Biological Dentistry

by Edward Arana, D.D.S.
(As written for the Holistic Dental Association's Web site)

Biological Dentistry can be categorized as dentistry with a conscience, and a consciousness of how the treatments of the teeth and jaws will affect the health of the individual and how it will affect the immune system. Biological Dentistry always asks - will the treatments be congruent and health enhancing or will they be health stressors to the individual?

In the past only lip service was paid to the biocompatibility of materials used in dentistry. The material's compatibility was judged on a general basis and not on an individual basis that is required for biocompatibility.

The most tragic example of misstated biocompatibility is organized dentistry's position of advocating a known poison -MERCURY- in amalgam fillings just because it has been used for 150 years! In doing so, dentistry has been misled and the truth obfuscated concerning the fact that mercury does indeed cause ill effects when placed as an implant in the body even to the point of denying that a filling in a prepared tooth cavity is not an implant. Mercury and other heavy metals from dental fillings contribute to all chronic disease states as do multiple chemical sensitizing exposures. From environmentally ill patients there is clinical evidence that the heavy metals from dental fillings and multiple chemical exposures act synergistically to intoxicate and stress the patient, thus causing disease.

Biological Dentistry is an emerging new field of Probiotic (supporting life) dental medicine. It has been developing in Germany over the last 25 years. It is now being taught and practiced in the U.S., Austria, Germany, England, France, Switzerland, Australia, Taiwan, Sweden, and Colombia. Biological Dentistry is aesthetic, relatively nontoxic and individually biocompatible. It utilizes physiologic and electronic methods to locate chronic areas of disease that are difficult to locate by current standard methods. Incorporated in this field of biological dental medicine are the time proven healing methods of homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrition, physical therapy and herbology. The more modern sciences of neural therapy, hematology, immunology and electro-acupuncture are also incorporated. These methods are in addition to the many scientific disciplines, which encompass the field of clinical dentistry. The curative measures of biological dentistry are applied in accordance with the patient's natural abilities of regulation, regeneration, and adaptation and self-cure. Biological dental treatment removes the stress burdens that conventional treatment may induce. The first area of concern in biological dentistry is the toxicity of metals and their release from the fillings and replacement appliances (metal partials and crowns that have nickel) used in dentistry. These metal ions dissociate from their masses to diffuse, migrate and become absorbed in the tissues altering the electrochemical character of the immune system concomitantly changing the ratios and populations of the blood cells (decreased white count) and the cells of the immune system. In addition, these migrating metal ions stop or alter the function of the body's enzymes.

The next area of biological concern is the extent and character of the direct electrical currents generated by the disassociation of dissimilar metals in an electrolyte media (fluids and tissues of the human body). This is called "oral galvanism." These currents carry disruptive metal ions to the opposite poles in these oral galvanic batteries. How much oral galvanic power is necessary to change organic function, to change membrane permeability, to interfere with the power of thought or recall, or to initiate degenerative change? We just don't know! But we do know that it does change from electronegative to electropositive.

Is it possible that these metallic energy sinks are acting as blockades in the meridians or bioenergetic circuits associated with the teeth? Can these blockades cause dysfunction in their respective organs, endocrine systems, vertebrae, muscles, nerves and nerve reflexes? It is and it does! Should we view current existing dental restorations as toxic scars? With mercury amalgam implanted in the teeth, most definitely. With gold and other metal restorations for again a certain percentage of people again most definitely and with composite cements on an individual basis, again most definitely. With just about any restorative material used in dentistry there will be blockades by the body if the immune system is still functional because the tooth is an open and dynamic living organ. Biological Dentistry is concerned with treatment and therapies that cause the least disturbance to the immune system.

The next area of concern in Biological Dentistry is that of hidden or residual infection to include areas of necrosis and chronic inflammation. Collectively these areas are called "Dental Interference Fields or Foci." This is dentistry's most ignored area for meaningful and effective therapeutic contributions in resolving chronic disease. A focus or dental interference field is a diseased change in the soft connective tissue containing un-processable material causing the local and general defense reactions to be in a continuous state of active conflict. This can lead to abnormal distant effects far removed from the original source and is most often chronic in nature.

Biological Dentists utilize materials reactivity testing to individualize the biocompatibility of dental materials used in the reparative and restorative aspects of dentistry. A materials reactivity test is made from the patient's blood serum. It is a qualitative antigen-antibody precipitin observation type test. It indicates what materials may be suitable for the patient to utilize in the restorative aspect of his dental treatment. W.J. Clifford, M.S. developed this test. The other types of testing for the individual biocompatibility assessment for suitable dental materials are electrodermal testing as advocated by Reinhold Voll, M.D. and Fritz Kramer, D.D.S. and Applied Kinesiology muscle testing as developed by George Goodheart, D.C.

Using all the knowledge and skills of probiotic dental medicine, biological dentists strive to provide individual biocompatibility testing, aesthetic, comfortable, functional and enduring dental artificial replacements. Biological dental treatment has the possibility of a stress reduction so great the patient loses all or many of their distressing chronic disease symptoms, which encompasses many pathological conditions.

Biological Dentistry is the great contribution that Sir William Osler meant when he said, "The next great advancement in medicine will come from the dentists." Biological Dentistry will, out of necessity, become the dental medicine of the 21st Century.

The Relationship between Dental Problems and Illness
Dr. Arana, the co-founder of the American Academy of Biological Dentistry, distinguishes the main types of dental problems that can cause illness and dysfunction in the body:
  • Infections under and around teeth
  • Problems with specific teeth related to the acupuncture meridians and the autonomic nervous system
  • Root canals
  • Toxicity from dental restoration materials
  • Bio-incompatability to dental restoration materials
  • Electrogalvanism and ion migration
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), a painful condition of the jaw, usually caused by stress or injury
Dental Infection or Irritation:
When teeth become inflamed because of trauma, fracture, decay or contaminated with bacteria, the tooth becomes a focus of infection or irritation. In the 1930's, a dental researcher, Weston Price, implanted infected teeth into healthy rabbits. The rabbits came down with the same medical symptoms as those of its host. The rabbits exhibited heart, kidney, lung or other similar symptoms as manifested by the host. Dr. Price concluded that the toxins produced by the infected tooth found there way into the blood stream and was capable of causing disease within specific organs. In the 1940's, the medical and dental professions both recognized such problems as valid and provided the basis for recommendations of tooth removal. In recent years a French medical/dental physician and researcher, Agnes Koubie, discovered that even a tooth whose pulp became inflamed from routine dental drilling could serve as the source for far removed arthritic type pains. If the distant pain resolved after injecting a local anesthetic around the offending tooth, Dr. Koubie concluded that the tooth was the underlying cause.