What is Holistic Dentistry?
When we choose a dentist many of us use price and location as the deciding factors, but did you know you also have a choice in the style of treatment? That’s right, not all dentists have the same approach to your teeth. If you have back pain you can treat it with conventional medicine and drugs, or you can seek an alternative medicine such as acupuncture. The alternative approach to oral care is called Holistic Dentistry and it’s more popular than you might think.
The difference between a Holistic Dentist and a conventional Dentist
Holistic dentists treat all the same issues as a conventional dentist, but their approach includes spiritual and emotional treatment, as opposed to just physical. As a Holistic Dentist, I try to harness the healing power and internal energies of the patient first before resorting to more invasive treatment. This sort of treatment is all about minimal intervention, or low biologic cost treatment, so called because takes a lower toll on the patient’s health.
Amalgam fillings vs composite fillings
One of the ways holistic practitioners achieve a lower biologic cost is by using different materials. For example, many conventional dentists use amalgam to create fillings. While they’re inexpensive and durable, amalgam fillings contain mercury which is a toxic substance and environmentally unfriendly when disposing. The fillings we use are created from composite resin which has the added benefit of being the same colour as the surrounding tooth instead of a metallic hue.
A broader view of the patient’s health
As well as minimal intervention, the purpose of Holistic Dentistry is to put a patient’s dental problems into the context of their entire lifestyle. I ask my patients questions about their sleep, stress levels and diet, and attempt to address these as the root cause of their dental issues. This might mean referring the patient to a Nutritionist or Sleep Therapist, or recommending another alternative therapy such as Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Craniosacral Therapy or Herbal remedies.
There are differences in what each Holistic Dentist will recommend, so it’s important to take this into consideration and have a healthy degree of skepticism when considering options. Hair testing and kinesiology are some of the alternative practices that I believe in and recommend to patients. Some practitioners will also conduct blood chemistry and muscle testing, this is outside my knowledge, however I have referred patients to these specialists.
In addition to sleep, stress and diet, many holistic practitioners will look at a patient’s medical history, including family members, to see if a history of dental problems, diabetes or heart disease is affecting their current health. They’ll also examine any medication a patient is on and may recommend an alternative to their GP if it’s affecting their dental health.
I have even prescribed reading on psychology and stress, which patients can use to improve their oral and general health in their own time.
Does it cost more to see a Holistic Dentist?
Choosing a Holistic Dentist is not about saving money. The additional time, care, education and planning of wholly encompassed treatment does require a greater investment. However once a patient’s problems are managed appropriately the need for check-ups will become less frequent and future issues will tend to be singular in nature.
Is Holistic Dentistry right for me?
Whether you choose a Holistic Dentist will probably depend on your attitude to alternative medicine. If you believe that the spiritual being is as important to treat as the physical, a Holistic Dentist may be exactly what you’re looking for. For further information, I encourage you to research Holistic Dentistry online or alternatively, you can consult a practitioner in your area.
Tell us, would you try a holistic dentist?