As the landscape toward alternative approaches and natural medicine takes center stage, there are now more people searching online for a ‘holistic dentist near me.’
Holistic dentistry is a complementary alternative to traditional dental care, with dental practitioners going for more natural techniques.
But what exactly is holistic dentistry, and should you consider it?
This article delves deeper into holistic dentistry, highlighting essential aspects, including:
- Understanding holistic dentistry and how it is done;
- Highlighting the benefits of holistic dentistry;
- Pointing out the key differences between holistic and traditional dentistry;
- Advising ways to find a good holistic dentist near you.
What Is Holistic Dentistry?
Holistic dentistry, also known as natural or biological dentistry, refers to an approach to oral healthcare that focuses on the patient’s overall well-being.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, holistic dentistry is not a recognized specialty, meaning its definition may be up for interpretation by different practitioners.
However, it recognizes that holistic dentists believe that a patient’s oral health is interconnected with their general body health. This makes them take a whole-body approach when tackling dental issues and consider dental treatments that will positively affect the rest of the body.
Moreover, holistic dentists prefer a more natural approach to dental health. This means that you may not get conventional substances, such as fluoride, as holistic dentists prefer using more natural substances in their treatment.
When you have a dental concern, traditional dentists mainly focus on the key problem in your oral cavity. However, holistic dentists not only focus on the main problem but will also focus on your overall body health and determine if and how that issue can interfere with general body health.
So, what qualifications do holistic dentists have?
Holistic dentists have the same qualifications as general dentists and can perform the same treatments and procedures. However, the approach to your treatment will be different.
How Does a Holistic Dentist Work?
Natural dentistry approaches oral healthcare from a whole-body perspective. A holistic dentist has the same qualifications and licenses as a general dentist. However, their approach toward dentistry may be slightly different.
So, how does a holistic dentist work?
- Comprehensive assessment
Holistic dentists begin their treatment by conducting a thorough oral health assessment of the patient. Besides looking at the patient’s oral cavity, they also tie their current situation with their lifestyle, medical and dental history, and potential underlying health concerns. After the comprehensive assessment, holistic dentists can develop a holistic treatment plan.
- Whole-body approach
A holistic dentist ties the patient’s oral health with the well-being of their entire body. Holistic dentists know that dental concerns may affect other body parts and organs. For instance, oral infections may contribute to gut problems, and inflammations may indicate cardiac issues, etc.
- Using natural and biocompatible materials
Holistic dentists mainly rely on natural and biocompatible materials throughout their treatment approach. This means they avoid toxic substances and opt for much safer solutions to minimize the potential risk of reactions to traditional materials.
- Focus on minimally invasive techniques
Holistic dentists emphasize conservation and the use of minimally invasive treatments whenever possible. This means they ensure to exhaust all possible treatments before resorting to any aggressive interventions. This is one of the reasons holistic dentistry is also known as preventive dentistry, as dentists work with the patient to ensure they are in good oral and body health, thus avoiding the need for future oral concerns that may need invasive treatments.
What Are the Benefits of a Holistic Dentist?
There is still much room for more research on holistic dentistry to determine its long-term benefits. However, a few reasons make this a beneficial alternative to traditional dentistry. Some of them include:
- More focus on general health: Holistic dentistry focuses more on the connection between oral and overall body health.
- Treatment suited to your preferences and lifestyle: If you follow a more natural approach towards your health and well-being, holistic dentistry can perfectly fit into your lifestyle.
- Use of biocompatible materials: Holistic dentists use biocompatible materials that are free from any form of toxicity.
- More focus on preservation: Holistic dentists aim to preserve as much of the natural oral cavity, meaning their treatment focuses on prevention and conservation.
Differences Between Holistic Dentists and Traditional Dentists?
Both holistic and traditional dentistry focus on the oral health of the patient. However, holistic dentists go beyond just focusing on dental health locally and often consider the impact of their oral situation on the body.
Here are the main differences between holistic dentistry and traditional dentistry:
The primary difference between natural and conventional dentistry lies in their philosophies. Traditional dentistry solely focuses on the patient’s oral health. This involves assessments, diagnosis, and formulating treatments that only focus on the affected area.
On the other hand, holistic dentistry focuses on the patient’s entire body. Holistic dentists believe the mouth is the gateway to the body, so they tie the oral issue with other body parts, leaving no stone unturned.
The latter is ideal for people that care more about their overall health and would find it better knowing they have a clean bill of health whenever they visit the dentist.
Holistic dentists differ from traditional dentists in their modes of treatment. For instance, while conventional dentists promote scientifically-proven methods like flossing and fillings, holistic dentists use variations of these methods.
For instance, holistic dentistry treatments include therapies like herbology, nutrition education, aromatherapy, and more. This means that besides following traditional means of treating a condition like cavities, holistic dentists will go further to advise you on a good nutrition plan that can help you to avoid such problems in the future as part of their treatment plan.
Furthermore, holistic dentists avoid certain conventional treatments, such as root canals. They believe such procedures are unsafe due to the chemicals used.
Instead, such dentists may go for alternatives, such as:
- Regenerative procedures, which stimulate the growth of new dentin to promote natural healing and tooth regeneration.
- Ozone Therapy which utilizes ozone gas to disinfect and treat infected root canals.
- Laser Therapy to sterilize infected root canals, promoting healing and reducing the need for invasive procedures.
- Prioritizing the use of biocompatible materials that are less likely to cause adverse reactions or harm the body over time.
- Provide nutritional and lifestyle recommendations to support healing and enhance oral health.
Here’s a quick video explainer by Dr. Maryam Horiyat, DDS, on the holistic alternatives to root canal treatment:
Another key difference between holistic and traditional dentists is the materials they use. On one hand, traditional dentists use conventional materials that have been scientifically proven to resolve certain dental concerns.
For instance, they will most likely prescribe medicated mouthwash or gingivectomy treatment when you have bad breath or gingivitis.
On the other hand, holistic dentists opt for biocompatible materials in their treatment. These natural remedies have been researched to be compatible with your body and immune system.
For example, while conventional dentists will recommend medicated mouthwash, holistic dentists will not. This is because of the belief that such products kill the oral microbiome.
In that case, a holistic dentist may recommend using herbal mouthwash.
Furthermore, holistic dentists have numerous reservations about the use of fluoride. They do not promote its use as they believe it does more harm to one’s oral and overall body health than good.
Here’s a quick summary of the key differences between holistic dentistry and traditional dentistry:
|Whole-body approach; considers overall health
|Primarily focuses on oral health and dental issues
|Natural, non-toxic, biocompatible materials
|Traditional dental materials and treatments
|Emphasizes conservative and minimally invasive techniques
|May involve more aggressive treatments and procedures
|Avoids the use of mercury-based amalgam fillings
|May use mercury-based amalgam fillings
|Collaboration with healthcare professionals
|Collaborates with other healthcare practitioners for integrated care
|Typically does not involve collaboration beyond dental professionals
|Emphasizes patient education and preventive care
|Provides information on oral hygiene and general oral health practices
|Encourages preventive measures and early detection of issues
|Focuses on treating dental issues once they arise
|Personalized treatment plans
|Tailors treatment plans based on individual needs and preferences
|Follows standardized treatment protocols for most patients
How to Find a Holistic Dentist Near Me
If you are interested in finding a holistic dentist near you, here are a few steps you can follow to find the best in your area:
- Research online by using keywords like “holistic dentist near me” or “holistic dentist in [your location].”
- Seek recommendations from friends, family, or health-focused communities.
- Consult professional directories, such as the Holistic Dental Association (HDA).
- Consult your local integrative health centers, as they often have a network of holistic practitioners.
Typical Costs for Holistic Dentistry Near You
The average cost of holistic dentistry depends on various factors, such as:
- Treatment being offered
- Dentist’s experience, and more.
However, it is important to note that since holistic dentistry focuses on preventive and conservation care, it can save you lots of money on dental care.
Does Insurance Cover Holistic Dentistry?
A dentist without insurance generally costs more. However, most dental insurance plans cover traditional dental treatments, meaning holistic dentistry coverage can be limited.
Nevertheless, discussing this with your insurance provider and consulting your holistic dentist to get the full information is important. Alternatively, you may consider some of the best dental discount plans to help take down the average cost of your treatment.
Holistic dentistry has greatly revolutionized dental care, leading patients to seek a healthier approach. Biological dentists often use biocompatible materials and treatments. However, some may use a mix of these and conventional methods to treat their patients.
When choosing the best holistic dentist, discussing their treatment plans and overall approach is important before settling on them.
Holistic dentists use biocompatible materials, ozone therapy, and laser therapy as alternatives to root canals.
When seeking a holistic dentist, looking for one who emphasizes a whole-body approach to dental care and uses natural and biocompatible materials is essential.
Holistic dentistry is also known as biological dentistry, natural dentistry, or integrative dentistry.
A holistic approach to dental care considers the interconnectedness of oral health with overall well-being. It also focuses on using natural and biocompatible materials, practicing minimally invasive techniques, and promoting preventive care.
Yes, holistic dentistry can be suitable for children. It emphasizes preventive care, minimally invasive treatments, and the use of natural materials, which can be beneficial for children's developing oral health.