Biological Considerations of Dental Materials

The biological considerations of dental materials cannot be isolated from their physical properties.

Biological requirements of Dental Materials

A dental material should:

  1. Be non-toxic to the body.

2. Be non-irritant to the oral or other tissues.

3. Not produce allergic reactions.

4. Not be mutagenic or carcinogenic.

Examples of hazards from chemicals in Dental Materials

✔Some dental cements are acidic and may cause pulp irritation.

✔Polymer based filling materials may contain irritating chemicals such as unreacted monomers, which can irritate the pulp.

✔Phosphoric acid is used as an etchant for enamel.

✔Mercury is used in dental amalgam, mercury vapor is toxic.

✔Dust from alginate impression materials may be inhaled, some products contain lead compounds.

✔Monomer in denture base materials is a potential irritant.

✔Some people are allergic to alloys containing nickel.

✔During grinding of beryllium containing casting alloys, inhalation of beryllium dust can cause berylliosis.

✔Some dental porcelain powders contain uranium.

✔Metallic compounds (e.g. of lead and tin) are used in elastomeric impression materials.

✔Eugenol in impression pastes can cause irritation and burning in some patients.

✔Laboratory materials have their hazards, such as: cyanide solution for electroplating, vapours from low fusing metal dies, siliceous particles in investment materials, fluxes containing fluorides, and asbestos.

✔Some periodontal dressing materials have contained asbestos fibres.


1.Textbook of Dental Materials – John J Manappallil

2.Images – Google

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