I have been seeing a lot of dental offices advertising holistic dentistry nowadays, but I’m not sure what that means. Can I get the same services at a holistic dentist as I can at my general dentist? I’m considering a switch but are not sure if it’s right for me. Can you clarify things for me?
Felipe, from Sterling, CO
Holistic dentists are dentists; the only difference between the two are their philosophies. Holistic dentists believe oral health and your overall health are intertwined. When designing treatment plans, a holistic dentist will take your entire medical history into account, and advise dental treatments based on what will benefit both your teeth and your body. General dentists are more focused on their patient’s oral health. They focus more on function than aesthetics, on fixing problems pragmatically, and tend to rely on techniques they know instead of what may be best for the patient. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it really comes down to personal preference.
For example, most holistic dentists have moved towards metal-free dentistry and mercury-free implants. Metal and mercury are approved by the ADA and FDA to be safely used in dental fillings, but because of the prevalence of metal allergies, holistic dentists prefer to use tooth-colored composite for fillings or porcelain for restorations. These not only look more natural but have a low risk of any adverse reactions. Holistic dentists will also give you several options of biocompatible materials that can be used, and take your opinion into account. General dentists tend to choose the materials on your behalf, and may not be able to take your requests into consideration.
When it comes to choosing between a holistic dentist or a general dentist, choose based on which treatment philosophy better aligns with your own. If you want to be involved in the treatment process, a holistic dentist may be for you.
This blog post is brought to you by San Antonio holistic dentist, Dr. Gilberto Tostado, of 5 Star Dental Group. Please be advised that holistic dentistry is a philosophy of practice and not a certified specialization.