When you hear “Holistic Dentistry”, what do you think about? These days, all sorts of misunderstanding abounds, including that holistic dentistry is a specialty within the dental profession. At its core, holistic dentistry works from the viewpoint that the mouth, teeth and all the oral structures are an integral part of the body, and that oral health can affect physical health.

Also known as Biological or Biocompatible Dentistry, holistic dental care is anchored on the concept that you can choose a healthy dental lifestyle that is more natural-based and less toxic. We who support this concept don’t reject all things scientifically innovative in dentistry, but, rather, combine the best of standard clinical dentistry with techniques and treatments that promote natural healing. All holistic health care models support the concept of creating healthiness and overall welfare via healthy diet, irradiation of toxins, and the support of physical, mental and energetic equilibrium.

The mouth is an integral part of the body. It should not be treated as separate system. Oral health reflects the general well being of our bodies. A lot can happen that makes either a positive or negative impact.

One of the things that holistic dentistry shares with conventional dentistry is that we initially examine the mouth to determine if the oral groundwork is solid. Do gums bleed and swell? If so, does this reflect a poor dietary habit? Are there indicators of infected tissue or disease? Do teeth move in their sockets? What about the bite? Is it stable? When a patient chews, is it comfortable to do so regardless of which side of the mouth is used? What about headaches, and how often do they occur? Is there any indication of oral cancer?

The teeth get a very individual and thorough check-up. Does the tooth have more filling than actual tooth structure? What is the make-up of those fillings? Mostly non-toxic or a different type of material? Do the teeth support bite properly? Does the health of the teeth indicate we will find them intact five years down the road? What about decay? Is the patient’s present diet supporting or hurting oral health?

Once a thorough examination is performed, we work with the patient in designing a plan that helps the patient attain stable, strong oral health. An exam such as this is very often the first scenario during a patient’s dental appointment.

Holistic dentistry includes fillings, x-rays and appropriate anesthesia. But here, holistic dentistry differs from the conventional in that we exclusively use mercury-free white fillings. If a patient already has the outdated silver fillings, we take great care in their removal in order to reduce any exposure to mercury vapor.

So, what’s the big deal about mercury? This heavy metal toxin has been connected to Alzheimer’s Disease as well as autism. Disappointingly, the American Dental Association continues to tout it as safe. Only two years ago, the Florida Board of Dentistry made an attempt to pass a bill that prevents doctors from promoting their practices as mercury-free dentistry.

Holistic dentistry minimizes toxic substance exposure in all aspects of treatment. The use of digital generated x-ray units that are designed to reduce x-ray exposure can do so by up to ninety percent. Likewise, holistic dentists don not support unbridled use of fluoride, whether the patient is an adult or child. Fluoride is an established poison (read the warning label on toothpaste tubes) as well as a regularly administered pesticide.

We use distilled water sources in our facilities to decrease bacterial contaminants. Our holistic dental professionals are always researching and attending courses that incorporates the safest and most biocompatible dentistry materials existing. And because every patient has a unique threshold of physical tolerance when it comes to any dental material, we may recommend further testing to establish a person’s capacity for tolerating restorative materials over an extended period of time.

Of course, every person is ultimately responsible for his or her healthiness. It is up to you to select every partner in health care with full and informed intention. The oral cavity is a hallowed gateway through which breath, mantra and sustenance enter and exit your body. Reclaim that part of you that has suffered disenfranchisement and toxic pollution. Being mindful of what is put in your mouth as well as what comes out helps restore balance and wholeness.