Written by Dr. Scott Chandler, DMD | Silver Creek Dental
There is no denying the fact that many Americans are on a quest for better health, and many are looking to non-traditional means to do so. Recent changes in healthcare have also caused many to look outside the traditional box for answers. Furthermore, the availability of information due to the internet has made healthcare consumers more involved in their own health than ever before. The amount of money spent on alternative health care is expected to surpass $115 billion worldwide by 2015. Some reports say that over 50 percent of patients in developed nations and 75 percent in developing nations regularly use alternative medicine.
Notwithstanding these worldwide trends, dentistry has been slow to offer patients what some may consider “more alternative options.” Although growing, membership remains relatively low in organizations such as the Holistic Dental Association and the International Academy of Oral and Medical Toxicology.
During the past decade, many links between oral health and systemic health have been investigated, with many studies showing correlations between gum disease and cardiovascular disease, low-birth weight babies and even stillbirth.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel on dental amalgam in December 2010 warned against the use of amalgam in vulnerable populations and insisted that FDA had a duty to disclose amalgam’s risks to parents and consumers. As panelist Dr. Suresh Kotagal – a pediatric neurologist at the Mayo Clinic – summed it up, there is “no place for mercury in children.”
The FDA panelists are not alone. Other countries are already working to protect vulnerable populations, especially children, from exposure to amalgam. For example, the 47 nations of the Council of Europe passed a resolution calling on the nations to start “restricting or prohibiting the use of amalgams as dental fillings,” stating that mercury exposure can seriously affect the health of both patients and dental professionals. The Council cited early exposure, through embryos, fetuses and breastfeeding as especially serious risks for health problems.
Though highly controversial, a Holistic (Biological) Dentist would tell you that for some people, there may be risks to your health from common, everyday dental products such as mercury amalgam (silver) fillings and even fluoride. Common medications for anxiety and depression can cause severe tooth grinding with resulting migraines, TMD, and Restless Leg Syndrome. Severe tooth wear can also be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a deadly problem which many dentists treat with an oral appliance. A Holistic dentist may be able to help.
What does it mean to be a Holistic Dentist (also known as biologic, mercury free, and whole person dentist)?
The Simple Answer:
Holistic dentistry is an alternative approach to dentistry that believes your oral health is absolutely interconnected to your overall health. It focuses on using biocompatible (non-toxic) restorative materials, eliminating infections, and promoting optimal teeth/jaw/head /neck structural relationships. Because no dentist can “do it all,” they will often work together with a wide variety of healthcare professionals promoting integrated, complimentary care. The focus of a true Holistic Dentist is to identify areas of oral disease and structural dysfunction that may be negatively impacting the health and wellbeing of the patient. As a rule, they will then use the least invasive, least traumatic, and least toxic means of diagnosis and treatment. True holistic care supports the body’s natural abilities of self-healing and regeneration.
As a Holistic dentist office, many of our patients have been referred to us by their alternative healthcare provider, such as a naturopathic physician, chiropractor or nutritionist. We work to resolve concerns the patient may have regarding their oral care and how it may relate to their overall health. We offer services such as safe mercury removal, metal free ceramic implants, and bio-compatible restorative materials and procedures. We also test and treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which can be life changing.
If you have questions about how biological dentistry may be right for your family, call Dr. Chandler and his team at Silver Creek Dental in Payson, UT. (801) 465-1810