The traditional approach to dentistry is based on information that has been scientifically proven to be effective and safe in improving the oral health of the public, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). That said, there are unconventional dental philosophies, such as whole-body dentistry, that have gained the interest of many patients and professionals alike. Before you visit an alternative dental provider, here's what you should know about whole-body dental treatments.
What Is Whole-Body Dentistry?
Whole-body dental care is also referred to as alternative, natural, biologic or holistic dentistry. Nagel Ramiel, author of Cure Tooth Decay, states that this unconventional approach to dentistry is one in which dentists deal with the mind, body and spirit of their patients, not just the health of their teeth. Their goal is to ensure that any treatment done to the teeth or gums does not adversely affect their patients' overall health, and this perspective is based on three core principles:
- Nutrition: The first principle concerns the role of nutrition in preventing and reversing dental diseases. Holistic dentists believe that diet correction and supplementation help to cure ailments of the mouth, teeth, gums and the body naturally.
- Toxin elimination: The second principle involves avoidance and elimination of toxins that holistic dentists believe are found in certain dental materials. Holistic dentists don't use amalgam to fill cavities because of its mercury content, which they believe causes negative effects throughout the body. They also discourage the use of fluoride because they feel it has adverse consequences on teeth and the body. Lastly, holistic dentists don't recommend root canal treatment because they believe that some bacteria can remain after the pulp is removed and cause infection.
- Biologic treatment for gum disease: Holistic dentists also use nutritional supplementation, particularly diets rich in vitamin C, for the treatment of gum disease. They would not recommend periodontal surgery, which is a standard treatment in conventional dentistry.
Whole-Body Dental Treatments
Breiner Whole-Body Dentistry offers the typical services that holistic offices may use to treat their patients. For example, initial examinations take about two hours and include 3D head scans to check a patient's sinuses, airways and neck alignment. Measurements are taken for metal toxicity, and 40 points are checked on the patient's fingers and toes for imbalances. They also do a microscopic analysis of plaque removed from under the gums.
At a whole-body dental office, extractions and routine cleanings may be offered, but root canal therapy and periodontal surgeries likely would not. Breiner treats periodontal disease through alternative methods, including vitamin C therapies, bite adjustments, oxygen therapy and antibiotic chips inserted between the gum and the tooth.
Breiner's dentists also perform amalgam removal and initiate detoxification treatments. Before removing these fillings, they measure the levels of toxins throughout the body and begin homeopathic remedies in the form of vitamins, minerals and other supplements.
Although these methods may claim to be effective, if you need dental treatment of any kind, it's important to ensure that your dentist's methods have been scientifically proven and validated.
What Dental Experts Say
Amalgam fillings have been used to treat dental decay for over 150 years, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Based on scientific evidence, the FDA considers these fillings safe for adults and children over age 6 and confirms there's no link between amalgam fillings and adverse health effects. The ADA also agrees that amalgam is a safe, stable filling material, and because of its strength, durability and affordability, it's commonly used in dentistry today.
Similarly, the ADA affirms that fluoride strengthens the teeth and prevents decay, and the American Association of Endodontists reassures that there is no scientific evidence that root canal treatment leads to disease elsewhere in the body. If your dentist recommends any of these treatments, you should feel confident that it is in the best interest of your dental health.
Everyone deserves safe and effective dental treatments. This is why the ADA encourages patients to look to scientifically sound approaches for dental care. So, if you are choosing a new dentist but are concerned about their treatment philosophy, look for a dentist who is a member of the ADA, who you know will use proven and effective methods of treatment.