How to Choose a Holistic Biological Dentist
There is a considerable difference between a holistic biological dentist and a typical dentist. Some typical dentists might market themselves as a “biological dentist,” thinking that doing so will attract more patients, so it will benefit you to know what to look for and what questions to ask. Sometimes, a good dentist is what you need to recover your health! Whoever you choose, it helps to be aware of the different perspectives to make a choice that fits you best. Here are some general differences I have noticed as I have visited both types of offices over the years for exams, cleanings, cavities and other more serious dental problems.
The Typical Dentist
Most typical dentists, when confronting cavities, think only of drilling and filling and don’t consider other options. Sometimes this option works and preserves the teeth for many years. Typical dentists won’t discuss much about the filling material or its properties. They might be concerned about matching the color, but would probably not discuss with you the compatibility of the filling material. Many typical dentists are now opting for white fillings over mercury amalgam fillings, as they are said to be safer and more cosmetically pleasing. Mercury amalgam is the easiest filling material to work with, and is still widely used, unfortunately. Amalgam fillings are typically composed of 50% mercury, one of the most toxic substances known. These materials should never be in our mouths, as they have been proven to off-gas toxic mercury vapor, especially when a person chews or has any friction against the filling. Some dentists argue that there is no danger and others disagree.
Typical dentists are very likely to recommend a flouride rinse after drilling and filling your teeth. Fluoride is very toxic as well, so you should certainly decline the offer. There have been recorded cases of fatalities to children in the dentist chair because of swallowing the flouride rinse instead of spitting it out. Dentists often tell their patients that fluoride hardens the enamel, making teeth less likely to get cavities. This is a controversial topic but is widely accepted and promoted regardless of the inherent known dangers of fluoride. Fluoride has been seen to cause injury to teeth and causes abnormal bright white chalky spots, brown spots, pitting and other problems. It’s found in tooth bleaching products as well, and is sold and used through most typical dental offices. Most dentists are very good at drilling and filling and doing other common procedures but often use toxic products. There is a general attitude that unsafe substances in small amounts won’t really hurt you, and so they are used everyday. Some dentists seem totally unconcerned and unaware of the toxicity of substances they use in their practices.
Root canals are routinely done in a typical dental or endodental office. This is where a highly infected or dead tooth is drilled out and stripped of the nerve tissue because it is too sick to heal. The tooth gets capped off and left in the mouth for practical use, like chewing, and cosmetic reasons, so there isn’t an unsightly gap. The tooth no longer has a blood supply and is essentially dead tissue in the mouth. There doesn’t seem to be much concern as to the safety of this procedure in a typical dental office.
The Holistic Biological Dentist
Biological dentists deal with many of the same dental issues as a typical dentist but their approach may be very different at times. They might consider remineralization of a tooth that has a cavity because they are aware that it can sometimes be effective as an option to drilling and filling. They would probably have more awareness of how to achieve that healing effect. This doesn’t mean that they don’t fill cavities, it just means they might consider something else as a way to heal the tooth. They would hopefully weigh the potential damage of high speed drilling into the delicate structure of the tooth against the alternative of allowing the cavity to heal. Teeth seem solid but are actually made of microscopically small tubules that are shattered by the heat and friction of the drill. They might test the compatibility of filling materials to see what is best for the patient, too. Hopefully, they would have a good selection of non-toxic filling materials.
Biological dentists are inclined to advise their patient to remove all mercury fillings because of the toxicity factor. Truly holistic biological dentists will follow a very specific and careful protocol, using dental damns, extensive draping and masking, and specialized high-speed suction tubes to avoid exposure to the extremely toxic mercury vapors that are released during the procedure. They are aware that if they don’t do these things, they are endangering their patients and themselves to a serious degree.
These dentists are less likely to do root canals on their patients because they know that root canals are never safe. They know that infected teeth cannot ever be completely sanitized because of their intricate structure. There is a flow of liquid through the tubules in live teeth, but a dead tooth doesn’t have that flow to keep things healthy and clean. Teeth that have had a root canal are dead; without blood supply, lymph and the other normal bodily processes. Biological dentists are more likely to advise extracting a tooth rather than leaving a dead tooth in the mouth and just capping it off because it fills the space. They are concerned about the health implications of having dead tissue in the mouth.
Most good holistic biological dentists treat cavitations. This involves diagnosing areas of infection in the jawbone and drilling into the infected bone to clean out the infection. This procedure can be life changing when it is needed to restore health.
Biological dentists also avoid using flouride. They use the safest products and procedures to restore health to you as a whole person, being concerned to not inflict damage to you. They are also much more open to holistic options and ways to support healing, like specific nutritional supplementation and diet. They are more likely to ask more questions about overall health and symptoms throughout the body.
These dentists are generally interested in a careful approach and treat their patients with a comprehensive program. The care is likely to be more expensive than a typical dentist and might be more time consuming and exhaustive in in exam phase. They may or may not accept insurance. The way they practice is their priority, not whether insurance companies will approve of their specialized care. They are probably in big demand and you may need to wait to get an appointment, regardless of the prices. Good biological dentists are rare.
Deciding Who to See
These observations are from my personal experiences. I have learned that it is worth it to choose a really good biological dentist for most dental procedures, if not all. When your goal is to heal your body by understanding the interconnectedness of how things affect each other, you would be more inclined to want to find a good holistic, biological dentist. When health challenges are related to teeth, and you need to know how to support the healing of your body through the healing of your teeth and jaw, the right biological dentist is vital. Biological dentists often clean up problems created by typical dentists. A great biological dentist provides expert diagnostic and restorative treatment and supports you as you work to understand how to avoid future dental related illnesses. I hope you will take this to heart as it may make a big difference in your health!
~ Written by Jean Nelson, CBCP