Holistic Dentists are also known as mercury-free and biologic practitioners. But what exactly does it mean to be one?
The short answer is:
It is a different approach. Unlike others, holistic dentists believe that a patient's oral health is closely connected to their overall health and well-being. It utilizes non-toxic, biocompatible restorative materials, and eliminates infections while promoting better structural relationships between your teeth, jaw, neck, and head.
Of course, no professional can do everything, so they'll often work alongside other healthcare professionals to promote complimentary, integrated care. A good holistic practitioner will be able to identify areas of structural dysfunction and oral disease which might negatively impact the patient's well-being and overall health.
As a rule, they will always go for the least toxic, least traumatic and least invasive means of treatment and diagnosis. Proper holistic care will support the natural self-healing abilities of the body so it can regenerate.
The long answer is:
First and foremost, it's very important to understand what is it that all holistic dental experts share. For instance, they all have graduated from a Doctoral (Post Graduate) program for dentistry, and they are all certified with the credentials of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). Beyond that, of course, it can get somewhat complicated. Mostly, a professional who refers to themselves as "Holistic" has graduated from dental school, and through their study, reached the conclusion that the impact of dental therapy can be seen throughout the entirety of the body.
A Holistic Dentist believes the mouth is connected to the rest of the body, and anything that happens to it can have a positive or negative effect on a patient's overall health and well-being.
Of course, since there isn't a dedicated School of Holistic Dentists, it can be hard to find a standard by which you as a patient can evaluate such a professional. Their path is different and unique, as their post-school education and experience will always vary.
Some dentists' education might have emphasized the toxicity of heavy metals such as mercury, or preventative programs, while others might have been more interested in orthopedic orthodontics or preventative programs.
In one way or another, understanding the background of who you choose will go a long way in understanding which philosophies and beliefs they hold. This will allow you to further determine which one might be a good fit according to your own personal needs and beliefs.
Here are some of the philosophies and areas related to Holistic Dentistry, starting from the most common all the way to the least.
**NOTE: It is important to be aware that many call themselves biological or mercury-free because they have stopped using silver or mercury fillings.
Make sure that anyone you consider has had significant training in handling this kind of filling if you have any in your mouth, as recommended by the IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.
According to the institution, removing this type of filling without following the correct guidelines can be harmful to yourself as well as the dental practice professionals.