Whole-body dentists understand that the entire body is made up of interrelated systems. This means that oral problems can impact the overall health of the body. Similarly, other physical problems may present themselves as dental issues. The practice of holistic dentistry aims to treat the symptoms and the underlying issues and does it in a natural and non-invasive way.
How holistic dental practices began?
Some dentists have already emphasized natural treatments on their own even before Holistic Dental Association was founded in 1978. The organization came to be when a group of concerned dentists decided to band together by their interest in providing alternative treatments whenever they could.
Since some of these alternatives were not taught very well in typical dental colleges, the dentists needed a way to share the information, studies, and education. These dentists intend to use all of their knowledge about safe and modern dental practices, but they also hope to learn about alternatives to practices that are considered unnatural, unsafe, and more invasive than necessary.
The Basics of Holistic Dentistry
Sometimes, this type of dental practice is also called alternative or bio-compatible dentistry. By any name, dental treatment is always selected with the patient’s total physical, mental, and even pyscho-social well-being in mind. By considering a patient’s overall health in mind, toxic and unhealthy materials are avoided in their practice.
Safe Dental Filling Choices
A holistic, natural dentist, would not use fillings with any mercury mix or other potentially toxic materials. Instead, a holistic dental practice strives to take the extra care to ensure that only fillings properly tested and judged as safe are used. Metal fillings are easy to make, but the use of certain metals has been banned in other countries, and these generally not chosen holistic dentists.
A natural practitioner may suggest fillings fashioned from ceramics, resins or safe metal alloys. These fillings are more expensive than the more dangerous alternatives, but preserving health is considered priceless in the mind of a natural dental professional.
Another concern is BPA filings. This is the chemical in many plastic bottles that has been criticized as unsafe. Imagine how dangerous it would be to have that chemical in your mouth 24 hours a day and not just getting some leeched into your bottle because you were drinking water from a plastic water bottle.
Alternative Gum Disease Treatments
Holistic dentists also prefer nonsurgical treatments for patients who suffer from gum disease. Gum disease may progress gradually, and it is typically caused by inflammation and infections. These, in turn, are caused by tartar and contaminants that reach under the gum line. One of the best ways to prevent this disease is to practice good dental hygiene and schedule regular professional cleanings.
One common solution for gum disease is to have surgery, and this involves taking skin from one part of the mouth and applying it to the skin. This solution solves one problem, but it doesn’t prevent it from happening again.
On the other hand, holistic dentists will make sure that tartar gets cleaned away from below the gum line. They will also send the patient home with a region of good self-care to follow every day. There are also many excellent natural anti-bacterial solutions that eliminate infections and help reduce or eliminate gum loss.
Alternative Dentists Promote Wellness
One thing that groups these natural dentists together is an emphasis on promoting natural wellness and not just treating disease. These dentists know that the human body is capable of healing itself when given a chance, so they promote whole-body wellness in order to help boost the body’s own natural defences and healing systems.
There are different strategies used to reach these goals, but these are some of those that are considered most often:
- Good diet can help promote good dental health and even reverse many oral diseases.
- The avoidance of any dangerous or toxic substances in dental materials helps reduce the risk of introducing the source of diseases into a patient.
- By treating the source of dental problems and not just the symptoms, dentists can help patients heal themselves.
- Gum disease can be treated at the infection’s biological basis and not the just the symptom of raw or receding gums.
Mouth Problems: Symptoms vs. Causes
A problem with your “dental bite” may result in a physical imbalance with other parts of your body. Similarly, worn teeth and other problems may originate in parts of the body away from the mouth. They could be caused by problems with the jaw or even the ear. If these problems get corrected, the dental problems will actually correct themselves without any further treatment.
Finding a Holistic Dental Practice
An issue you may have encountered is that alternative dentists may lack consistency in their practice methods or training. Naturally, your own alternative dentist is a trained dentist who is just as qualified to practice dentistry as any other dentist who chooses a more traditional approach.
But even within the scope of qualified dentists who choose to emphasize alternative dental therapies, there is a big difference. If you are choosing a new dentist, take some time to research your choices.
Holistic dentists take a sensible approach. Most of all, they teach you how to live better every day to help keep your mouth and the rest of your body healthy.