The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) Accreditation Program requires the candidate to demonstrate a basic understanding of the distinctions that define biocompatibility and the science that underlies biological dentistry.
Unit 1: Introduction to the IAOMT, our Accreditation Program, and Biological Dentistry
This introduction is designed to provide you with essential background knowledge about the structure and operations of the IAOMT, the organization and overall workings of the IAOMT Accreditation program, and information about biological dentistry in general.
Unit 2: Mercury 101 and 102 (SMART Module 1)
This unit is designed to teach you about the basic chemistry of mercury and the scientific literature that establishes the known risks of dental mercury: Scientific evidence has established beyond any doubt two propositions: 1) Amalgam releases mercury in significant quantities, creating measurable exposures in people with fillings, and 2) Chronic exposure to mercury in the quantity released by amalgam increases the risk of physiological harm.
Unit 3: Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings (SMART Module 2)
Dentists who engage in elective replacement of amalgam fillings have been criticized by their peers for unnecessarily exposing their patients to additional mercury during the process of grinding the old fillings out. Yet, the “mercury-free” dentists are the ones who are most aware of the problem. We present scientifically verified procedures for greatly reducing and minimizing mercury exposure which all dental office personnel should learn and follow for their own protection and for the protection of their patients.
Unit 4: Clinical Nutrition and Heavy Metal Detoxification for Biological Dentistry
Nutritional status impacts all aspects of a patient’s ability to heal. Biological detoxification depends heavily on nutritional support, as does periodontal therapy or any wound healing. While the IAOMT does not advocate that dentists necessarily become nutritional therapists themselves, an appreciation of the impact of nutrition on all phases of dentistry is essential to biological dentistry. Thus, all members should be familiar with the methods and challenges of reducing systemic toxicity deriving from mercury exposure.
Unit 5: Biocompatibility and Oral Galvanism
In addition to using dental materials that are less overtly toxic, we can raise the biocompatibility quotient of our practice by recognizing the fact that individuals vary in their biochemical and immunological responses. We present a discussion of biochemical individuality and sound methods of immunological testing to help determine the least reactive materials to use with each individual patient. The more a patient suffers from allergies, environmental sensitivity, or autoimmune diseases, the more important this service becomes. Aside from their power to provoke immune reactivity, metals are also electrically active. Oral galvanism has been talked about for well over 100 years, but dentists generally ignore it and its implications.
Unit 6: Dental Amalgam’s Impact on the Environment
IAOMT members should be familiar with the methods and challenges of reducing systemic toxicity deriving from mercury exposure. For some patients, eliminating the exposure by removing the amalgam fillings is sufficient; for others, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Unit 7: Fluoride
Mainstream public health science has failed to verify that a protective effect of water fluoridation on children’s teeth actually exists, despite the constant public relations statements and resulting widespread belief among the general population. Meanwhile, evidence of the harmful effects of fluoride accumulation in the human body continues to mount. In this unit, we present an appraisal of the risks of water fluoridation based on scientific findings and even regulatory documents.
Unit 8: Biological Periodontal Therapy
At times it almost seems as if a tooth with its root canal system and leaky gums is a device for injecting pathogens into internal spaces where they don’t belong. We will revisit the dentinal tubule and the periodontal pocket from the perspective of biological dentistry. Methods used to detect pathogens and monitor their numbers through the course of treatment range from the basic clinical exam to the classic use of a phase contrast microscope to the BANA test and DNA probes. There are non-drug procedures for eliminating the infection, as well as occasional judicious use of anti-microbial drugs. Laser treatment, ozone treatment, home care training in pocket irrigation, and nutritional support will all also be discussed in this unit.
Unit 9: Root Canals
There is controversy once again in the public’s consciousness over root canal treatment. The origin lies in the question of remnant populations of microbes in the dentinal tubules and whether or not endodontic techniques adequately disinfect them or keep them disinfected. We also examine how those bacteria and fungal organisms can turn anaerobic and produce highly toxic waste products that diffuse out of the tooth, through the cementum, and into circulation.
Unit 10: Jawbone Osteonecrosis
Recent work in the field of facial pain syndromes and Neuralgia Inducing Cavitational Osteonecrosis (NICO) has led to the realization that the jawbones are a frequent site of ischemic osteonecrosis, also known as aseptic necrosis, the same as is found in the femoral head. As a result, many extraction sites that appear to have healed have actually not healed completely and can trigger pain in other parts of the face, head, and distant parts of the body. Even though most of these sites actually present with no symptoms at all, pathological examination reveals a combination of dead bone and slowly growing anaerobic pathogens in a soup of highly toxic waste products where we would otherwise think there has been good healing. This newly emerging disease entity is examined in this unit.
Conclusion: We are Twenty-First Century Dentistry
In the old days, when the only restorative materials were amalgam or gold and the only esthetic material was denture teeth, our profession was challenged to fulfill its mission and be biologically discriminating at the same time. Today, we can do better dentistry, in a less toxic, more individualized, and more environmentally-friendly way than ever. We have as many choices of attitude before us as we do dental techniques and materials. By choosing to put biocompatibility first, we can look forward to practicing effective dentistry while knowing that we are providing patients with the safest experience for their overall health.