A topic that keeps coming up all around the country from patients and professionals in the dental field is Holistic Dentistry.
What exactly is holistic dentistry and what makes it holistic?
We know that a diet high in sugar will ruin both your teeth and your overall nutrition.
We know that illnesses lower your immune system and increase the risk of infection.
A high level of bacteria in your mouth increases the chances that bacteria travels into your blood stream. Which can negatively affect your overall health. Shockingly, plaque in the mouth can even be an indicator of plaque in your arteries. Having an evaluation of the placement of your teeth could lead you on a path to easing chronic jaw pain and headaches. The human body is made of many unique parts that work together as a whole and in turn can affect each other greatly.
What is the difference between holistic dentistry and traditional dentistry?
The Center for Natural Dentistry says that traditional dentistry focuses only on the areas above the neck and is the practice of treating the symptoms in the teeth and gums and attempting to prevent such problems from reoccurring. While, holistic dentistry is a philosophical approach that treats the underlying problems that cause symptoms in the mouth, attempting to eliminate those problems to prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. All while ensuring the work done in the mouth does not have an adverse effect on one’s overall health.
A Holistic Dentist will not only focus on a patients mouth and teeth, but will look at their face, head, neck, digestion, and lifestyle; taking the entire body and individual habits into consideration upon examination. The word holistic actually comes from the word “whole.”
Holistic dentists are problem-solvers who want to treat overall health, nutrition, and wellbeing. In other words, they don’t only treat oral health, but it’s considered a component of health for the rest of the body.
Many aspects of a holistic dentist, may feel familiar, but are significantly different. Here are a few areas that are very different from the traditional dentist.
- Usually holistic dentists don’t use of mercury in fillings.
- Don’t always support the use of topical fluoride
- Test biocompatibility of materials used in the mouth
- Don’t recommend root canals, because of the chemicals used for sterilization.
Most dentists have a realization of the adverse effects dental problems can have a person’s overall health. Holistic dentistry is an alternative approach that focuses on using non-toxic restorative materials. It is not just a procedure, it is looking at the entire perspective.
When people are looking for a dentist, it is important that they find a dentist whose philosophies match their own.
What is your philosophy and how do you portray your perspective to your patients?