What is Holistic Dentistry?

Holistic dentistry, sometimes also referred to as alternative, natural, or integrative dentistry, is a form of dentistry that aims to provide a more encompassing alternative to traditional dental care. It has a greater emphasis on viewing dental issues in the context of the whole person, including their overall physical health and even their mental and emotional state.

How Is Holistic Dental Treatment Different?

Holistic dental treatment differs from traditional dental treatment through its increased focus on using natural remedies and other alternative treatments, its avoidance of materials and medications that holistic practitioners view as being incompatible with the body, and a stronger emphasis on avoiding surgery when possible.

In practice, this can mean avoiding the use of fluoride and mercury amalgam fillings, which holistic dentists view as being risky or detrimental to overall bodily health. Alternative treatments used in place of or in addition to more traditional treatments can range from nutritional education to herbology and homeopathy.

Why Do Some People Prefer Holistic Dental Treatment?

People opt for holistic dental treatment for a number of different reasons. Some people find that the emphasis on overall physical and mental health matches their own personal philosophy better, others may simply prefer what they see as a more natural approach.

With its emphasis on natural remedies and less invasive treatments, holistic dentistry will likely feel like a safer and more comfortable option for many people.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Holistic Dentistry?

The biggest potential disadvantage of holistic dentistry is that it may unnecessarily avoid potentially beneficial treatments. For example, it avoids the use of fluoride, despite extensive research showing it to be safe and beneficial.

Certain holistic practitioners may also advocate for options such as the removal of mercury amalgam fillings, resulting in potentially unnecessary procedures.

Can Anyone Be a Holistic Dentist?

Holistic dentists are still dentists and are required to be fully qualified and licensed in the same way as any other dentist. This offers patients a good degree of protection and goes a long way to ensuring that patients will receive effective care, regardless of their dentist’s personal philosophies and preferences.

Is It Possible to Combine Traditional and Holistic Dentistry?

Yes, it is possible for a dentist to combine traditional and holistic dental practices. This provides a great option for many patients, as it allows them to benefit from the traditional treatments they feel comfortable with, whilst also incorporating the elements that draw them towards holistic practices.

Some degree of integration is actually typical of holistic dentists, as they make many of the same recommendations as traditional dentists, such as regular brushing and the use of mouthwash, though the ingredients used may vary.

How Can I Learn More About My Treatment Options?

The easiest way to find out more about your dental treatment options is to speak to your dentist. Regardless of whether they lean towards more traditional or alternative treatments, they should give you a fair view of all the options available to you and work with you to understand which best fits your needs and preferences. They will also be able to explain why they offer the treatments they do and put your mind at ease when it comes to their safety.

If you feel that’s a conversation you’re ready to have, contact us to make an appointment with your dentist in Downtown Vancouver today.

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