As providers of holistic dentistry, Elite Smiles would like to outline exactly what holistic dentistry is for those who are unfamiliar. For more information, contact your dentist in Mesa.
A Brief Overview
Also called biological dentistry or natural dentistry, holistic dentistry can be seen as a dental approach that takes the overall health of the body into account. The body, like nature, is an interconnected system—problems in one area of the body (like dental problems) can have negative affects on other, seemingly unrelated parts of the body… and vice-verse. A holistic dentist regards oral health as one aspect of overall health. As such, healthy dental treatment options are available for virtually any procedures, from cosmetic dentistry to periodontics—holistic dentistry is the combining of sound dental science with comprehensive dental treatment.
The Problem with Conventional Dentistry
Conventional dentistry sees the mouth and teeth as separate from the rest of the body in that they need to be treated and maintained separately. For example, according to this dental practice, having plaque on your teeth is seen as a problem to be solved quickly and easily at any cost so it won’t cause health problems later down the line… when in fact what causes problematic oral flora (plaque) is actually much larger than just dental hygiene: such things like poor gut health or inflammation contribute to plaque formation.
Beyond this limited view of health, conventional dentistry—at least in the US—is also still using many dental products like amalgam (silver) fillings, which are all but criminalized in many European countries due to their hazardous nature.
If you address the bigger picture by looking at overall wellness, rather than focusing only on individual parts and symptoms, then you can help restore balance both inside and outside the mouth. If you substitute hazardous products with biocompatible dental materials, you can ensure the health of the teeth, gums and body as a whole in the long-term.
Due to the nature of holistic dentistry, its healthier approach, and biocompatible materials it employs, conventional dentistry is beginning to adopt many holistic dental procedures—even if these conventional dentists don’t official regard themselves as holistic dentists.
At Elite Smiles, holistic dentistry is our philosophy, and we employ it in any treatment that we do. Check out our Holistic Dentistry page for more information about what holistic dentistry is, how it can be applied to individual treatments like root canals or fillings, and how you too could benefit from this approach!
Services & Materials Holistic Dentistry Avoids
One of the more common holistic dental treatments is to replace silver-amalgam fillings with natural resin composite materials that are biocompatible and better for your overall health. These materials non-toxic, safe, and effective! Let’s compare.
- Are actually composed mainly of mercury, a toxic heavy metal;
- Have no adhesive quality—they need to be forced or wedged into place, which can cause micro-fractures in the teeth leading to plaque build up and further dental decay;
- Expand and contract with temperature changes, causing more micro-fractures;
- Are found to be aesthetically unpleasing by many people, as they cause a “metal mouth” look.
- Are biocompatible and perfectly safe;
- Are naturally adhesive, meaning they don’t need to be forced in place;
- Don’t expand and contract with temperature changes the way silver fillings do;
- Look and feel just like natural teeth, a more aesthetically appealing factor for many people.
Non-Metal / Zirconium Dental Implants:
Metal dental implants can cause many of the same issues as metal fillings. Zirconium implants, on the other hand, are fully biocompatible and even more durable than metal implants!
Digital X-Ray Technology:
Traditional radiographs are not perfect. They expose the patient to additive radiation, much more than should be required for mere dental imaging.
Digital x-rays, on the other hand, use minimal amounts of radiation to achieve even higher resolution images, and they are processed by computer software with no risk of interference from outside sources whatsoever!
Periodontics offers a wide range of procedures to treat and prevent gum disease, which is not always necessary since gingivitis can be prevented through changes in diet and oral hygiene.
That said, more advanced forms of gingivitis like periodontitis require medical intervention.
Root planning is a process wherein the tooth root is filed until it is perfectly smooth, removing any impaction sites that would otherwise trap bacteria and food particles. Root planing may be done along with scaling, which involves scraping the top surfaces of teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
Both of these procedure are often performed at the same time as other standard dental procedures like fillings or extractions.
Holistic Periodontics recognizes that sometimes root planing causes gum recession exposing more of the tooth below its protective gums; this can lead to further sensitivity problems for patients who brush their teeth too aggressively. A better solution for this scenario is scaling without root planning on first visit, then following up with another appointment several weeks later to complete the scaling process.
Is this holistic? Root planing may cause gum recession, but it isn’t doing anything toxic or harmful. Periodontal disease causes gum recession as well, and root planing is the removal of bacterial plaque and tartar (calculus) that can cause gum and bone loss. If root planing causes temporary gum recession then that’s unfortunate, but it is simply a side effect of removing plaque and tartar buildup. Recessions are not necessarily bad in all cases since they can lead to access for further care. The gums also grow back over the exposed teeth over time.
Dental Decay & Gum Disease Can Lead to Serious Health Issues
Research has shown a connection between problems like dental decay and gum disease and serious health problems like heart attack and stroke. In fact, the risk of a heart attack is much greater in people who have periodontal disease. The risk of stroke is also much greater.
More advanced stages of gum disease can lead to tooth loss which renders the teeth more susceptible to decay that could cause further health issues like blood infection or systemic diseases due to malnutrition.
Physicians now agree that instead of just treating cavities and inflammation in an attempt to keep patients away from the dentist’s chair as often as possible for brief periods, there is actually a strong correlation between dental health and general health. This has led physicians to go so far as suggesting that dentistry be added as primary care alongside conventional treatments. The same holds true for traditional Eastern medicine practitioners who have long held holistic beliefs regarding human health and the consequences of poor dental hygiene.
Holistic dentistry is a relatively new approach to dental care, which focuses on seeing the body as an interconnected system rather than isolated parts that can be treated independently. Rather than treating problems like gum disease and cavities, holistic practitioners address the root causes of these issues by looking at how they relate, affect, or stem from one’s overall health. These practices should be used in all areas of dentistry for both preventative and corrective purposes.
Contact Elite Smiles Today!
Contact our Mesa dental clinic today at (480) 924-5577 or fill out the form below. We can help no matter what your dental issues may be. We look forward to speaking with you soon!