The term “holistic dentistry” may be new to you, or if you have heard it, you may not quite understand what it is. While traditional dentists have the best intentions through providing preventive and restorative care to promote oral health, the approach they take can lack regarding how this treatment affects your well-being. Holistic dentistry, also called biological or biocompatible dentistry, aims to treat the whole person through the mouth. Before you can look into how to find a holistic dentist in your area, it may help to understand better some differences between how it differs from traditional dentistry. Dr. Carl McMillan and the team at Holistic Dental Centers in Cary, North Carolina, would love to help you understand more about what holistic dentistry can provide you and how it differs from traditional dentistry.
Before looking at what makes holistic and traditional dentists different, how about we look at some similarities? Both types of dentists, holistic and traditional, are trained using the same methods at the same dental schools. State requirements dictate that all dentists log a set number of hours yearly dedicated to continued education. Both types of dentists offer assistance to patients aimed at treating the mouth, teeth, and gums. This is where differences start to seep in.
The fundamental differences between holistic and traditional dentists lie in each approach to their patient’s health. While a traditional dentist is there to treat their patients’ mouths, teeth, and gums and provide education and treatment to prevent oral health problems from reoccurring, that is just about where it ends. A holistic dentist believes that the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body and, because of this, it is where a patient’s whole health begins. A holistic dentist undergoes specialized training and education to learn about the long-term effects of a dentist on the body. An example of this would be how gum disease is now being linked to other health-related concerns, including heart disease.
Holistic dentists place a great emphasis on a patient’s overall health and well-being, not just the health of the mouth. They believe that one’s whole health begins at the mouth, so if you seek treatment that utilizes only the most natural and biocompatible materials, you should seek a holistic dental practice. From head to toe, a holistic dentist will take care of your complete health through oral health care and education. When you visit a holistic dentist, they will look at environmental factors, such as your diet, to see if you are receiving the nutrition you need. Your mouth is one of the first places that will show signs of poor nutrition. From there, your holistic dentist can guide you on how to improve your health through diet. This is just one facet of holistic dentistry. Some other innovative approaches that a holistic dentist will take include:
Because there is no regulatory body, any dentist can say they are holistic. This can make it difficult for people to separate those posing as holistic dentists from those practicing holistic dentistry. Some dentists believe they are holistic because they do not place mercury fillings. So, how do you choose a holistic dentist?
When trying to find a holistic dentist, it is always best to have an initial consultation with them, during which you can ask specific questions about how they handle particular situations. A dentist’s answers should revolve around the health of your entire body and cover the role of oral health in your overall health.