Biocompatible Dentistry Vs. Conventional Dentistry

Glowing Tooth - dentist idaho falls
idaho falls dentalYou may have heard biocompatible dentistry referred to as “holistic”, “natural”, or “organic” dentistry. These terms are all interchangeable; the central underlying principle is that they treat the body as a holistic system – which is exactly what it is! – rather than looking at dental and periodontal problems as merely being localized to the mouth. Today, more and more dentists are incorporating biocompatible dental products and services, even if they do not officially consider themselves biocompatible dentists. Here’s what you can expect from a biocompatible dentist in Idaho Falls and how his or her services would differ from a conventional dentist.

Resin Fillings & The Problem With Amalgam (Silver) Fillings

idaho falls dentalAmalgam fillings are made of various metals, including:

  • Mercury
  • Silver
  • Zinc
  • Copper

The problem here is primarily the mercury, which is today understood by Idaho Falls dentists to be a toxic heavy metal that’s harmful to humans. Furthermore, many people are actually highly sensitive to mercury and others are even allergic to it. This can be especially risky if the filling were to corrode, crack, break, or come loose. Not only can this release fumes and particulates into your mouth – often resulting in an unpleasant metallic taste – but it can also leak metal out of the filling and into the tooth, causing it to darken.

Many Idaho Falls dentists are avoiding amalgam fillings altogether, not just due to the health risks they present, but also because they simply lack any aesthetic appeal (a lot of people aren’t fond of the “metal mouth” look).

There are some further problems with amalgam fillings that can occur when they are installed and afterward:

  • Amalgam fillings have no adhesive quality – they have to be forced into place. The problem here is that this can create microfractures in the tooth, which is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria in the acidic plaque that can make its way into these cracks.
  • Amalgam fillings expand and contract with temperature changes, causing further microfractures.

Why Resin Fillings Are A Better Alternative

Many Idaho Falls dental clinics offer resin fillings as well as safe mercury filling removal, after which a resin filling is placed. 

Resin fillings are far more biocompatible for the body. There are also a number of benefits they provide in terms of health and appearance.

  • Resin fillings are naturally adhesive. They don’t have to be forced into place, meaning no microfractures.
  • They don’t expand or contract with temperature changes the way amalgam fillings do, so again, no microfractures.
  • They look and feel just like natural tooth tissue – no metal-mouth!
Tooth Filling - family dentist idaho falls
Tooth Filling - idaho falls fillings

Non-Metal Dental Implants

As stated above, metal isn’t the best thing for your body. Far from it. This is why many Idaho Falls dental clinics are avoiding them in favor of non-metal implants composed of Zirconia and other ceramic materials.

Problems With Metal Dental Implants

Dental Implant - dentist idaho falls

As with amalgam fillings, metal implants can corrode over time. This is often the result of bacteria (which lives naturally in your mouth and increases in amount with poor dental hygiene). Corrosion can also be caused by exposure to fluoride and hydrogen peroxide. 

Whatever the cause may be, this corrosion can release metals into the body, as well as causing inflammation to the gums surrounding the implant, resulting in a condition known as peri-implantitis.

In terms of aesthetics, metal implants can often show through the gumline, again, causing a metal-mouth look.

Benefits Of Non-Metal Dental Implants

Ceramic Zirconia Dental Implant - idaho falls dental implants

Installing dental implants made of substances like Zirconia is becoming a more common practice among Idaho Falls dentists for a number of reasons:

  • Zirconia is more biocompatible than metal.
  • Zirconia is actually stronger than metal, so there’s less of a chance of corrosion. This also means the gums and jawbone can grow around them better, making them more secure.
  • They’re less likely to show through the gum line in a way that creates that metal-mouth look.

Laser Dentistry

idaho falls dental

Some Idaho Falls dentists offer laser dentistry, and while for some this can sound like something scary, it’s often preferred over the traditional dental drill for a number of reasons.

The “laser drill” isn’t a drill at all. Rather, it emits a focused beam of light that heats up dental tissue and breaks it up, allowing dentists to shape the tooth and remove decayed tissue. Laser “drills” can break away decayed tooth tissue as well as drill right down into the tooth for the later application of crowns and fillings.

Let’s get into some of the many benefits of laser dentistry.

The Laser Is Virtually Painless

In fact, many people can undergo laser dental treatment without needing local anesthetic, as much of the pain involved with the traditional dental drill results from the grinding pressure that it puts on the tooth, causing not only tooth pain but headaches as well.

Laser dentistry is far more gentle on the teeth, gums, and jaw bone.

 

Lasers Allow For More Precise Dental Work

That is to say, they cause less damage to the surrounding tissue. These devices can work on teeth without causing any unnecessary damage or bleeding to the gums. One reason for this is that these lasers cauterize immediately; they create an immediate blood-clotting effect. 

If you can’t stand the thought or site of blood, laser dentistry in Idaho Falls is the way to go.

Lasers Can Also Be Used To Treat The Gums

Have you ever heard of the “gummy smile”? This is when the gums grow too far down the teeth. Lasers can be used to trim back the gumline. They can also be used to remove soft tissue folds from dentures if they aren’t fitting very well.

Lasers Can Be Diagnostic Tools As Well

These devices can detect small cavities or potential cavities that may have gone unnoticed, showing Idaho Falls dentists more contrast and a stronger image of the tooth than a normal light.

Dental Lasers Can Also Be Used For…

  • idaho falls dentalTeeth whitening
  • Seeing inside the tooth
  • Cold sore treatment
  • Benign tumor removal
  • Regenerating nerves
  • Sleep apnea treatment – this is often caused by tissue overgrowth, which can be removed or reshaped via the dental laser
  • TMJ treatment

Dental Health Is Linked To The Body’s Overall Health In Ways You Probably Didn’t Expect

Idaho Falls dentists who practice biocompatible dentistry look at the body as a holistic, integrated whole – that is, after all, what it is. Therefore, serious dental problems can cause problems in other, seemingly unrelated areas of the body. These problems can be as severe as atrial fibrillation, heart failure, hypertension, and stroke.

To Understand The Connection, Let’s Take A Closer Look At Plaque

idaho falls dentalPlaque occurs when carbohydrates in food combine with the bacteria that naturally lives in your mouth. Your mouth is filled with bacteria, and the one responsible for a large amount of dental decay and gum disease is Streptococcus mutans

As the teeth decay and the gums become inflamed and bleed, this bacteria has direct access to the bloodstream at large, where it can then make its way into the arteries of the heart and the vessels of the brain.

Heart Problems

idaho falls dentalDental decay has been linked to higher rates of bloodborne bacteria. As one of the main factors in tooth decay, the bacteria from the mouth can enter into the bloodstream through decayed teeth and inflamed gums that bleed excessively.  According to Dr. Howard Jenkinson, professor of Oral Microbiology at Bristol’s School of Oral and Dental Science, “Poor dental hygiene can lead to bleeding gums, providing bacteria with an escape route into the bloodstream, where they can initiate blood clots leading to heart disease.” Another study has shown the link between dental decay and atrial fibrillation and heart failure. The study involved 161, 286 people ages 40 to 79. The conclusion was that brushing 3 times per day lowered their risk of atrial fibrillation by 10%. The risk of heart failure was also reduced by 12%. This was over the course of 10.5 years.

Hypertension

idaho falls dentalAccording to a Science Daily article, senior author Professor Francesco D’Aiuto of UCL Eastman Dental Institute, UK stated, “We observed a linear association – the more severe periodontitis is, the higher the probability of hypertension. The findings suggest that patients with gum disease should be informed of their risk and given advice on lifestyle changes to prevent high blood pressure such as exercise and a healthy diet. Gum disease has been linked to high blood pressure – moderate gum disease has been associated with roughly 20% higher risk of hypertension; for severe gum disease, the associated higher risk was 49%. This is according to a meta-study which combined information from 81 studies across 26 countries.

Stroke

idaho falls dentalAs stated above, Streptococcus mutans is the bacteria most commonly associated with dental decay, and this bacteria has been found in higher amounts in those who have suffered intracerebral hemorrhage, according to a study published on Science Daily.

Wellness Biodentistry - Your Idaho Falls Dental Clinic For Biocompatible & Organic Dentistry

Using dental products and services catered to not just the health of your teeth and gums but also your overall health, Wellness Biodentistry is the Idaho Falls dental clinic you can count on for healthful dental services. Our priority isn’t just the health of your gums and teeth, but your entire body as well.

Schedule an appointment at our Idaho Falls dental office today!

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