The holistic health field, including holistic dentists, has been a topic of hot discussion over the past decade. Unlike conventional healthcare practices, holistic health concerns itself with every aspect of physical and mental health rather than focusing on the problem area alone. As its epithet suggests, it examines health as a whole, while emphasising natural—rather than purely medicinal—remedies. So, if you prefer to avoid amalgam or fluoride, holistic dentistry may just be your cup of herbal tea.
And if you’re sold on holistic dentistry but unsure what to look for in a holistic dentist, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn the four surefire signs of a stellar holistic dentist.
4 Things to Look for in Your Holistic Dentist
1. Their Holistic Focus Allows You to Build a Wider Healthcare Network
If you’re seeing a holistic dentist, they’re not going to focus solely on the site of your problem. Rather, they’re going to address your health as a whole and may even request your medical records for the whole picture. For example, while regular dentists may attribute gum disease to diet or a poor dental care routine, holistic dentists will take it two steps further. They may ask about stressors in your life (knowing that stress can weaken the immune system and, therefore, invite gum disease) or address why your diet is poor quality.
Some of the questions asked will go beyond the scope of dentistry. However, this is an opportunity for holistic dentists to recommend some other healthcare specialists, such as dietitians, osteopaths and even massage therapists. These professional recommendations can help you to build a healthcare network you may have otherwise neglected. Should you see these folks regularly, you’ll be able to share information and records of your health between them, which can build a clearer picture of your overall health. Seeing this clearer picture may also help your specialists to recommend more effective treatments.
2. They Offer Alternative Treatments to Suit Your Preferences
What sets holistic dentists apart from regular dentists is their emphasis on alternative treatments. Wherever possible, they will use natural remedies and avoid harsh chemicals or drug-based solutions. Most notably, this means that they will avoid the two materials that regular dentists use most: fluoride and amalgam. This can be an excellent solution for those whose skin reacts to one or both materials, or for those who prefer to avoid these materials for whatever reason.
The holistic approach reaches beyond the materials involved, though. On the surface, a holistic dentist appears to offer the same services as a regular dentist. However, once you’re in the dental chair, you’ll learn that the methodologies expand beyond the one-track approach of traditional dentistry. For a regular dentist, tooth extraction is a process of little more than removing a problematic tooth. For a holistic dentist, however, tooth extraction involves removing the periodontal ligament as well as the problematic tooth.
Why will a holistic dentist extract the periodontal ligament? Because they understand how it can cause infection that may affect the jaw, as well as the skin as it regenerates post-procedure. In the interests of preventing infection (or cavitation) and preserving the socket, a holistic dentist will remove the ligament using a surgical bur. So why is holistic dentistry better? Because it’s the long-sighted alternative to the arguably myopic traditional approach. Holistic dentistry takes extra steps to prevent future issues, rather than focusing on the current issue alone.
3. Their Focus Is Preventative
Due to the nature of the beast, almost all holistic dentists will take a preventative approach by default. After all, viewing health as a whole rather than as fragmented segments will foster a preventative foresight. In the example of holistic tooth extractions, we showed how holistic dentists think one to two steps ahead, keeping problems at bay rather than treating them as they arise.
A more baseline philosophy of preventative dentistry—which both regular and holistic dentists endorse—encompasses these 3 tips:
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day.
- Floss your teeth at least once per day.
- Get a dental checkup every 6 months.
4. They’re Gentle With Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is real, and no one knows this better than a holistic dentist. Throughout treatment, they will not only keep your mental, emotional and spiritual health front-of-mind, but they will also avoid all invasive treatments. In other words, if there’s a way to treat you without surgery, that’s the direction they’ll take. Holistic dentists do not oppose surgery per se, but they do see it as a last resort.
If you’re a more anxious dental patient, chances are this minimally invasive approach resonates with you. Once you trust your holistic dentist, they can also recommend some herbal remedies to calm your nerves. If you’re particularly spooked, however, you always have the option to knock yourself out. Ask us about our sleep dentistry options.
Take a Holistic Walk Down Stanley Street
You are more than just your mouth—and at Stanley St Dental, this belief underpins everything we do. We view dentistry as just one aspect of your health and encourage patients to provide us with a fuller picture. Our goal is to not only leave you with a clean bill of dental health but to also contribute to a healthier you all-round. That’s why we offer alternative treatments, natural remedies and recommendations beyond our clinic.
If holistic dentistry sounds like your ideal dental experience, please contact Stanley St Dental to book your first appointment. With our professional team who prioritise your comfort, you’re in gentle hands.