You may notice that some dentists advertise that they practice natural or holistic dentistry. But what does this mean to you, the consumer? What exactly is holistic dentistry?
As its name implies, holistic dentistry is an approach to dental care that takes the patient’s entire health, not just their dental health, into account. This includes not just their entire physical health, but their emotional and maybe even their spiritual health. This philosophy is adopted by most holistic dentists. Beyond that, they may take positions on the following subject areas:
Amalgam Fillings: While traditional dentists routinely use amalgam to fill their patients’ teeth, holistic dentists believe the mercury contained in fillings, no matter how slight the amount, is toxic and is harmful to the overall health of the patient.
Root Canals: Holistic dentists believe that root canals should not be done because the process traps harmful bacteria in the canal, leading to possibly harmful consequences such as cancer. Some holistic dentists also believe that the chemicals used to sterilize the root canal, including formaldehyde, are harmful. The natural remedy to root canal is extraction. After all, why save a tooth if it is that badly decayed?
Fluoride: Some holistic dentists oppose the use of ingested fluoride in the prevention of tooth decay, arguing that it has been linked to cancer and bone problems, not to mention fluorosis, a browning of the teeth caused by too much fluoride. Some holistic dentists even oppose topical application of fluoride.
No matter if you seek a holistic dentist or a more traditional one, it is always important to ask questions before settling with one over another. After all, this is the best way to assure a good fit between patient and doctor.
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