Holistic Dentistry – Is This the Future of Modern Dentistry?
Oral health has a greater impact on a person’s overall well-being than most tend to realize. Poor oral health has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, cancer, infertility, and even erectile dysfunction in men. A regular visit to your dentist is highly recommended to assure problems with your oral health can be detected early and treated appropriately. Ultimately, this will help to reduce the risk of these diseases and also help to reduce the risk that you may lose your teeth or suffer from a dental disease. With the increased interest in opting for a holistic approach to healthcare, people are now also turning toward holistic dentistry to help them keep their oral health in check.
In today’s article, we would like to introduce you to the concept of holistic dentistry. This interesting concept has already won its fans all around the world, sharing its unique ideas and methods that have been specially designed to help the patients and do nothing else but good. Although some people consider this concept to be a bit controversial, it is up to each individual to decide for themselves what is their opinion on the topic of holistic dentistry and today we are here to help you do that and perhaps join this unique concept.
What is there to know about holistic dentistry?
Holistic dentistry is also known by many other names such as biological dentistry, alternative dentistry, natural dentistry and many more. All of these terms are used to describe one, unique, contemporary [i]approach to the treatment of our oral health. What makes the holistic dentistry a unique [ii]methodology is the fact that a holistic practitioner examinates [iii]every single relationship between your oral health and the rest of the body, including every single body organ and system.
Holistic dentistry focuses on sleeping and breathing as two of the closest body functions to oral health, thinking how the mouth is basically the gateway to the respiratory tract. That is why a holistic dentist examinates the way that you sleep and breathe, analyzing and identifying any present abnormalities. The holistic dentistry also focuses on your eating habits and your dental care routine. Holistic dentistry[iv] is not only focused on treating the problems linked to your dental health. This type of dentistry mainly focuses on preventing common dental health issues and teaching the patient about taking good care of his/her oral health, as well as about the importance of quality sleep, proper breathing and healthy eating habits.
Holistic dentistry is considered safe and an effective methodology that has been supported by actual scientific research. Despite all the criticism, holistic dentistry actually uses a lot of the same materials and technology that are used in the general dentistry as we know it. The only difference is the fact that, in holistic dentistry, the dentist will look further than the mouth of the patient to discover the root of the problem. And in most cases, this approach is more acceptable and suitable.
If you think about it – the dentist can do a lot to take care of your current problem, but chances are that you will face that very same problem in the near future. That is not the case with a holistic dentist, who will actually take the time to discover the root of the problem and do whatever they can to remove that root as a part of the treatment. The holistic dentist will also educate the patient on the most effective techniques that can be utilized to improve their oral health, which, in turn, also contributes to better overall health.
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Possible Safety Concerns Of Holistic Dentistry
Individuals who are interesting in switching to holistic dentistry often have certain questions that arise, especially when they start to investigate the pros and cons of seeing a holistic dentist. There are, in fact, some potential safety concerns that need to be discussed in terms of choosing to only utilize holistic dentistry and completely avoid using conventional dentistry services.
One of the most significant concerns come into play when we take a look at a dental abscess. When tooth decay occurs and bacterial leaks into a tooth’s root, it can cause an abscess to form. Holistic dentists do have their own ways of dealing with these abscesses, but there is still a lack of appropriate scientific data to support the effectiveness of natural substances in the treatment of bacterial infections – especially when these bacterial infections affect the teeth and gums of a dental patient.
There are cases where these concerns may not play as significant of a role. When a dental abscess can be extracted effectively by the holistic dentist, then the use of medication to treat the bacterial infection in the patient’s body may not be necessary.
The conventional treatment option for a dental abscess is often to prescribe the patient a type of antibiotic that is known to work effectively on treating an abscess found within the mouth. Antibiotics are effective and proven to work relatively quickly. On the other hand, antibiotics are also associated with certain side-effects that could be unpleasant, such as an impaired immune system.
These factors can make it relatively difficult for a person to decide whether they should opt for a holistic dentist or a conventional dentist when they develop a dental abscess. Ultimately, a patient needs to weigh the pros and cons of each option for their condition. If they have an abscess that is spreading to their jawbone, for example, then a visit to a conventional dentist might be a better solution due to the need for a fast-acting antibiotic.
A very useful option is for a patient to visit both a conventional dentist and a holistic dentist. They can get a full checkup of their overall dental health and the particular conditions they are concerned about. The opinion and recommendations provided by both dentists can then be taken into account. This will give the patient an overview and a better understanding of which option will be the most useful and also the most effective for them.
Holistic dentistry has existed for a long time now, however, lately, it has been especially popular among the lovers of the alternative therapy methods. Being an alternative therapy itself, the holistic dentistry offers new guidelines for the early diagnosis of the common oral problems, focusing especially on preventing these problems by looking into every single link between oral health and all of the other body systems. The holistic practitioners are no fewer professionals as compared with the general dentists, however, they have their own guidelines which they use in order to effectively take care of your oral health and improve it in the future.
[i] Damle SG, (2016), Eco-friendly dentistry: The future of dentistry?, Contemporary Clinical Dentistry 7(4): 423–425
[ii] Greene CS, (1981), Holistic dentistry. Where does the holistic end and the quackery begin?, Journal of the American Dental Association 102(1):25-7
[iii] Lindahl RL, (1979), Holistic approach to dental care, American Journal of Public Health 69(11): 1186
[iv] Schissel MJ, Dodes JE, (1997), Dentistry and alternative therapy, The New York State Dental Journal 63(3):32-7