In our last article we highlighted the perceived cons of biological dentistry, but in this post we flip it around and look at the benefits.
The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Technology or IAOMT believes that biological dentistry is better dentistry, and it guides practitioners to make the right choices in the diagnosis and treatment of dental problems. The organisation promotes the use of new information to refine dental practices. Biological dentistry, according to the organisation, provides many benefits to the patients and presents opportunities for improvement to dental practitioners.
To determine if a dental material is safe to use, it is tested based on the guides for safety assessment by the International Organization for Standardization or ISO and FDA’s Blue Book Memorandum of America. The guides ensure that dental materials are tested for biocompatibility. However, the testing processes of ISO and FDA include a “Grandfather Clause” which allows for a medical device to pass the test if it is proven to be of equal quality or state to one that was “legally in interstate commerce before May 28, 1976.” This means that most dental materials that are being used today have not been subjected to the test mandated by the more updated standards, which is what biological dentistry is promoting.
IAOMT considers mercury amalgam as a “biocompatibility nightmare”, as it releases mercury in the body to a point that it causes physiological harm. The mercury in dental amalgam is said to be absorbed by the body, and is particularly dangerous to pregnant and breastfeeding women, because it goes to the placenta and is mixed into breast milk. Even dental practitioners exposed to mercury have been affected adversely. Proponents of biological dentistry are against the use of dental amalgam.
Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings
During the replacement of an amalgam filling, a dentist may further expose the patient to additional mercury. This may happen because scraping off the old filling during the procedure would make body absorb mercury present in the filling. The organisation also uses scientifically verified procedures to minimise the risk of exposure. It also has methods to help the removal of mercury that is already in the body.
Dental offices are a major contributors to polluting wastewater with mercury, and because amalgam breaks down, many jurisdictions require dental offices to have mercury separators on their wastewater lines. The organisation finds it questionable that mercury is considered a hazardous waste, but it is not considered a threat to the human body when mixed in amalgam fillings.
The organisation also believes that individuals have different immunological and biochemical responses, so it aims to uplift the biocompatibility quotient of the dental practice. Allergies, autoimmune diseases, and environmental sensitivity are factors that have pushed the organisation to promote methods of immunological testing and biochemical individuality, so a patient would receive appropriate treatment, and would be exposed to dental materials that he or she is less reactive. The organisation maintains that biocompatibility testing is an important service.
Another problem that IAOMT is addressing is the fluoridation of public water and the negative effects of fluoride in the human body. Water fluoridation is supported by mainstream dental science, but IAOMT is negating its benefits. The organisation maintains that the studies about the benefits of fluoridation of public water are conflicting, despite the assertion of mainstream dental science that water fluoridation is among the most essential public health measures ever created. The organisation, which looked into the statistics on water fluoridation, holds the view that fluoridation is not the answer to the reduction of tooth decay in communities, as non-fluoridated communities have been able to lower the rate of tooth decay cases just as fluoridated communities have done. The organisation has also stated that accumulation of fluoride in the human body has negative effects.