Are you searching for a more natural, alternative solution to traditional dental procedures such as metal implants, mercury fillings and the typical “drill and fill” philosophy you find at most dental offices? Have you discovered adverse health effects from previous dental treatments and seek a safer, non-toxic alternative?
Are you looking for an advocate of conservative, minimally invasive dentistry who seeks to treat and preserve as much as possible of the natural tooth structure without the overuse of extensive drilling or unwarranted procedures? Have you ever considered how the health of your teeth could be impacting various organs and different parts of the body?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, a biological dentist may be a great fit for you and your family. When it comes to choosing a dentist, a holistic dentist can offer a great alternative to the conventional dentistry practice.
But what exactly is a biological dentist, what differences can you expect and why should you care?
What is a Biological Dentist?
Biological dentistry, also called bio-compatible, natural or holistic dentistry, is the practice of assessing, treating and maintaining one’s oral health by offering natural solutions with holistic diagnostics and application. Holistic dentistry is an embodiment of dental care which prioritizes the overall health and wellness of an individual, beyond just their teeth.
A biological dentist understands that the mouth and body are fundamentally connected. This means illnesses and diseases of the body can be reflected in the mouth, and problems of the mouth can affect other areas of the body. A biological dentist can demonstrate ways in which your mouth and the rest of your body are mere reflections of one another and can highlight underlying illness and disease.
Inherently, biological dentists are advocates of minimally invasive dentistry. It is their mission to treat and restore the natural health of your mouth while working in harmony with your entire body. They seek to educate their patients and always use safe, bio-compatible dental materials. Many are trained to provide ceramic dental implants and advanced mercury removal protocols in accordance with IAOMT guidelines.
Perhaps the biggest difference you’ll notice at a biological dentistry office is the individualized approach to care. Opposing the traditional “one size fits all” dentistry model, holistic dental care providers recognize that each patient is unique and should be treated according to their specific needs.
Note: In this article, we use the terms biological dentist, natural dentist and holistic dentist interchangeably.
A Biological Dentist vs. a Regular Dentist
Both traditional and biological dentists are trained at the same dental schools so they both have a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree. Additionally, both are required by the state they practice in to log a certain number of continuing education hours per year in order to maintain their license.
However, while their initial training may be the same, the similarities typically end there.
A biological dentist and a traditional dentist approach their practices in dramatically different ways. In general, a traditional dentist often treats oral symptoms, while a biological dentist aims to treat the root cause of the problem and not just the symptoms that manifest in the mouth.
These Examples Highlight the Differences Between a Traditional and Holistic Dentist:
- “Drill & Fill” vs. Minimally Invasive. A regular dentist may see a cavity, drill and fill it, sometimes using dental amalgam (toxic mercury/metal). Alternately, a holistic dentist may see the same cavity and, if possible, use a less invasive, drill-less technology called air abrasion to remove the decay. They will then fill it using a safe, non-toxic, bio-compatible material determined using biocompatibility testing. A biological dentist may also inquire about a patient’s overall health in order to promote enhanced healing and prevention.
- Approach to Root Canals and Implants. A traditional dentist may discover an infection and immediately schedule the patient for a root canal. Or if an extraction is performed, they will use a metal implant to replace the tooth. A biological dentist, on the other hand, acknowledges the potential long-term risks associated with root canals, and is much more conservative and cautious in their approach to them. A biological dentist may first seek alternative root canal treatments such as laser and ozone therapy. If an extraction is performed, they will use a non-metal implant, typically a ceramic implant, such as Zirconia. But, most importantly, a holistic dentist understands that the topic of root canal therapy is not simply a black and white issue. Every patient must be evaluated on an individualized level and all options must be considered prior to treatment.
- Different Training & Specialties. While both a regular dentist and a biological dentist may seek advanced training in their fields, the types of training are vastly different. For example, a traditional dentist may seek advanced training in cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry and implant dentistry (often metal). Some of the advanced training a biological dentist may offer include services such a CEREC restorations, ceramic implants (Zirconia), safe mercury removal, alternative treatments for sleep apnea and snoring, air abrasion, ozone therapy, low dose digital X-rays and holistic pediatric dentistry.
- Mercury and Metal Use. Traditional dental treatments frequently involve the use of metal such as in placing metal crowns or amalgam fillings. A biological dentist, however, will use composite resin fillings as a safe and natural alternative to dental metals containing mercury.
Why Should I Choose a Biological Dentist?
Before holistic dentistry, your typical trip to the dentist may have included any of the following: Bi-annual teeth cleaning, cavity fillings, root canals, treatment for gum disease, etc. Rarely, if ever, have traditional dentists considered a patient’s overall physical health to uncover potential underlying causes for certain oral issues. For years, conventional dentistry has focused solely on the health of your mouth.
Today, not only do we now realize that physical conditions such as poor nutrition and smoking have a significant impact on our oral health, yet even further, many independent studies have concluded that poor oral health has been linked to severe conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers and pregnancy complications.
A natural dentist recognizes the mouth-body relationship. Their holistic, whole-body approach is designed to treat the root cause of a problem rather than merely mending symptoms which manifest in our mouth. Biological dentists are educated in how oral infections can spread to other parts of the body, how mercury and other toxic dental materials may harm us, and how jaw misalignment can account for issues including insomnia, headaches, ear aches, poor posture and joint pain. The Meridian tooth chart shows you how the mouth and body are interconnected, and how every organ in the body is directly linked to a specific tooth.
While there are many reasons to choose a biological dentist, here are a few of the most common:
1. A Biological Dentist Treats the Whole Person
When you choose to see an alternative dentist, you can expect a whole person approach to your treatment. In addition to returning your teeth to optimal health, a holistic dentist will consider your overall nutrition, toxicity levels, detoxification and cleansing opportunities as well as guidance and structure to help eliminate harmful habits.
2. They Use Safe Materials
Biological dentists understand that what goes in your mouth has an impact on your entire body. They are committed to using safe, durable, non-toxic bio-compatible dental materials, and strictly oppose the use of amalgam, or mercury fillings. This commitment helps to lessen your toxic load and puts less stress on your immune system as well as our environment. Ceramic dental implants made of zirconia are available at natural dentists and can be used to replace your unwanted metal fillings.
3. They Offer Bio-Compatibility Testing
Studies indicate that some patients can develop a sensitivity to certain types of dental materials. When working with sensitive patients, a biological dentist will perform bio-compatibility testing—either via a blood test or kinesiology (muscle testing)—to determine which filling material best suits your individual biology. Most holistic dentists offer a wide range of safe bio-compatible dental materials to use for fillings, bridges and crowns.
4. They are Metal and Mercury-Free
You may have heard about the impending risks associated with the use of mercury containing (amalgam) fillings in dentistry. Even conventional news sources are reporting on the health dangers associated with mercury poisoning, which can
While the American Dental Association (ADA) and pro-amalgam dentists argue that the levels of mercury vapor exposure from fillings are too low to cause concern, biological dentists believe there is no safe level of mercury exposure and will not risk using it in their practice. The US National Library of Medicine claims no known safe level of exposure to mercury.
5. They Offer Safe Amalgam Removal
Biological dentists recognize that while it is certainly important to have mercury removed from your mouth, it is equally as important to use proper removal protocols that protect their patients from additional mercury exposure. If these protocols are not followed, mercury vapor can be released into the air during removal and then absorbed into the body by inhaling or ingesting the vapors. Not only is this dangerous for the patient, but all surrounding dental personnel and office constituents, as well as the environment. Many biological dentists are At Integrative Dental Solutions, are trained in advanced amalgam removal safety precautions set by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Technology (IAOMT).
6. Their Focus is on Education
During your visit with a biological dentist, you will receive more time devoted solely to education. Holistic dental care providers are passionate about their field and seek to inform and educate their patients about the importance of the mouth-body connection, safe bio-compatible materials, maintaining your overall health, etc. For example, you may be informed about toxic ingredients to avoid in toothpastes, personal care and cleaning products, and how to limit damage caused by toxicity overload.
An alternative dentist will approach your care from a holistic perspective—aiming to treat the root cause of any issue and not just the symptoms. They will ask the pertinent questions, carefully listen to your responses and truly seek to understand and address your unique situation. To them, every patient is different and should be treated according to their specific needs. Through in-depth listening and educating, natural dentists will provide each person with the care that is meant just for them.
7. Advocation for Conservative, Non-Surgical, Minimally Invasive Dentistry
In sharp contrast to the “drill and fill” strategy many conventional dentists embody, holistic dentists are advocates for minimally invasive dentistry. With this approach, natural dentists seek to treat dental ailments, such as tooth decay, gum disease and cosmetic issues, without the overuse of extensive drilling or unwarranted procedures. They aim to preserve as much of the natural tooth structure and surrounding tissue as possible.
8. High-Tech and Highly Skilled
Seeing a biological dentist doesn’t mean low tech. In fact, today’s biological dentists offer some of the most advanced and latest dental technologies and treatments on the market. A Holistic dentist typically offers many services you won’t find in other dental offices, such as ozone therapy, low-radiation digital x-rays, air abrasion, advanced laser therapy, platelet rich plasma therapy, ceramic dental implants, sleep apnea oral appliances, safe mercury removal, CAD/CAM/CEREC, digital smile design and so much more.
Biological Dentists and their Focus on Technology
Contrary to what you may have heard, biological dental offices are some of the most technologically advanced and offer the latest, most modern dental treatments available. They are able to offer their patients the best that modern dentistry has to offer.
Some technologies you may find in a biological dental office include:
- Air Abrasion. Also known as “drill-less” dentistry, air abrasion can conservatively treat the early stages of tooth decay and help prepare teeth for restorations. It is noiseless, heat-less and preserves the natural tooth’s body and structure far more than drilling does.
- Ozone Therapy. Ozone therapy, using only water and oxygen, is used to treat gum disease and oral infections. This ozone gas is a powerful antimicrobial agent, killing bacteria on contact and penetrating areas deep below the gum line where disinfectant or antibiotic cannot reach.
- Laser Therapy. In dentistry, lasers are an effective, non-chemical tool used to kill bacteria. They can be used in the treatment of gum disease, to sterilize root canals and even in the shaping of gum tissue. As opposed to drills and cutting tools, lasers are far less invasive, more precise and even less pain, bleeding and swelling for the patient.
- CAD/CAM/CEREC. CAD/CAM is a computer system that allows dentists to create precise, naturally appearing, long lasting restorations in a single visit. It removes the need for uncomfortable impression trays as well as temporary restorations and provides the patient with an efficient and enjoyable experience.
- Intra-Oral Video. The Intra-Oral Video camera allows our patients to see their teeth up close and in color using a pencil-sized wand with a tiny lens that is pointed to any area in the mouth. It’s an important tool that allows you to see what a dentist sees – including what amalgam fillings do to your teeth!
What to Expect at Your First Appointment?
Your first visit to a biological dentist may be somewhat different than the other dental exams you’ve had. Under the care of a biological dentist you will receive an assessment which considers not only your physical body, but also your mental and emotional state of being. For instance, factors such as diet, sleep and stress may be discussed.
During this appointment, you will have a complete biological dental examination and a consultation with a biological dentist. More time will be devoted to eduction. You’ll learn more about the condition of your mouth, have all your questions answered and have a chance to get to know the office and staff. If treatment is necessary, you’ll discuss all of the holistic treatment options available based on your individual needs.
Integrative Dental Solutions is Southeastern Wisconsin’s leading Biological dentist. Our team of skilled dentists offer high quality natural, biological and cosmetic restorative holistic dentistry throughout the entire Midwest. As holistic dentists, we are committed to using safe, durable, non-toxic bio-compatible dental materials and strictly oppose the use of amalgam, or mercury fillings. We are advocates for minimally invasive dentistry and aim to preserve as much of the natural tooth structure and surrounding tissue as possible. We offer the most advanced techniques, technologies and bio-compatible materials known to dentistry in an environment that is relaxing, caring and safe.
Our natural dental practice is located just east of Madison and west of Milwaukee in Pewaukee, WI. We are conveniently located to serve the entire Midwest! In fact, many of our patients travel all across the Midwest to see us!
If you are traveling a distance to see us, rest assured we can work with you to determine a schedule that meets your needs with the least amount of travel required.
For more in about our holistic dental office, contact us today or call us at (262) 226-2545.