One aspect that differentiates Holistic Odontology from conventional odontology is the effort to use materials that respect human health and the environment. There is a new generation of bio-compatible materials that can be used in all dental treatments.
The most common case is the use of amalgam as a dental filling. Amalgam has been used as a dental filling material for approximately 150 years. A large percentage of the population has this material in their mouth, which is economical, simple and easy to work with. However, due to its composition – usually 50% is alloy powder (silver, tin, copper, zinc, mercury) and the other 50% is liquid mercury – its risks are high.
Metal, as well as emitting toxic fumes, starts to dissolve as a result of chewing, brushing teeth, drinking hot drinks or due to galvanic effects, and is absorbed by the body and deposited in various organs (kidneys, liver, brain, connective tissues). This, on one hand, causes metabolic disorders (blocking of enzymes), and on the other hand, damage to cells and genetic material.
Alternative materials for dental fillings, which are the same colour as teeth, are increasingly popular. These materials are more aesthetic and do not require the dentist to remove as much tooth structure. Furthermore, they do not contain mercury. There are bio-compatible filling treatments which are based on new gentle and reliable technologies for dentists, dental staff and patients. These composites do not contain Bisphenol A, metal or artificial hormones, and thus avoid allergies that are common with other materials, and contamination due to inhalation or contact with the skin or saliva.
Other materials that have substantially improved in recent years are cements which fix dental inlays (inlays and onlays made of ceramic and zirconium). Cement is the seal between the tooth and the restoration piece. In this case there are highly bio-compatible materials such as cements made from glass ionomer and zinc phosphate.
Within implant dentistry there are also new bio-compatible materials which integrate well with human bone. A dental implant is an element designed to replace the missing root and maintain the artificial tooth in place, imitating a natural tooth. They are designed to be anchored firmly to the jawbone to maintain the tooth’s position. Titanium and ceramic material allow better integration with the bone and the gum.
One of the most important advances in the Odontology field is the use of zirconium to make both crowns and bridges. Zirconium can be used very successfully to replace metal and ceramic alloys which until recently were the only technique used in this type of treatment. Replacing metal with zirconium allows better bio-compatibility as it does not cause allergies or any sort of incompatibility within the oral cavity.
Another important factor is aesthetics. Using a white and translucent material allows the production of a prosthesis that appears more natural and luminous; as it is the material which best replicates the natural tooth. On the other hand, without a metal structure beneath the ceramic, grey edges will not be seen if the gum recedes as time passes.
A good way of knowing if contact with certain metals causes allergic reactions in the body is by performing a kinesiology test or the Melisa test.