Biocompatibility testing of dental materials

Biocompatibility testing in dentistry refers to the study of any possible interactions between the human tissues and dental materials. Since most of the materials that are used in dentistry come into immediate contact with tissues of the mouth, teeth and the pulp, it’s vital that these biocompatible materials show a significantly high degree of biocompatibility.

Biocompatibility requirements

  • Materials shouldn’t be carcinogenic
  • They shouldn’t induce allergic reactions
  • They shouldn’t contain hazardous and toxic substances
  • They shouldn’t biodegrade
  • They shouldn’t provoke damages to the body’s hard and soft tissues

Biocompatibility and dentists

biocompatibility testingDentists should take into account the degree of biocompatibility for various reasons. To start with, it’s associated with the safety of the patient and the dental staff, as well. Although the appearance of adverse reactions to dental materials isn’t that usual, it may still happen. For this reason, every dentist should take into account the biocompatibility requirements of every dental material and make sure that they meet them.

The dental staff may also, be susceptible to damaging health issues due to low biocompatibility of some of their materials. For example, during the placement of an amalgam, there’s the danger of mercury vapor being released. Dentists may also, suffer from adverse reactions due to chronic contact with latex.

Any damage to the patient’s health due to low biocompatibility of the dentist’s material may result in serious consequences for the practitioner. The results will be both financial and emotional and the dentist will surely lose some of his credibility towards his patients.

To properly evaluate the biocompatibility of dental material, a series of in vivo, as well as in vitro tests should occur. Those tests are well-structured order to provide the dentist with credible results. Starting with some initial tests, the materials then progress to more specific tests until they reach the phase of the clinical trial. Every material that successfully passes through this phase is considered biocompatible and safe to use.