Holistic dentistry emphasizes the total well being and dental health of patients through modern medicine and natural remedies.Though many are skeptical of it, both traditional and holistic dentists have been using and teaching certain holistic dental practices for years. For example, it’s no secret that diet has a direct impact on your teeth and your body. That’s why both holistic and traditional doctors recommend their patients eat certain foods to improve their dental and overall health. For holistic dentists, it’s especially important to understand how dental health affects and is affected by the body and mind.
What’s the difference between a regular dentist and a holistic dentist?
LIke regular or traditional dentists, holistic dentists still need to earn their undergraduate degree, dental school, and licensure. They have the same credentials as other dentists, but they practice with a different philosophy. Holistic dentists are concerned about the relationship between oral health and the whole person.
Another difference between traditional and holistic dentistry is how they approach dental problems. Holistic dentists take into account how certain treatments that may be beneficial to the teeth could be harmful to the body and vice versa. Before prescribing harsh medications or surgical operations, a holistic dentist will try to find the root of the problem and address that first. They also advocate for safer, long-term solutions than fast fixes. For example, it takes a lot more time and effort to see the teeth whitening results of oil pulling than bleaching; however, oil pulling is probably a lot safer in the long run!
What procedures do holistic dentists provide?
Holistic dentists dedicate their lives to continually learning new dental techniques and treatments, so your dentist may offer different procedures. However, the most popular holistic procedures include:
- Mercury-free fillings: Silver or amalgam fillings are commonly used to fill cavities because they are extremely strong and durable; however, these fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including mercury. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to even small amounts of mercury could have toxic effects on the body. Holistic dentists typically use white (composite resin) fillings instead to ensure their patients are safe from mercury exposure.
- Biocompatible dental materials: Holistic dentists understand that every body is different. What could be a great treatment option for one patient may be deadly to another. Before a holistic dentist places any foreign material in your body, they will test you for any allergies or sensitivities you have, so they don’t inadvertently use products that cause a negative reaction.
- BPA-free appliances: Bisphenol A or BPA is a popular chemical added to products to make them stronger and longer lasting. When consumed, it can bind to hormones and impair them, potentially causing problems like heart disease, infertility, and impaired thyroid function. Because some dental sealants contain BPA, holistic dentists don’t recommend getting them for young children. Holistic dentists also avoid using products with BPA to operate on patients.
- Homeopathy: For patients who have negative reactions to typical dental medications, like sedatives or anesthetics, holistic dentists will often offer alternative medicine in lieu of harsh drugs or chemicals during invasive operations.
- Fluoride-free options: When fluoride is consumed in excess, it can cause fluorosis, a condition that results in discolored or pitted teeth. Patients can opt out of fluoride treatments when they choose a holistic dentist.
Why should I go to a holistic dentist?
A holistic dentist can provide a different perspective and broader science of understanding for their patient. There are many factors that contribute to your dental health and you can trust that a holistic dentist will look at all of them when making their diagnosis. The holistic dentist understands that you are a unique individual who has specific concerns and needs that can’t be treated with a blanket strategy. You will have more choices and autonomy over your treatment when you choose a holistic dentist.
Another focus of holistic dentistry is education and prevention. Maintaining your dental health and overall well being takes time, effort, and patience. There is no procedure that can replace years of oral hygiene, exercise, and proper nutrition. Your dentist will take the extra time to explain how to care for yourself and why you need to. Poor dental health can contribute to diabetes, cancer, heart disease, premature delivery, or worse. A preventative approach to dental health will save you a lot of stress and money in the future. At Glendale Holistic Dentistry, it’s our goal to empower our patients to take responsibility for their health and recovery.
If your dental health is a priority, holistic dentistry may be right for you! A holistic dentist will provide you with all the information and advice you need to keep your teeth strong and healthy for the long term. Give us a call at Glendale Holistic Dentistry if you would like to schedule an appointment with our holistic dentist, Dr. Erwin!