce an allergy?
The most frequent metal allergens are nickel, gold, palladium, various mercury compounds, cobalt and chromium. Once attached or bound, these metals may take on qualities that can participate in a number of health-damaging pathologies. They may become toxic in some scenarios.
Occasionally, other metals can induce positive responses in MELISA, e.g. beryllium, titanium, tin, platinum and copper. While allergies to titanium may be rare they do exist and affect approximately 1%-3% of the population.
Dental Material Tests Offered
Biocomp Labs Material Compatibility Test: Formerly, Dr. May was using the Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing (CMRT) which closed 2 years ago. Natural Dentistry began the use of Bicomp Labs for dental material testing with patients known to be chemically sensitive. The Dental Materials Screening Panel provides a list of all the commonly used dental materials and will evaluate whether a patient has systemic sensitivities to over 9,500 individual dental materials in 21 different categories, including cements, composites, high and low noble crowns, dentures, bonding materials, temporary materials, etc. Each category is then further divided into three tiers of each individual’s serum reactivity: Highly Reactive, Moderately Reactive, and Least Reactive. Notice there is no category for Non-Reactive, as the immune system will always react, even slightly, to anything it recognizes as ‘non-self’. A “highly reactive” material can often prove to be a contributing factor in taxing the immune system over time. This condition can open the door to a wide variety of medical problems or worsen medical problems that may already exist. This dentist was developed by the respected Hal Huggins.
The Biocomp Labs Serum Biocompatibility test is $325.00 USD, which includes the testing kit, prepaid UPS shipping (both ways), electronic and a hard copy bound report sent to Natural Dentistry to share with their patients. A blood draw is required at a medical office or lab to complete the test.
The results of this test work as a consulting tool to help holistic dentists and other medical professionals when choosing materials. Ultimately, Dr. May incorporates the results of the test in selecting which materials to use and recommends to the patient. The biocompatibility testing is yet another tool in the holistic dentistry toolkit, and it’s not necessarily the final determining factor for dental restorations.
MELISA® (Memory Lymphocyte Immunostimulation Assay) Test MELISA is an acronym for Memory Lymphocyte Immunostimulation Assay, also known as a “delayed hypersensitivity” blood test. This test is used to determine whether titanium dental implants, metal bridges, crowns and removable dentures or amalgam fillings are causing allergic reactions within the body. The test works by isolating white blood cells (lymphocytes) from whole blood and testing them against allergens chosen according to the patient’s situation, including existing dental restorations alongside dental and occupational history. The blood is incubated for five days and the lymphocyte reaction is measured by two separate technologies: one based on the uptake of a radioisotope by dividing lymphocytes; the other on an evaluation by microscopy. The level of reactivity is measured as a Stimulation Index (SI). A value over 3 indicates a positive reaction to a given allergen. Read more about the MELISA® Test at www.melisatest.com
ELISA® (Dental and Orthopedic Material Reactivity Testing) Elisa is similar to MELISA in that it is a delayed allergy test, allowing the holistic dentist to know whether you are negatively responding to a given dental material. Delayed allergy tests, commonly known as LRA (Lymphocyte Response Assay) tests or LRA by ELISA/ACT® tests, are used to assess delayed immune reactions or sensitivities to various substances. LRA testing is an alternative approach to traditional allergy testing methods, such as skin prick tests or blood tests measuring antibodies. LRA tests are based on the principle that certain substances can trigger a delayed immune response mediated by T cells, leading to inflammation or other symptoms. These tests aim to identify specific sensitivities or intolerances that may contribute to chronic health issues or symptoms. LRA tests assess the cellular immune response, often focusing on lymphocyte activation and cytokine production, to identify sensitivities or intolerances to various substances, such as foods, environmental allergens, or chemicals. Over 25,000 trade-named dental and/or orthopedic materials are tested. The ELISA test works by exposing the patient’s immune cells to 45 chemicals frequently found in dental and orthopedic materials to identify if any of these chemicals cause delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) and can be potentially harmful to the patient. The test is $450 and requires a blood draw.
Materials Tested for Allergic Responses: • Dental implants • Fillings & Crowns • Joint replacements • Mouth guards • Adhesives [Ortho: • Stents • Surgical mesh • Sutures]
Doctors Data This is a hair test used to determine the degree of mercury disruption for those patients who exhibit mercury toxicity symptoms and whose medical history suggests they may be experiencing mercury exposure (from amalgams) and high mercury levels in their body. The Doctors Data lab test looks at minerals in a person’s body, including those considered nutrients essential for the proper functioning of the body, for instance, macronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc, and trace minerals, including selenium, iodine, boron and molybdenum. Conversely, there are several elements that are toxic to the human body, interfere with its functioning and undermine health—such as mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum, and arsenic. These toxic metals have no known physiological functions. They can be toxic to organ systems and may disrupt the balance of essential nutrients. Toxic metals and essential element status can be assessed in urine, blood, feces and hair. More about the Doctors Data test at www.doctorsdata.com
This test is useful for:
- Toxic Element Exposure (*Mercury*, Lead, Cadmium, Aluminum, Arsenic)
- Impaired Glucose Tolerance
- Kidney Function
- Parkinson’s-like Symptoms
- Sexual Impotence or Decreased Testosterone Production
- Vision Problems
Natural Dentistry focuses on determining whether patients are affected by toxic materials present in dental materials, highlighted by the first item in the above list.
Titanium Allergies – Titanium is Not Bio-Inert
A staple material of dentistry, specifically dental implants, it has only recently been determined that Titanium is not bioinert, and laboratories using the MELISA® test have found approximately 1%-3% of patients being tested with titanium implants prove to be allergic. The issue stems from titanium’s metal properties, which may the material susceptible to corrosion, releasing reactive (non-bioinert) particles into the body. This is something that only happens rarely and is usually as a result of some problem with the implant. Anyone who is hypersensitive to titanium or who prefers not to have any type of metal in their body to avoid metal’s galvanizing effects can still benefit from dental implants, provided they are biocompatible, all-ceramic, zirconia dental impacts. Read more about Dr. May’s specialty in placing Biocompatible Zirconium Dental Implants and Dr. Yuriy May, Connecticut’s Leading Metal-Free Dental Implant Dentist!