If you are ill, never proceed with any dental work until you have had a compatibility test. This test, also called a Dental Materials Reactivity Test, is performed by a special laboratory to determine which materials your system will be least sensitive to. The test considers metals as well as composites, cements, and other dental components which can often cause immunological reactions.
Blood is drawn, and the serum which contains the white cells – and hence the person’s antibodies – are separated. Antibodies are those complexes formed in response to something foreign when the first line of defense has been breached and a more systemic response is required. Placing the serum in a small well which contains a minute amount of a dental material component, i.e., silver, will cause an agglutination reaction or no reaction. A reaction indicates that antibodies to the material are present. This means the person’s immune system has been sensitized to the particular material and any further encounter with that material may lead to autoimmune reactions or a whole host of reaction symptoms, as seen with mercury toxicity. The challenge of serum against over 150 components of dental materials is done. All positive responses are fed into a computer and cross-checked against the ingredients in most brand-name products. The ensuing printout will indicate by manufacturer’s name what materials are immunologically reactive and are to be avoided, as well as those which may be used.
To learn more, read Newsletters, Biocompatibility Testing Part One and Part Two
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