What Is Holistic Dentistry

Holistic Dentistry: A Safer and More Natural Approach to Oral Health

What Is Holistic Dentistry?

This form of dental medicine is known by many names, including natural dentistry, unconventional dentistry, alternative dentistry, progressive dentistry, biocompatible dentistry, and integrative dentistry.
Its origin dates back to 1800 when the National Dental Association noticed the harmful effects of an amalgam filling and mandated its members to no longer use it in practice. As a result, several countries have followed suit and have since banned mercury.
Holistic dentistry became more popular from 1870 to 1948 because of Weston Price. He concluded in a study that degenerative diseases such as arthritis, rheumatism, heart problems, kidney disease, bladder disorders, lung issues, and many other bacterial infections are often caused by root canal therapy and endodontic treatments. His concept became known to many as the “focal infection theory.”
He then worked with Melvin Page, a dentist, and coined the phrase “balancing body chemistry.” He used tooth decay as an example of systemic chemical imbalances. This was the foundation for how most practitioners approach holistic dentistry today: acknowledging that your overall health and your dental health are interlinked.
In the last few decades, there has been an increase in the number of people looking for holistic dentists, who promote health and wellness instead of just treating one condition. They follow the basic principles that are unique to holistic dentistry:
  • Proper nutrition is necessary to prevent and reverse degenerative dental disease.
  • Toxins from dental materials should be completely avoided.
  • Bite problems can be considered as a physical imbalance. Dental occlusions should be treated and prevented.
  • One must treat and prevent gum disease at its biological core.
A holistic dentist may ask you questions about your emotions, well-being, diet, exercise patterns and habits, and other things you might not think of as being related to the health of your teeth.

What Does a Holistic Dentist Do?

Holistic dentists may vary quite a bit when it comes to the services they offer and the techniques they use during dental work. Some are more complete and effective than others. Listed below are some examples of what holistic dentists do.

Fluoride

Most modern dentists recommend the use of fluoride toothpaste and treatments. Unfortunately, holistic dentists do not agree with this at all. They are unconvinced of the evidence saying that fluoride can help prevent cavities.
They are more concerned about the possibility of fluoride overdose. Putting it in the mouth regularly will allow absorption in the mouth lining and into the bloodstream. In high amounts, this can cause other health problems, as fluoride itself is toxic to the body.

Root Canals

How do holistic dentists treat root canals? Holistic dentists do not favor the current technique being used in root canal therapy. They are concerned about the possible proliferation of harmful bacteria in and on the gums, which can also infiltrate the bloodstream.

Mercury

Mercury has long been used as dental fillings, but today, approximately 50% of all dental offices in the US are now mercury-free. Dentists who still do mercury fillings may use a different term like “silver fillings,” which in reality is just one and the same.
While there is less danger in adding a mercury amalgam, removing it is a more dangerous process. During the removal process, the metal is destabilized and released into the mouth. This can lead to acute toxicity.
Other patients have even mentioned permanent kidney damage as a side effect. The safest course of action is to simply not do mercury fillings. If you have one installed, you need to have it removed carefully by someone who truly understands the inherent dangers involved in the procedure.

Diet and Other Factors

Holistic dentists, unlike others, also understand the importance of including healthier foods and avoiding sugar in your diet, which in general are good moves for both the teeth and the whole body. They address the whole body and not just the mouth when treating patients.

Digital X-rays

We all know that x-rays emit radiation, which is linked to cancer. Evidence showed a significant association between full-mouth x-rays and salivary gland cancer. Low birth weight, cataracts, leukemia, and thumb carcinomas were also reported. Unlike traditional practitioners, holistic dentists use digital x-rays, which are 50% lower in radiation.

Biocompatibility Tests

Holistic dentists opt for naturally safe or “biocompatible” materials instead of the substances used by traditional dentists. Biocompatibility refers to the way substances affect your body. This speaks to the whole-body approach of the practice.
Before using certain materials, a holistic dentist may advise biocompatibility testing. This helps to determine whether these substances are compatible with your body and immune system.

Natural Approaches to Dental Health

Holistic dentistry also involves several natural remedies and approaches, and they are as follows:
Neem, an evergreen tree, has long been used in India to treat diseases through its many medicinal benefits. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Its bark is used as an active ingredient in many toothpowders and toothpaste. It’s helpful for the treatment of gingival problems and naturally maintaining oral health naturally. Neem twigs are effective for toothaches and cleaning.
Some dental techniques involve the use of a miswak stick. Its roots, stems, and twigs have been used extensively for oral hygiene and as toothpicks. Miswak offers a wide range of benefits. It naturally contains fluoride, but in safe amounts or doses. People chew it to create a thin resin layer on the enamel, which helps to prevent cavities.

It promotes tissue healing because of its high vitamin C content, giving off a mildly pungent taste that stimulates the flow of saliva. This prevents tartar formation because of its high chloride level.

Aside from being an aid for teeth and the tongue, it is also an effective jaw exerciser. This is helpful among patients with TMJ problems or jaw trauma. It likewise prevents injurious habits like smoking in adults and thumb sucking in kids, which may lead to dental problems later on.
Many holistic dentists used homeopathy in their practice. This therapy is generally safe for both adults and children. It can improve the psychological and emotional health of patients without the drugging effects of tranquilizers. The three main remedies most holistic dentists use are foxglove, yellow jasmine, and silver nitrate.

Clinical experiences proved that these homeopathic remedies are effective for conditions like dental abscesses, lesions, cavities, post-extraction bleeding, nervousness, and anxiousness.
With hypnosis, patients can relax during treatment. This is very helpful among apprehensive people. It can take away their fear and make the use of anesthesia unnecessary. Most holistic dentists employ a hypnotherapist to ensure the patient’s health and safety.

Holistic dentistry is an aesthetic, non-toxic, and biocompatible treatment model. While understanding this new approach is still an ongoing process and more research is necessary, you may wish to include this alongside your current dental care routine.

Call our office today!

To learn more about our holistic dentistry in Durango, CO, and learn how it can improve your overall health. We invite you to visit us in the office. We would love to show you how gentle, pleasant, and rewarding holistic dental care can be! Call (970) 247-3303 to schedule an appointment.