To my dismay, my dentist recently referred my daughter to a pediatric dentist to have a whole lot of work done in her mouth. After listening to all of the work that had to be done, I felt anxious. Was all of it necessary? Was all of it safe? It was then that I remembered a conversation that I had with my co-worker about Holistic Dentistry.
According to the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), Holistic Dentists/Biological Dentists try to do the following:
Always seek the safest, least toxic way to accomplish the mission of treatment, all the goals of modern dentistry, and do it while treading as lightly as possible on the patient’s biological terrain. A more biocompatible approach to oral health is the hallmark of biological dentistry.
Like other holistic practitioners, Biological Dentists try to see the body as a whole and tend to believe that each part of the body can have a profound effect on other parts of the body. Therefore, when Biological Dentists provide education for their patients, they take lifestyle habits, diet, and knowledge of toxicities into consideration. They try to avoid dangerous materials, including mercury/amalgam fillings. According to the IAOMT, mercury can cause or exacerbate the below:
- Allergies, especially to mercury
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Antibiotic resistance
- Autoimmune disorders/immunodeficiency
- Cardiovascular problems
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Complaints of unclear causation
- Hearing loss
- Kidney disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Oral lichenoid reaction and oral lichen planus
- Periodontal disease
- Psychological issues such as depression and anxiety
- Reproductive dysfunction
- Suicidal ideation
- Symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning
The holistic dentist that ultimately treated our daughter took a more conservative approach than the conventional dentist. He also gave me some good tips on how to change my daughter’s diet so that she would be able to avoid more cavities. Are you interested in a Holistic/Biological Dentist? If so, here are some questions that you can ask potential candidates. These questions come from The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Myers, MD.
Do you use a rubber dam? A rubber dam should be used to protect the patient when mercury fillings are being removed. If your dentist answers yes, he or she is far more likely to know how to remove fillings safely.
What do you do to protect yourself and your staff? If a dentist is taking mercury out of your mouth, that dentist and their staff are being exposed to it too. A dentist who doesn’t protect him or herself or the office’s staff might not be truly aware of the health hazards involved—and therefore won’t be fully aware of how to protect you.
Do you have an amalgam separator? When mercury is removed normally, it goes right into the local wastewater supply, a thought that just makes me shudder. An amalgam separator will separate out the mercury so it can be disposed of safely.
If you want to find a Biological Dentist, try searching at holisticdental.org or IAOMT.org. What do you think of Biological Dentistry?
Dental Amalgam Mercury Fillings and Danger to Human Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://iaomt.org/resources/dental-mercury-facts/amalgam-fillings-danger-human-health/
Introduction to Biological Dentistry: Oral Medicine, Dental Toxicology. (n.d). Retrieved from https://iaomt.org/about-iaomt/introduction-biological-dentistry/
Myers, A. (2017). The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.