Everything You Need to Know About Holistic Dentistry

Holistic dentists, like traditional ones, provide teeth cleaning, x-rays, fillings, crowns, root canals, and more. However, they also offer ozone therapy to treat early cavities and alternatives to mercury amalgam fillings that can leak mercury into the bloodstream and brain.

They also look at how your gut microbiome, mouth airway, diet, and other lifestyle habits affect dental health and overall wellness.

What Is Holistic Dentistry?

Holistic dentistry is an alternative approach to dental health that considers your overall health in relation to your oral health. It involves treating the root cause of your dental issues, rather than simply focusing on fixing symptoms. It also takes a more comprehensive view of your overall well-being, which may include examining your emotional state and diet.

Holistically-oriented dentists usually have the same basic training as traditional dentists, but they also pursue advanced training in holistic healing. They believe that there is a connection between your oral health and your overall wellness, and they encourage patients to improve their diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle.

While some might argue that holistic practices are not scientifically proven, many mainstream dentists are now incorporating some of these alternative approaches into their practice. For example, they are switching from film x-rays to digital x-rays, which emit far less radiation. They are also replacing mercury amalgam fillings with composite that is not made from any toxic materials.

In addition to avoiding chemicals, holistic dentists may offer treatments that are considered “alternative” to standard dental procedures. These might include ozone therapy, herbal remedies, and nutritional support for gum disease or tooth decay. Additionally, they might encourage patients to use non-toxic toothpastes and fluoride-free mouthwashes to prevent cavities and promote a healthy oral environment.

Biological dentistry is another term that is often used to describe holistic dentistry. It is similar to holistic dentistry in that it is focused on promoting health through diet and lifestyle changes, but it also uses biologically friendly materials in place of traditional dental products. This includes using composite that is not made from bisphenol A (BPA) and encouraging patients to seek a natural, safe method for removing their amalgam fillings.

The temporomandibular joint, located on both sides of your head near the ears, allows you to open and close your mouth when speaking and eating. It is a critical part of your oral system, but when it is in pain, you can experience difficulty eating and speak and are at greater risk for dental complications. A holistic dentist can examine the temporomandibular joint and provide treatment options that will help you heal.

How Does Holistic Dentistry Work?

While traditional dentists focus on treating symptoms, holistic dental professionals treat the whole patient. They use a variety of techniques to promote healing and prevention, including removing toxic materials from the mouth. A holistic dentist may also ask about a patient’s diet, alcohol consumption, workout routine, hormone imbalances, and sleep habits. These factors can influence overall health and play a role in whether a dental treatment is effective.

Holistic dentistry includes natural and biological materials, which are safer than the metals and chemical compounds used by traditional dentists. These dentists avoid using amalgam fillings, which contain mercury, and they encourage the use of composite resin that’s BPA-free. A holistic dentist will test a patient’s saliva for any potential negative reaction to the materials used during treatments. They will also use a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) evaluation tool to identify issues with this critical part of the face.

A holistic dentist may offer alternative treatments like acupuncture, massage, and yoga to reduce stress and relax the muscles around the jaw, a condition known as TMJ syndrome. A TMJ disorder can lead to pain in the temples, cheeks, ears, neck, or face, and it can cause difficulty eating or speaking. A holistic dentist can provide treatment options to relieve TMJ symptoms, improve jaw function, and prevent further damage to the joint.

In addition to the typical oral exams and cleanings, a holistic dentist may offer services like teeth whitening, veneers, crowns, dental implants, and orthodontic treatment. They may also provide supplements and dietary advice to support oral health.

When you’re looking for a holistic dentist, make sure they’re licensed and insured to practice in your state. You’ll also want to look for one who offers the types of treatments you need, such as a cosmetic dentist who can give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Aside from the differences in treatment methods, it’s important to find a holistic dentist who has your best interests in mind. Many dentists who call themselves holistic don’t necessarily follow medical guidelines outlined by the American Dental Association, so you’ll need to research them carefully.

Are Holistic Dentists Right for Me?

If you’re a believer in holistic health practices and would love to see those same principles applied to dental work, then a holistic dentist may be right for you. These dentists are trained to understand how the mouth relates to your overall body health, and they take this into consideration when providing treatment for oral problems. Noblesville Family Dentistry is known to be a pioneer in family dentistry which makes customers and patients alike to feel better whenever they undergo any dental procedure.

Holistic dentists will likely order X-rays less frequently than traditional dentists, and they will also ask you questions about your diet and lifestyle. They can then offer tips on avoiding certain health conditions that can be exacerbated by the types of foods you consume. They will also educate you on healthy habits that can improve your oral health, such as brushing properly and avoiding certain foods that contribute to gum disease.

In addition, holistic dentists will often use techniques designed to preserve the teeth rather than drilling as much as possible. This is because these dentists believe that preserving the tooth’s natural structure can be better for your overall health than replacing it with an artificial tooth. They also use tools such as blood samples, stress assessments and applied kinesiology to test a treatment’s biocompatibility with the patient.

When they do need to replace a missing or broken tooth, a holistic dentist will often opt for a composite filling, which is made from a natural material that is compatible with the human body. In contrast, traditional dentists will often opt for a mercury amalgam filling, which can leak heavy metals into the bloodstream. This can lead to a build-up of toxicity and impact your immune system, causing health issues such as autoimmune disorders and memory loss.

In some cases, a traditional dentist might prefer to pull crowded molars to prevent them from falling out. A holistic dentist will look at the whole picture and might recommend a treatment that helps expand the palate to create more space for the remaining teeth. They might suggest a nutrient-rich diet to strengthen the teeth or encourage the use of an appliance to prevent grinding, which can damage your jaw and cause headaches.

Are Holistic Dentists Right for You?

In many ways, holistic dentistry looks a lot like traditional dental care. Both maintain standards of oral hygiene and treatment outlined by the American Dental Association. But what makes holistic dentists different is their whole-health focus. They consider how your oral health may impact your overall physical health and vice versa, and take this into account when performing every dental procedure.

A big part of this is a focus on preventing illness rather than treating symptoms. For example, when a patient comes in with an abscessed tooth, instead of simply drilling it and filling the hole, a holistic dentist may encourage diagnostic screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure to address possible underlying causes of the infection. They may also offer education and advice on dietary changes that can improve nutritional intake to help prevent chronic diseases that can impact teeth and gums, such as bruxism (teeth grinding).

The type of materials used by a holistic dentist is another aspect that sets them apart from traditional practices. They prefer to use “biocompatible” materials that are safer for the immune system and body than standard amalgam or composite fillings. They also encourage patients with mercury fillings to visit a physician for heavy metal testing before considering removal.

These dentists are also concerned about how certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can negatively impact oral health and overall well-being. They may refer patients for laboratory testing of saliva to identify bacteria and other harmful substances, and will instruct the patient on how to change their behaviors in order to promote better health.

One other key difference is that holistic dentists often do not perform routine X-rays, though they may recommend a screening depending on the individual. This is because they believe X-rays expose patients to unnecessary radiation, and that there are safer alternatives such as digital X-rays. Additionally, they do not typically support the use of fluoride. Instead, they advocate for safe prevention practices such as regular teeth cleanings, deep cleanings, periodontal maintenance therapy, and ozone and laser treatments. These techniques have been shown to be effective in removing plaque, reducing inflammation and killing harmful microorganisms.