A normal visit to the dentist usually includes procedures such as routine examination, teeth cleaning, oral care consultation and in some cases you may have an x-ray as well. If your dental provider finds any problem he/she will discuss the possible treatment options with you. But have you ever wanted to get advice and information for many aspects related not only to your teeth but to your overall well-being? Have you ever considered alternative treatments that use more natural substances instead of traditional materials? If you have thought about that then you probably heard about holistic dentistry.
In this article, we will introduce you to this type of dental practice and how it is different from traditional dentistry.
What is a holistic approach to dentistry?
Holistic dentistry is general dentistry that uses a biological approach and natural treatment methods. That is why it is often called biological or natural dentistry. Holistic providers use all-natural and non-invasive dental procedures. In addition, they pay attention not only to the patient's teeth but to the whole health and well-being of the individual. They consider the mouth as being part of the whole body and focus on how toxins, different medical conditions and even treatments that go in the mouth can affect the patient's body. They believe that our dental health is closely connected to our overall well-being.
What is the difference between holistic dental care and traditional dentists?
The key differences between both dental practices are the philosophy behind each of them as well as the way patients are treated. Let's look at these in more detail.
Holistic dentistry is focused on the whole body and overall health
Biological dentistry is usually concerned about hidden pathogens such as gum diseases, infections and so on. Dentists look at why the patient has a dental problem and address that problem to improve his/her dental health and therefore your overall health. Holistic dentists will look at the reason for your dental issue because their philosophy is to use a holistic treatment in harmony with how your entire body works.
A traditional dentist is entirely focused on dental health
Their practice usually includes diagnosing and treating different oral diseases that may affect gums, teeth, jaw or dental issues that affect the head or neck areas.
Biological dentistry uses biocompatible materials, mercury-free fillings and natural approaches
Holistic dentists try to tailor their approach to you depending on your needs. In addition, they don't use any metal fillings, mercury amalgam fillings 1, you may not have certain medicines that they want to prescribe. A holistic dentist may be more into natural treatments, herbs, supplements and also may take care of different things that are going to be less invasive as far as chemicals into the body. They try to avoid toxins as much as possible whether that is in silver fillings, fluoride, root canals, metal, plastics as well as wisdom teeth extraction. It is said that holistic dentistry uses safer materials, approaches and technologies that are available. They believe that everything that happens for a patient in terms of dental disease such as decay, gum disease, tooth grinding is in connection to what else is going on in this person's physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.
Traditional dental care includes the use of metal and mercury fillings
What else does a holistic dentist do?
Holistics is modern science that pays attention to the connection between the teeth and other body parts - how the dental issues affect the body and how it affects them. Here is what to expect from your visit to a holistic dentist.
- They are very focused on safely mercury removal from the body and non-invasive preventive dentistry. The providers are more likely to offer laser procedures as an alternative to traditional treatment methods.
- Holistic dental providers pay attention to the psychology of dental patients and the use of the correct approach for their natural teeth.
- They place emphasis on proper nutrition and its importance for the patient's body, oral health and a healthy smile.
- Biological dentists look at the impact of common diseases on each tooth and the tissues around it.
- This type of dentistry uses only biocompatible materials and methods such as ozone therapy, bioinert dental implants and composite fillings to perform the necessary dental treatments.
Do holistic dentists do root canal treatment?
Holistic dental practices use ozone therapy to treat different dental problems including tooth decay. It is an atraumatic, painless and non-invasive treatment. Ozone therapy is also considered a more conservative and holistic, biological approach to the root canal 2. This treatment uses a powerful agent that aid in killing bacteria, fungus, virus and other pathogens.
Ozone therapy is used before placing biocompatible dental fillings as well as for the sterilization of canals in the teeth to perform a holistic root canal therapy.
Ozone therapy helps promote natural healing, improves cellular function and kills harmful bacteria which cause decayed tooth and tooth infections. It is biocompatible which means it works with your body and not against it.
Is mercury in amalgam fillings safe for people?
Although some researches claim that amalgam fillings may lead to different health problems and medical conditions, most of the evidence shows that amalgam fillings and the mercury contained in them are harmless 3. Amalgam and mercury are FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approved dental materials that have been safely used in dentistry for many years 4. However, holistic dentists have a different point of view and attitude towards dentistry. They believe these restorative materials can be harmful to the body and recommend amalgam removal and mercury detoxification.
Is holistic dentistry covered by dental insurance?
Yes, your holistic dental treatment might be covered by insurance. However, it depends on the dentist, your insurance company as well as the services you need to get. Some procedures may not be covered by your insurance provider.
If you want to have this type of dental care, make sure you find a reputable and fully licensed dentist.