What is holistic dentistry?
Holistic dentistry (biological dentistry) is an alternative method to conventional dentistry, which revolves around the assertion that the body should be treated as a whole, and any one change has the ability to impact the entire unit. Conventional dentistry generally deals solely with the head and neck region, with the major focus being on that of the oral cavity (teeth, gums and associated hard and soft tissues), whereas holistic dentistry deals with the unrecognized impact of oral health on the overall health on an individual.
Rather than dealing with dental concerns and symptoms as they arise, holistic dentistry encourages a preventive approach, promoting health and wellness throughout the oral cavity, thus limiting the need for future symptomatic relief.
According to the Holistic Dental Network, the basic principles of holistic dental health practices are as follows:
- Proper nutrition for prevention and reversal of degenerative dental disease
- Avoidance and elimination of toxins from dental materials (including amalgam fillings)
- Prevention and treatment of dental malocclusion (bite problems = physical imbalances)
- Prevention and treatment of gum disease at its biological basis
Holistic dentistry procedure:
- Thorough examination followed by a review of the findings – the review of the findings is educational and explains to the patient the mouth and proactive treatment choices.
- Incorporation of hypnosis, homeopathy, aromatherapy, nutrition and herbology can take place
- Patients are encouraged to choose non-toxic materials. For example, concerns with amalgam containing mercury fillings are advocated against due to their possible health implications associated with mercury toxicity. Resin composite and porcelain fillings are thus more in favour.
The benefits of holistic dentistry:
It is aesthetic, relatively non-toxic, biocompatible approach of treatment. It incorporates alternative medicines like homeopathy, aromatherapy and hypnosis. The supporters of holistic dentistry believe in treating the root cause of the problem rather than just the symptom. For example a conventional dentist will just restore a decayed tooth, however a holistic dentist will investigate and discuss the patients nutrition and eating habits along with the restoration of the decayed tooth in a biocompatible restorative material.
Finally, holistic dentistry embraces the understanding that what affects the oral cavity can have the ability to affect the whole body and vice versa.