If you haven’t heard of holistic dentistry, then where have you been? It has been absolutely everywhere these past couple of years, the fad does not seem to be showing any sign of stopping any time soon. More and more people are demanding that their dentist is a holistic one, and some people are actually trained exclusively to be holistic dentists. So what on earth does it mean, and is it serious, or just a scam?
Well for starters, we discovered through our research that holistic dentistry goes a lot farther back than just the last few years, even if that is when it started to get really popular within mainstream health. In fact, holistic dentistry can be traced all the way back to Ancient Chinese medicine, when experts there knew that there were strong connections between certain parts of the body, and that they should be treated as one whole, not individual parts. Treating the patient as a whole is one of the key things that holistic dentists focus on, because they know that a symptom or health problem in one area could actually mean a problem in a completely different area.
Take migraines, for example. Most people would say that this is because of something wrong with your head, but in many cases a holistic dentist such as Dr Paige Woods (based in San Diego) would be able to accurately diagnose that wisdom teeth were coming through, putting too much strain on the jaw and causing the migraines. The other way round can be true as well: having gum disease or gingivitis in your mouth is unpleasant enough as it is, but it is even less pleasant when you hear a dentist such as Dr Paige Woods tell you that the same bacteria is problem already living in your heart, priming itself for giving you heart disease.
So far, holistic dentistry stands up to scrutiny: after all, it can’t be a bad thing to be more aware of your entire body’s general health – but here is where it gets really interesting. Holistic dentists do not believe that anything toxic or chemical should go in or near the body at all – and before you say that surely all dentists thing that way, no they do not. Take mercury fillings as a case in point. We all know now that mercury is poisonous and has the ability to slowly dissolve in the mouth and fall down the throat into the stomach – and yet many traditional dentists will still use mercury within their fillings. This choice is an active choice towards slowly poisoning their patients, and is not something that, according to Dr Paige Woods, a holistic dentist would ever do.
Another aspect in which holistic dentists differ greatly from traditional dentists is over the use of x-rays. Now, a holistic dentist would never forbid their patient from having an x-ray if they really needed one, but they would not use them all of the time just to create accurate dental records, as some traditional dentists do. Instead, holistic dentists will use handheld low pulse scanners to understand the layout of your teeth, a process that is over within minutes and does not include any of the harmful radiation waves that an x-ray does.
These two different approaches are quite stark, and it is easy to see why people – especially parents – want to go and see a holistic dentist over a traditional one. Dr Paige Woods predicts that the number of holistic dentists will only increase as the years go by, and we kind of hope that she’s right.
For more about Dr. Woods and her San Diego dental practice, visit http://sandiegodentist.org