What is Holistic Dentistry?
Holistic or biologic dentistry has been receiving increased support after an FDA decision condemning silver fillings for some high-risk groups. Prior to this agency decision, most people who visited holistic dentists did so after becoming chronically ill and searching for unconventional answers to their illness. So what is holistic dentistry and how does it differ from conventional dentistry?
A Comparison between Conventional versus Holistic
There are substantial differences between conventional and holistic dentistry, not the least of which is the fact a holistic dentist takes into consideration a patient's systemic well-being and not just the number of cavities. After examination, a holistic dentist may suggest procedures, such as:
- Amalgam or silver filling removal
- Ozone treatments to treat gum disease
- Cavitation surgery to clean out areas where teeth have been removed
Holistic dentists generally do not offer conventional treatments such as dental implants, because it is thought the unnatural metals used in such procedures may cause additional ill effects to the patient's health. Biologic dentists also usually refrain from performing traditional root canals and rather use a laser that precisely removes tissue and bacteria. They may also recommend against using fluoride, which some consider a toxin.
Biologic Dentistry Philosophy
Holistic dentistry is not necessarily condoned by the American Dental Association, as evidenced by the agency's public statement about the practice. Even so, countless patients, some suffering from chronic disease, applaud its benefits and some even credit the practice for saving their lives.
Basic Biologic Principles
Holistic dentistry operates on complex theories, but some general principles hold true. It is based on the idea the oral structures of the mouth are an integrated part of the whole body, thus the name holistic dentistry. The goals include toxin elimination and whole body balance between physical and mental state.
Holistic dentists pay attention to nutrition and its role in reversing dental disease, the elimination of toxicity from dental materials such as silver or amalgam fillings, correcting or preventing problems with the bite or dental malocclusion, which they believe can cause physical imbalances, as well as having a prime focus of prevention and treatment of gum disease.
Holistic dentists differ from conventional dentists in many ways and yet there are also similarities. These professionals also create fillings, perform X-rays and use anesthesia to numb your mouth. There are extra precautions taken however, such as the use of mercury-free fillings. These fillings are made of white non-toxic materials containing natural plastic and glass.
There are diverse reasons why patients prefer holistic dentistry. Some traditional dentistry patients have horror stories, up to and including lawsuits. So, what is dental malpractice?
There are many patients who go to a holistic dentist after having a bad experience with a traditional dentist. Sometimes a lawsuit is even involved.
Dental negligence lawsuits are not uncommon, but there are very specific definitions of negligence. The treatment has to cause serious personal injury to the patient, otherwise it cannot be labeled malpractice. Getting a good lawyer is imperative because most dentists have excellent legal representation, and many cases are dismissed when patients try to represent themselves in court.
Dental malpractice lawsuits can result from complications from anesthesia, failure to diagnose serious disease or cancer, injury to nerves in the oral cavity and complications from crowns or bridges. At the end of the day, only you can decide if holistic or conventional dentistry is best for you. But if you have health problems or have had legal issues with a dental office in the past, holistic dentistry may be worth further investigation.
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