Nothing is more inviting, welcoming, even beautiful, and says more about your state of health than a warm smile. And this is how you will want to keep it. Therefore for many people, turning towards cosmetic dentistry is the surest way to protect their investment, by ensuring that their teeth stay white, straight and decay free.
But dentistry is not only about healthy teeth, it is also about protecting the health of the gums and indeed the health of the whole body. For example it is now widely known that periodontal disease is related to problems of the heart, and that badly aligned teeth can create digestive problems. Indeed there are several maladies whose origins can be traced to one or another dental problem.
What is Holistic Dentistry?
Holistic dentists are sometimes also known by the alternative names of biological dentists or natural dentists. As with other holistic medical practitioners, when treating a patient they will consider the whole person, including the mind, spirit and lifestyle, in addition to their body. And when developing a treatment program, they will endeavour to enhance the patient’s overall health and well-being, not just that of their teeth. In doing this they will pay particular attention to the state of the immune system.
A holistic dentist will also reduce to a minimum the need to subject the patient to harmful x-rays, by the use of either low emission equipment or alternative means of diagnosis. They will also fill cavities by using non-toxic materials such as resins rather than employ a mercury amalgam, and frequently provide a service of removing old amalgam fillings and detoxification of any residual mercury deposition.
Holistic Dentistry and Amalgam Fillings
There is a body of evidence to suggest that mercury amalgam fillings, sometimes known as silver fillings, pose a health risk for all, but particularly those who are chemically sensitive. Studies have shown that such a low-level exposure to mercury can affect kidney function and even the neurological functioning of the brain, resulting in a cellular degeneration akin to that found in sufferers from Alzheimer’s disease.
For these reasons holistic dentists are typically against the use of amalgam fillings, and should you wish to have your old fillings removed and replaced, it is preferable that you find a dentist who can assess the compatibility of other materials and also help you with the process of mercury detoxification.
Holistic Dentistry and Fluoride
Most holistic dentists are totally against the ingestion of fluoride by the human body, as for example found in many toothpastes and drinking water. Indeed fluoride itself is known to be toxic and can be harmful even in modest doses. Former studies carried out in support of the incorporation of fluoride in water supplies have since been found to be flawed, and more recent surveys have found little health benefit.
Holistic dentists are important participants in complementary health care and often work in conjunction with other holistic health care practitioners. It is important that you are aware of your options when choosing a dentist and there are now increasing numbers of holistic dental practitioners. When choosing your dentist, do not hesitate in posing questions relevant to your overall health and on the dentist’s attitude towards the various subjects discussed in this article. They will surely be more than happy to oblige.