Holistic or natural dentistry applies the holistic philosophy to oral healthcare: oral healthcare should consider the needs of the entire person and not just the needs of the mouth. Holistic dentists acknowledge the mouth as part of the entire body and person, whereas traditional dentists generally focus on caring for the mouth alone.
Many traditional and holistic dentists often clash over modern treatments, like mercury fillings, root canal therapy, fluoride treatments, and biocompatibility. Many traditional dentists use mercury fillings for a multitude of reasons, including that the ADA and the FDA has stated the miniscule amount of mercury in fillings is safe. Most holistic dentists do not use mercury fillings because they believe that the small amount is still too toxic to put in the body. Although the mercury filling can help the decaying tooth, it can also negatively affect the rest of the body. Holistic dentists may use a white or another kind of composite filling. Many holistic dentists also support biocompatibility, which tests how well individuals react to various treatment materials. Biocompatibility allows for the most beneficial materials to be used for individual oral healthcare. Regardless of being traditional or holistic, all dentists are determined to provide the best and safest healthcare to their patients.
To find a holistic dentist near you, visit www.holisticdental.org/find_holistic_dental.
Submitted by Diana Dubs, Natural Awakenings intern 2013.