A Guide to Holistic vs. Traditional Dentistry
Are you looking for a natural alternative to traditional dentistry? Holistic dentistry offers all the same benefits as modern dentistry, plus the extra bonus of focusing on your long-term, overall health. We hope this guide to holistic vs. traditional dentistry will help you understand what makes holistic dentists different.
Holistic Dentistry vs. Traditional Dentistry: What’s the Difference?
Traditional dentistry involves preventing, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of dental diseases and conditions. That includes seeing your dentist twice a year for dental checkups, treating tooth decay with fillings and crowns, gum disease with scaling and root planing, tooth infections with root canals, etc. The focus is primarily on your dental health.
Holistic dentistry offers all the same services, but with an emphasis on the mouth-body connection. All dentists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of dental issues, but typically only a holistic dentist will take the rest of your body and your emotional wellbeing into account.
In short, a holistic dentist will still clean and examine your teeth, and treat tooth decay, gum disease, and any other dental conditions. However, they place more focus on how certain dental materials and procedures will affect your mouth and your general health.
Holistic dentists use biomimetic materials for all dental procedures, because they are biocompatible and will not harm the patient’s health. These unique materials mimic the natural strength of a tooth, and last much longer than standard restorations. However, holistic dentistry can be slightly more expensive than traditional dentistry because of these materials.
Amalgam Fillings: Holistic vs. Traditional Dentistry
The use of amalgam fillings is one area where holistic and traditional dentistry do not overlap. Metal amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, have been used for years by dentists to fill cavities. But because amalgam fillings contain mercury, they can be dangerous to your health if they break after years of wear and tear.
Only a few modern dentists still use amalgam fillings, but holistic dentists avoid this material completely. In fact, many holistic dentists even offer safe methods for removing amalgam fillings and replacing them with more biocompatible restorations to protect your health.
Material Biocompatibility Testing in Holistic Dentistry
Dental materials are much less toxic today than they were in the past. But many people are sensitive to materials that are considered safe in dentistry, such as titanium implant posts or composite resin fillings.
Holistic dentists offer material biocompatibility testing to ensure that a type of material is completely safe for each individual patient before performing a procedure. Testing involves taking a simple blood sample and sending it to a lab to determine the safest materials to use.
Digital vs. Traditional X-Rays
Another major difference between a traditional dentist and a holistic one is that holistic dentists never use traditional x-rays. Instead, holistic dentists use digital x-rays, because they expose you to much less radiation. Plus, digital x-rays are much faster, and have better image quality than traditional x-rays, allowing for a quicker and more accurate diagnosis.
Holistic Dentists Aim to Preserve More of the Tooth
In traditional dentistry, restorations like fillings and crowns often require removing much of the tooth in order to protect the root. But holistic dentists aim to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible.
Holistic dentistry is also about prevention. It involves discussing how to improve nutrition and oral hygiene to avoid the need for drilling teeth later on. But when fillings and crowns are necessary, holistic dentists always try to leave most of the tooth intact.
The biocompatible materials that holistic dentists use can last a lifetime, so you don’t have to worry about losing a filling. Ceramic fillings from a traditional dentist can fall out or break after a few years, leading to more invasive procedures that remove even more of the natural tooth.
Holistic Dentist in Prescott, Arizona
At Prescott Dentistry, your health is our top priority. We offer a wide variety of holistic preventative and restorative treatments using biomimetic materials. If you’re due for a dental checkup or need other dental services, give us a call at 928-445-1660 today to schedule an appointment.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/27/2023). Photo by Caroline LM on Unsplash