by Dr. Richard Porcelli, DDS
One’s oral health is crucial for overall health. Dentists who practice holistically look at the whole body, not just the teeth and gums. They strive to understand how your overall health affects your dental health and how dentistry affects your overall health. They may advise and offer programs on preventative care that goes beyond practicing good oral hygiene to emphasize better nutrition. Holistic dentists aim to minimize the use of any potential dental toxins through special equipment, safe protocols and a highly-trained team.
By working to discover the underlying issues of the dental problems, as opposed to just treating the problem, you can prevent them from reoccurring and reduce your need for treatment in the future. The principles of holistic dentistry can be applied to every phase of your dental treatment plan.
A holistic approach to modern dentistry includes:
Mercury Safe. In addition to being a mercury-free office (never placing NEW mercury amalgams), holistic dentists are also mercury safe. When treatment is indicated, mercury-safe dentists remove and replace silver amalgam (mercury) fillings with BPA-free white composite fillings, while keeping you safe from the mercury that is released in the process. The process includes using high speed suction, quartering the amalgam in large pieces, mercury vapor collectors, nosepieces with breathing air, air purifiers, carbon vacuum, rubber dams and protective barriers for both patients and the dental team. Holistic dental offices will also have an amalgam separator, which keeps the toxic mercury from getting into the local water systems.
Biocompatibility. Offer biocompatibility testing of materials. The test involves testing blood serum for pre-existing antibodies to more than 140 metals and chemicals that can be found in dental materials. This prevents the placement of materials that could prove to be an ongoing source of toxins or allergic reactions.
Fluoride conscious. Recommend limiting the use of fluoride and only use carbon-filtered water in the dental lines and fluoride-alternative products.
Nutrition Conscious. A holistic approach supports a real food diet that naturally supports the body’s own immune system and is integrative with homeopathy, acupuncture and other modalities. They can help you with a customized diet that supports your healthy and natural detoxification.
Oxygen/Ozone Therapy. Disinfects and treats infected areas without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Improves blood flow, immune response and more rapid healing.
Digital X-rays. Provide less radiation than traditional x-rays.