The term "Holistic" has come to mean many different things, but what it originally referred to as "the whole", in our case, the relation of the gums, teeth and oral cavity to the "whole body". I like to refer to what we do as "Whole Body Dentistry" because we should always be aware of how disease in the mouth and oral cavity can affect the rest of the body and, conversely, how disease somewhere else in the body can affect the oral cavity. We should also be aware of the Mind/Body connection. The surprising thing to me is that these concepts are seen as some sort of exciting new "discovery" when this is what good, caring dentists have been doing all along.
I view Holistic and some Alternative treatments as an adjunct to conventional care. Some of the treatments do not stand up to the rigors of scientific proof (which is a "must" for me), but many do. So let's not "throw out the baby with the bathwater".
There is really no specialty in "Holistic Dentistry" and "credentials" are somewhat ambiguous so please allow me to list for you what i think my qualifications are and let you judge.
- I am a Fellow of the Institute of Nutritional and Systemic Dentistry, with a one-year course of study, completing all 6 levels.
- I have completed over 100 hours of Holistic/Biological dentistry studies with the Holistic Dental Society, Biological Dentistry, International Academy of Oral and Medical Toxicology, Dietrich Klinghardt, etc.
- As a University Clinical Professor of Dentistry, I taught Nutrition and Minimally Invasive Dentistry to dental students in NYC.
- I have studied and used "established protocols" in the safe removal of Amalgam-Mercury fillings
- I was the first dentist in Manhattan (about 12 years before it was legally mandated by New York State) to have special equipment (Amalgam Separator) to separate and remove Mercury before it went into the public water supply.
- I have given about a dozen courses and seminars to the public on Holistic Dentistry at the New Life Expo.
- I have been recommending and giving (not selling) nutritional supplements and "natural" modalities like Xylitol and Probiotics (oral probiotics now), as well as Valerian, etc for over 30 years.
- We always emphasize Prevention and Early Intervention because there is no dental material that is a substitute for your own healthy teeth.
- I stopped doing Amalgam-Mercury fillings in 1979 after reading world-wide literature and research; that is 34 years Mercury-free, and counting.
- We use "white/tooth colored" fillings with no-BPA and I have thoroughly researched the subject. See my blog on this coming soon.
- We often can avoid full Root Canal treatment with disinfection and medical procedures.
- I was chosen as one of "New York's Top Eight Holistic Dentists" by New Life Magazine in 1999.
- We use much more "alternative" but scientifically proven modalities. Call me in Manhattan, New York City or email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to discuss anything with you.
Categories and Hallmarks of Holistic/Alternative Dentistry:
- Prevention; this should be the number one area of emphasis in all dental offices.
- Patient Involvement: we inform outpatients of all proposed treatment, and any reasonable alternatives, in a way that allows the patient to become involved in treatment decisions.
- Focus on and treat the Causes and not just the Symptoms.
- The Mind-Body Connection: Emotions and stress affect the face and head muscles, TMJ and immune system.
- Nutrition and nutritional counseling.
- Oral Cancer Screening exam on all new patients.
- Relationship of Periodontal Disease to "heart disease", strokes, diabetes, cancers, bodily infections, et. al.
- Non-surgical periodontal treatment
- Non-mercury fillings
- No-BPA fillings
- Safe removal of Amalgam-Mercury fillings using "established protocols" (Note: I do not remove mercury fillings merely to decrease mercury exposure unless requested and discussed with my patient, but, if an old mercury filling needs replacement, I always use a non-mercury filling)
- Bad bite/ TMJ issues.
- Minimally Invasive Dentistry and techniques
- Non-fluoride prophylaxis (cleaning) pastes available.
- Materials Reactivity Testing
- Treatments to avoid Root Canals if at all possible.
- Zirconia (non-metal) implants by referral
- Non-metal crowns and caps
- Awareness of Acupuncture energy meridians/pathways.
- Relaxation/breathing exercises; Hypnosis (i have 3 Certificates in hypnosis)
I will discuss each one of these categories in length in my future blogs, or in conversation with you by phone, email or in my office in Manhattan, New York City.