Treatments » Holistic Dentistry

What is Holistic Dentistry?

I think it’s important to look at what the word “holistic” really means. The word holistic is not a reflection of the practices and techniques used by the dentist, but of an overall philosophy of the role of oral care. The word itself comes from “wholistic” meaning “the whole.” Truly holistic dentists will educate patients on the importance of overall health and how dentistry can play a role in the overall health.

All dentists to some extent see the importance of the mouth in the overall health of an individual. For instance, studies have concluded a link between gum disease and heart health, diabetes, and pregnancies. However, many dentists are not trained in the long term effects of what dentistry does (or could possibly do) to the whole body. Hence the reason the field of holistic dentistry was formed.

Holistic Philosophy

We believe that Holistic involves an awareness of dental care as it relates to the entire person.

We believe that health care practitioners and recipients should be provided with appropriate information to make informed choices that will enhance personal health and wellness while feeling loved, accepted, and understood.

We believe that Holistic Dental Association membership provides physical, emotional, and spiritual support while we expand our awareness and skills.

We believe our educational growth should be nurturing, affordable, and encompasses basic information, experiential knowledge, and leading edge ideas.

We believe in openly sharing resources.We believe in an inter-disciplinary approach to health that facilitates the individual’s innate ability to heal her/himself.

#1: Natural Dentists Don’t Use Amalgam Fillings

Natural dentists don’t offer amalgams as an option. The reason is that they value their health as much as their patients so they don’t even want mercury or the vapors it produces anywhere near their office unless they are gowned up with a mask. If your dentist offers amalgams as an option, find another one immediately. The mercury vapors floating around the dental office alone should be reason enoaugh to not want to ever go there – even if you don’t choose amalgams yourself.

#2: Natural Dentists Don’t Offer Fluoride Treatments

Natural dentists are well aware that fluoride reduces a child’s IQ, can lead to white spots
on the teeth, increase the risk of fractures by weakening the bones, and harm the thyroid. No truly holistic dentist in his/her right mind would ever offer this type of damaging treatment to a child. Even if a dentist offers the parent a choice to opt out of fluoride treatments, simply having the option in the first place is a red flag that the dentist is not really holistic.

#3: Natural Dentists Avoid Crowns

Truly natural dentists are very conservative with their drilling practices. This means when a cavity requires filling, holistic dentists leave as much of the tooth intact as possible and use non-toxic filling material. If the cavity or hole is large, an inlay should be considered. Since crowns typically involve removing up to two-thirds of the tooth, a holistic dentist would use this type of dental restoration only as a last resort. If your dentist is crown happy, find another one.

#4:  Natural Dentists Don’t Offer Sealants

Sealant materials are generally made with hormone disrupting Bisphenol A (BPA) which a truly natural dentist would never consider using with any patient let alone a child.  Don’t be fooled if a dentist says that “BPA Free” sealants are safe to use either. In that case, the cousin chemical BPS is used which is just as bad. According to Rene Vinas, a researcher at the University of Texas who conducted a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, BPS is essentially the same as BPA.

#5: Natural Dentists Use X-Rays Sparingly

The natural dentist who cares for my family won’t do an x-ray on a child ever until he/she is 13 years old.  While this is probably an unusual practice even for natural dentists, beware of those who insist on a round of bitewings with every cleaning or even once a year. Radiation exposure is cumulative over a lifetime so the fewer x-rays, the better.

Digital x-rays are only about 50% lower in radiation on average than the old time dental x-ray machines, so don’t buy the argument that the radiation is insignificant from these devices. As mentioned earlier, a study published in Cancer by Elizabeth Claus, of Yale University, suggests those who have had dental X-rays often have a significant rise in the risk of developing a brain tumor.

#6: Natural Dentists Test Filling Materials First

A natural dentist trained in holistic dental practices will test patients either via blood test or applied kinesiology (muscle testing) to determine which filling material suits them best biologically. Dentists who only think they are holistic don’t test and use their favorite composite materials for every single patient and situation regardless of the patient’s health status or history.

#7: Natural Dentists Use Homeopathy and Vitamin C for Invasive Surgery

I had dental surgery last year and was administered homeopathy drops instead of drugs prior to the procedure. This permitted a minimum of painkiller to be used during the actual operation.

After the surgery, I was immediately administered a whole food based, oral Vitamin C (not synthetic ascorbic acid) to drink to jump start the healing process. The upshot is that I recovered from this surgery with no antibiotics needed (a script wasn’t even written by the dentist), minimal discomfort and no problems.

#8: Natural Dentists Offer Infrared Devices for Healing from Surgery Instead of Painkillers

After my dental surgery last year, I was given a hand held device that emitted gentle infrared heat to take home. I was instructed to hold it very close to the area of my jaw where the surgery occurred for 20-30 minutes at a time, several times a day.  This increased the speed of healing and reduced discomfort.  It felt really good and it worked! When my stitches were removed, the surgical area had healed up beautifully and I needed no painkillers at all during my recovery.

#9: Natural Dentists Don’t Remove Wisdom Teeth Unless They Are Causing Problems

Over two-thirds of cases of wisdom tooth extractions are completely unnecessary says Dr. Jay Friedman DDS in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Of the approximately 5 million people who endure wisdom tooth extraction each year, 11,000 suffer what’s called “permanent paresthesia” which is a fancy name for numbness of the lip, tongue, and cheek resulting from nerve damage during the surgery.

Wisdom teeth should only be removed if they are causing a problem and when they are removed, a holistic dentist takes great care to ensure no cavitations are created which cause health problems down the road.  If your dentist routinely removes wisdom teeth even if there is no pain or infection, that is a big clue that dental office is not a holistic establishment.

#10: Natural Dentists Rarely (if ever) Do Root Canals

In many cases, inflamed teeth that conventional dentists diagnose as needing a root canal will quickly respond to homeopathy, herbs, and/or clearing away toxic dental materials in and around the tooth.  Nutritional support can rapidly reverse any need for a root canal as well.

If you are told you need a root canal, seek a second opinion, particularly if the dentist suggests doing a root canal and placing a crown over the top of it which completely destroys the tooth and all but guarantees chronic bacterial outflow into the bloodstream.