Holistic Dentistry Birmingham, AL
Holistic dentistry, also known as alternative or natural dentistry, is a type of complementary medicine. This type of practice focuses on how oral health affects the rest of the body, including emotional and spiritual health. Many patients feel they benefit from this more integrative approach.
Holistic dentistry is available at Inverness Smiles: John Aiken, DMD in Birmingham and the surrounding area. Our biological dentist is dedicated to serving your full-body health. Call us today at (205) 282-8261 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services.
Holistic Dentistry Certification
Many holistic dentists are a part of the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine (IABDM) network and choose to undergo the IABDM certification process. As research continues to show the importance of integrative care, the IABDM credentialing system acts to ensure a standardized quality of care. These programs are available to both registered dental hygienists and dentists.
Practitioners review their knowledge of cavitations, fluoride, homeopathy, meridians, restoration of dentition with biologically compatible materials, and the basics of mercury removal. The examiner will also discuss dental status, mercury hygiene, prep care, safe amalgam removal protocol, health benefits to the removal process, and how to address pertinent patient medical history.
“As research continues to show the importance of integrative care, the IABDM credentialing system acts as a way to ensure a standardized quality of care.”
Holistic Dentistry Services
Like traditional dentists, holistic dentists offer a variety of services, many of which differ from practitioner to practitioner. These include ceramic dental implants, dental ozone therapy, DNA testing, mercury-safe fillings, and more. Regardless of whatever services they offer, holistic dentists focus on treating dental problems through treating the entire patient. This type of practice is based on the belief that all aspects of one’s health (including emotional and spiritual) are linked.
As such, some holistic dentists may offer alternative forms of therapy in addition to more "conventional" dental treatments. These may involve aromatherapy, Ayurveda, electroacupuncture, herbology, homeopathy, hypnosis, nutrition education, and spiritual healing. Additionally, for patient safety, holistic dentists will conduct biocompatibility tests to find the best materials for each patient. In any case, the ingredients will be as natural as possible.
“This type of practice is based on the belief that all aspects of one’s health (including emotional and spiritual) are linked.”
Ideal Candidates for Holistic Dentistry
Like traditional dentists, all holistic dentists have a degree of either doctor of dental surgery or medical dentistry. The difference is that holistic dentistry, like all types of holistic medicine, sees patients as more than just isolated conditions. Instead, holistic dentists will consider all components of an individual’s health. Considering all components enables them to address the root causes of a health problem, identify any systemic diseases that link to dental health, and formulate a customized treatment plan.
Some patients may be uniquely suited for holistic dentistry, as traditional dentistry often uses materials that are not compatible with the patient’s specific biological needs. In such cases, a holistic dentist can perform a biocompatibility test to determine what materials are best for them. Such patients may have a history of severe allergies; endocrine, liver, or kidney problems; autoimmune conditions; or dental material compatibility issues. However, there is not yet any research regarding holistic dentistry and children.
“[Holistic dentists are able] to address the root causes of a health problem, identify any systemic diseases that link to dental health, and formulate a customized treatment plan for the patient.”
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Holistic Dentistry in Birmingham, AL
What Makes Holistic Dentistry Different
The difference between traditional and holistic dentistry is simple. Traditional dentists generally focus on treating the condition, while holistic dentists focus on treating the patient. As with any other type of holistic medicine, holistic dentistry focuses on identifying the root cause of disease. This, inevitably, involves considering all components of a patient’s health. Just as no two patients are the same, neither are their health needs.
Additionally, holistic dentistry is a collaborative effort. Holistic dentists do not treat their patients as passive recipients of care. Instead, they educate them on their conditions and devise personal goals together. They may also choose to supplement their care with complementary and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture. Each aspect of the patient’s health will factor into the treatment they receive and the prevention and care strategies they will be recommended.
“Traditional dentists generally focus on treating the condition, while holistic dentists focus on treating the patient.”
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Holistic Dentistry and Patient Safety
Another point of difference between holistic dentists and traditional dentists is the use of non-toxic, biocompatible materials. Introducing foreign substances into dental care can be dangerous, as the body may reject them. Alternatively, some patients have allergies to the materials used in traditional dentistry. Holistic dentists opt for natural materials to reduce the risk of inflammation, infection, or anything else that may threaten patient safety and comfort.
A holistic dentist can run biocompatibility tests to match each patient with their individual needs. Such tests must meet FDA-approved standards to ensure safety further. Additionally, to steer clear of potentially toxic materials, most holistic dentists will refrain from performing root canals or mercury fillings. Composite fillings, however, are a popular alternative. Holistic dentists also often recommend herbal tooth powders, propolis, neem toothpaste, and herbal mouthwashes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What areas does holistic dentistry cover that traditional dentistry does not?
A. Traditional dentistry focuses only on diagnosing and treating issues that involve the teeth, gum, jaws, and certain areas of the head and neck. Holistic dentistry, in contrast, is a specialized form of care that looks at the entire person. In other words, holistic dentistry treats dental problems by looking at the patient first.
Q. Is holistic dentistry for everyone?
A. It is essential to consider all your options carefully when choosing any type of healthcare provider. The same is true of holistic dentistry. Patients with a history of tooth decay, severe dental infection, chronic illness, or take prescription medication may want to take extra precautions when considering their personal goals and expectations. This issue to the fact that they may be at higher risk of complications.
Q. What are composite fillings made of?
A. Composite fillings consist of non-metal, natural-looking materials known as composite resin. They are chemically bonded and light-cured, with minimal amounts of non-reactive metal oxides to render them visible on X-rays. However, there are many different types of composite fillings.
Q. Does my diet affect my dental health?
A. Yes. Teeth require certain minerals, many of which cannot be found in refined foods. Additionally, eating an excessive amount of sugar may also feed bacteria in the mouth, causing plaque and destroying the teeth.
Q. Is there a difference between "mercury-safe" and "mercury-free"?
A. A "mercury-free" dentist does not place new mercury amalgam fillings. However, patients with mercury fillings must sometimes still need to get them removed and replaced. "Mercury-safe" practices take the necessary precautions to minimize mercury exposure while performing necessary procedures.
- Dental Caries
- Dental caries are also known as cavities and result from a lack of proper oral hygiene leaving plaque that forms tiny holes in the teeth.
- Holistic Dentist
- An alternative dentist who uses and adopts holistic approaches in their dental practices.
- Holistic Medicine
- A whole-body approach to healthcare that aims to improve health and wellness through the body, mind, and soul.
- Oral Cancer
- Oral cancer includes cancers of the cheeks, lips, tongue, mouth floor and roof, and gums.
Call Us Today
If you are looking to take a more progressive approach to dental health, you may benefit from seeing a biological dentist. We at Inverness Smiles: John Aiken, DMD may be able to help. Call us today at 205-282-8261 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Clinical Terms. 2022
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