MELISA testing is a valuable diagnostic tool that can help ensure that you are using the most biocompatible materials for each patient.

Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and oral lichen planus. Although many triggers for inflammation exist, inflammation induced by dental metals is a common, easy to diagnose, but often overlooked condition. In sensitive individuals, exposure to metal ions released from dental fillings, crowns, inlays, orthodontic braces and titanium implants can trigger an immune response that will continue until the source of exposure is removed. Multiple metals are used in traditional dentistry and MELISA can provide testing for all metals commonly used in dentistry. Read more about metals used in dental restorations and orthodontics HERE


MELISA (MEmory Lymphocyte Immuno Stimulation Assay) is a clinically validated blood test which measures the antigen-specific T cell response to a suspected metal allergen. Used to detect type IV delayed-type sensitivity which is mediated by antigen specific T-cells. The test can identify individuals who may suffer side effects from metal exposure and pinpoint which metals to avoid.

Lymphocytes are isolated from whole blood. The suspected allergens to be tested are added in 2-3 dilutions and incubated for 5 days. A positive control (Pokeweed) and 3 negative controls are also established. 3H thymidine is added and its uptake from allergen specific dividing lymphocytes is measured. Lymphocyte proliferation is reported as a Stimulation Index (SI). An SI above 3 represents a positive reaction to an antigen. The presence of lymphoblasts and dividing lymphocytes is also confirmed by morphology.

Systemic Effects

Traditionally dentists may focus on local oral problems. However, patients with metal allergy may present with different symptoms associated with an overactive immune system, including chronic fatigue, joint and muscle pain, cognitive impairment, depression and skin rashes.

Amanda Just and Jack Kall of the IAOMT wrote this  fascinating article  Autoimmune Diseases and Metal Implants and Devices back in 2018 which clearly outlines the issues. You can see some of the devastating effects that metals can have on susceptible individuals from our London conference below.


Linda Nelson, MELISA Diagnostics, gave her statement (video below) to the 2019 FDA Committee Hearing into the possible adverse effects of medical devices. Following on from the Committee Hearing FDA issued updated recommendations concerning dental amalgam and potential risks to certain high-risk individuals in 202. These groups include “People with known heightened sensitivity (allergy) to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.”

We work closely with dentists and are always happy to talk about metal hypersensitivity.  Email Linda Nelson or Julia Glendinning on [email protected]

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US or Canadian members:  samples must  be shipped to Germany for testing arrive within 48 hours of blood being drawn.  FAQs can be found HERE