If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve seen that I posted last week about going to a holistic/biological dentist. You may be wondering, however, “what is holistic dentistry?” I can’t wait to tell you all about what I’ve learned!
Since I’ve had lots of experience with conventional dentistry, I got to experience the difference from the other end of the spectrum, and I can wholeheartedly say I wish I would’ve known about holistic dentistry all my life! If you’ve read our story, you know I’ve struggled with various health problems most of my life. I felt that getting some dental work done would be a good step in the direction of healing.
If you’re not familiar with biological or holistic dentistry, you may be wondering what the big deal is. There are a number of reasons holistic dentistry is preferable to conventional dentistry, which I’ll detail below, but first, I want to tell you about my recent experience.
My recent holistic dentistry experience
I had a little list of things that I needed done and had been putting off until I could get to the out of town holistic dentist: amalgam removal and replacement, filling replacement, and wisdom tooth removal.
The filling that needed replaced was in a tooth that had been giving me trouble for years, as I would get pain anytime I would eat sugar or too much starch. A conventional dentist had told me I needed to get a root canal, which I refused due to their propensity to cause problems later on.
Getting the amalgam removed was something I’ve wanted to do ever since I learned about how they leech mercury into your body and begun wondering if getting rid of it might help my migraines.
The wisdom tooth… well, up until I year ago, I didn’t even realize it was still up there. But it grew in in a weird angle and it needed to go. The office I used only does tooth removal with sedation, which originally made me a little nervous, but it ended up being really nice!
While I was asleep, I had the amalgam filling replaced, the filling on the bothersome tooth replaced and ozone treatment done inside the tooth, and the wisdom tooth removed.
I am so glad I used a biological dentist to have this dental work done, and below, I’ll tell you why!
What is holistic dentistry?
Finding a holistic or biological dentist may not be as easy as it would seem. Some dentists may advertise themselves as such for marketing purposes, but there are some distinct ways of scoping out a dentist to find out if he or she is truly holistic. Here are some clues:
They don’t use fluoride. A biological dental office will not offer fluoride treatments to their patients, nor will they insist that patients use fluoride-containing toothpaste. Instead, they will offer healthy, non-toxic toothpaste suggestions because they know that fluoride has been linked to lower IQ, bone weakening, thyroid problems, and even cancer.
They use biocompatible materials. Holistic dentists use filling material that is not harmful to your body. Many times they will even test you beforehand to be sure your body will not reject the material (indeed, my dentist ran a quick blood test on me prior to my procedure). This testing can also occur via kinesiology (aka muscle testing). Either way, toxic materials like amalgam are not used in holistic dental offices.
They don’t use amalgam fillings. A holistic dentist will never offer amalgam fillings. Not only is amalgam not biocompatible, it is downright toxic to the human body. Amalgam fillings contain mercury, which can essentially leak out every time you chew. These fillings also wear down over time. The mercury can also leak to a fetus during pregnancy or to a baby during breastfeeding.
Excess mercury can also cause candida overgrowth because candida actually protects your body from mercury. If you are struggling with candida and have amalgam fillings, you may consider having them removed before you tackle candida, or if you are stalled in treating candida overgrowth. But, it’s important that you go to a properly trained holistic dentist to have amalgam fillings removed.
They know how to properly remove toxic amalgam fillings. Mercury-containing amalgam fillings are very toxic, and having them removed by just anyone is not a good idea. A truly holistic dentist knows that it’s of the utmost importance to protect both the patient and himself and staff from the toxic effects of mercury during removal.
They cut away, rather than grind the amalgam, and use both suction and a dental dam to capture vapors and fragments as the filling is removed. They also protect the patient’s skin (and their own) from exposure and give the patient fresh air through a respiration device that goes over the nose so the patient has fresh air to breathe rather than any that might be tainted with mercury vapors.
Additionally, many holistic dentists (including the one I used!) will offer vitamin C via IV therapy during the treatment. This influx of vitamin and antioxidants will bolster the immune system and protect the body during the procedure. Personally, I had wanted to try vitamin c IV therapy (read: I have Lyme Disease… but it’s Not a Big Deal) for a while, so it was cool to get it as part of my dental procedure:
They offer additional services that promote healing following dental procedures. A holistic dental office will also offer unconventional methods of helping patients to heal following procedures. This may include infrared or sauna therapy, or acupressure. They may also offer alternatives to pharmaceuticals for recovery and pain management such as homeopathy.
I personally took advantage of the acupressure offered by my office last week, especially because I wanted to minimize trauma from the wisdom tooth removal. An acupressurist essentially did a light massage over my face and other areas of my body. Not only did it feel nice, but it helped with swelling, bruising, and pain.
They avoid unnecessary or unhealthy procedures like root canals, excessive x-rays, or wisdom tooth removal. Holistic dentists will help you find an alternative to healing a tooth that may otherwise need a root canal, or they may suggest complete removal of the tooth in a healthy way that will avoid complications later on.
Holistic dentists also know that x-rays should only be used on an as-needed basis to see what’s going on and create a treatment plan, and will properly protect you during x-rays, making sure your thyroid is covered. (Ask me about the couple of conventional dentists I’ve used for x-rays and how they look at me when I make a fuss about covering my thyroid during x-rays!)
Finally, a holistic dentist may suggest you leave your wisdom teeth right where they’re at if they’re not causing any trouble. Personally, because my tooth was growing in an unusual direction, I wanted it out, but if your teeth don’t bother you, there’s no reason to go through the unnecessary trauma of removing them. A holistic dentist can help you make that decision.
A safer approach
Holistic dentistry is simply a safer approach to dental health, which takes the whole body into consideration. If you are looking for a holistic dentist, I suggest you call or make an appointment and ask them what their policies are on the above topics. Their answers will help you determine if they are truly holistic!