Is Holistic Dentistry Right For You?
While February is more known for Children’s Dental Health, oral health is something that ought to be considered frequently.
Growing up, you’re taught that making regular trips to the dentist, brushing daily, and avoiding sugar will help keep your teeth healthy and happy.
And while this is still true, contemporary dental methods have left some unpleasant marks in the mouths of millions of people. Many adults avoid visiting the dentist, whether it’s due to finances, misconceptions, or fear from negative past experiences (1).
Good news - you have other options. A holistic dentist could be the answer to helping you keep your smile while feeling overall better in the process.
Whether you want to remove metal fillings, discuss a root canal, fix your TMJ, or simply pursue more natural methods, you might be wondering if a holistic dentist is right for you.
What is a Holistic Dentist?
Carrying other names such as biological, biologic, or biocompatible dentist, a holistic dentist sees the mouth and related areas as part of your whole health ecosystem.
Oral health is not an isolated community. Numerous studies confirm links between the state of your oral health and the likelihood of you developing diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and pre-diabetes (2).
Holistic dentists go to school for the same length of time as conventional dentists and graduate with either a Doctorate of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree or a Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree.
But instead of the typical “drill and fill” approach, holistic dentists focus on you as a whole person. One of their unique goals involves restoring natural tooth structures, and they often incorporate alternative and integrative methods into their protocols and procedures.
What are the benefits of being cared for by a holistic dentist?
Metal-Free Mentality: Holistic dentists understand the harmful effects of mercury and chromium, some of the main ingredients used in many dental caps and fillings (5). Part of a holistic dentist’s philosophy includes using biocompatible materials to protect your teeth and restore your smile and may use SMART (safe mercury amalgam removal techniques) to keep your mouth and body healthy. This is especially helpful in children, as well as pregnant or nursing women. Depending on the situation, a holistic dentist may use glass biomimetic composite, gold, porcelain, glass ionomer, or other nontoxic materials to fill cavities (8).
Forget the Fluoride: Because of fluoride’s neurotoxic dark side, holistic dentists will opt for alternative approaches to keeping cavities at bay. In some cases, topical ozone therapy is applied to the teeth. Learn more about ozone here (4).
Cancel Cavities: There’s no denying that cavities, also called dental caries, are still the number one dental concern around the globe. Plaque, small holes, and gum disease can allow bacteria to eventually enter your bloodstream. This can cause serious infections and increase your risks for heart disease and stroke (6). They can help heal decaying teeth by a process called remineralization, as long as the decay doesn’t go beyond the dentin layer (7).
Minimally Invasive Technology: Just because they take a natural approach doesn’t mean they live under a rock. On the contrary, with cutting-edge technology like same-day crowns, low dose digital x-rays, ceramic dental implants, and laser treatments, you can feel
Say Goodbye to Snoring: If you’re someone who struggles with sleep apnea, breathing disorders, or snoring, your holistic dentist can address many of these concerns. Good, quality sleep is imperative for good health, as poor quality can contribute to high blood pressure, memory loss, weight gain, decreased mental clarity, and in some cases even death. Some dentists may also have the ability to create custom mouthpieces to keep your airways clear as you sleep.
Do holistic dentists pull teeth or do root canals? While the focus of biological dentistry is preventing and restoring teeth, teeth that are too diseased may be candidates for removal.
Other services you will find within a holistic dentist’s office include:
With all the benefits a holistic dentist can provide, you might think the costs are through the roof.
While some aspects of holistic dental care do cost more, you’re getting a long-term, whole-body approach to healing. Your health will be better for it, and the results will be longer-lasting.
Pricing can vary depending on your location and specific needs. Typical dental procedures can run numbers in the range of (8):
Crowns: $600-$2,700 (depending on which material is used)
Implants: $2,000-$6,000 per tooth, or $12,500-$25,000 per arch
Does insurance cover holistic dentistry? Some insurances may offer partial or full coverage but always check with your dentist about all the details.
Your teeth are important for many reasons. And you only get two sets, so it’s important to take care of them. Science has come a long way in understanding how tooth structures operate, and how lifestyle choices can either strengthen or weaken tooth enamel.
Dentists are here to help you achieve optimal health, but perhaps you’re looking for more natural solutions. Holistic dentists are highly skilled and offer a variety of services that can not only alleviate dental issues you might have but promote a healthy body overall.
Do you have some dental issues you’d like to get taken care of naturally? Schedule an appointment with a holistic dentist today!