Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What is Holistic Dentistry?

People often ask me "what do you do?" When I tell them that I am a holistic dentist.The next question is what is that?
A good definition is the one given by Dr Weill. He says that "Holistic dentistry, also known as biological dentistry, takes into account a person’s entire state of physical and emotional health. Holistic dentists use natural therapies (often in combination with conventional ones) to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases of the oral cavity." This is a pretty broad definition. I find it sad that it is the definition of a certain kind of dentist. Shouldn't all dentist (and health practitioners in general) approach patient care that way?
To the above definition I would add minimally invasive to boot. Removing and replacing mercury fillings carefully. Performing root canals, preventing cavities, and gum disease. These are all things that dentists should do but most don't.
It is doing Dentistry with an eye on what you use and taking into account the whole patient.Again pretty much common sense.
In my practice we emphasize prevention strongly.That I have to mention this is just a sign of the state of dentistry. We monitor our patient's closely. I would prefer to prevent a problem than to cure one. Decay and gum disease can be prevented. They can be reversed in some situations and sometimes they have to be managed.
Diet has a huge impact on the health of the patient not to mention the oral cavity. If a patient returns and returns with decay then something in their life is not being dealt with.
Exercise, medications, life/work balance, systemic health. These are some of the things we ask about and investigate.
I guess it is a rejection of drill and fill. It is a realization that companies are out to make money that is their nature. This is not a repudiation of capitalism and this is definitely not the place I comment on the structure of economics and society. It is a statement of fact. The statement recognizes that companies are not for your betterment, but to sell you things, period. Since "I am piggy and I have the conch", The Lord of the Flies mentality prevails and the I really don't trust them to think about what they put in their products and the government seems to steer clear of regulation. I feel that people need an advocate as to what should be used.. So this is Holistic Dentist.

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