Holistic dentistry, often called natural or biological dentistry, is growing in popularity. Health-conscious individuals across the country are looking for alternative solutions to traditional dental procedures like mercury fillings and chemical teeth whitening.
The Bay Area has stepped ahead of the nation with its unparalleled access to natural healthcare. According to a 2019 study, San Francisco was named the healthiest city in America, and holistic oral care can certainly be considered a contributor.
Here’s what you should know about biological dentistry and how to schedule an appointment with an experienced biological dentist.
Biological Dentistry Defined
What is a biological dentist?
Essentially, biological dentistry and holistic dentistry are the same. The two terms are interchangeable, so it’s common to see them used within the same context.
According to the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine, a biological dentist understands that the mouth and body are connected and that illness or disease that occurs inside the body is reflected orally and vice versa. Factors like stress, diet, and sleep patterns have a direct impact on oral inflammation and disease.
Holistic dentistry is the practice of diagnosing, preventing, treating, and maintaining oral health using natural therapies. A biological dentist assesses a patient’s entire state of physical and emotional health before deciding on treatments.
The Difference Between Biological Dentists & Traditional Dentists
All biological and holistic dentists have gone to dental school and have a DDS or DMD degree like a traditional dentist. Holistic dentists also offer traditional dental services, like bi-annual cleanings, cavity fillings, and treatment for periodontal disease.
The biggest difference between these two types of dentists is their approach to the practice. A traditional dentist often treats symptoms, while a biological dentist tries to find the root cause of the symptom.
A traditional dentist may see a cavity, drill it, and fill it. But a holistic dentist will inquire about a patient’s diet, alcohol consumption, workout regimen, hormone imbalances, and sleep patterns that may promote healing and prevention.
The type of materials used to treat patients is another significant difference between biological dentistry and traditional dentistry. Holistic dentists use organic, natural, and biocompatible materials that are non-toxic and safe for human consumption.
However, traditional dentists still use toxic mercury and other materials that can negatively impact overall health.
Biocompatibility Testing — What Is It?
Biocompatibility. By definition, biocompatibility is the interaction between a patient and a medical treatment, and evaluates the safety of those treatments for specific patients.
Factors used to determine biocompatibility include:
- Chemicals and materials used for the treatment
- Tissues that will be exposed during treatment
- The duration of exposure
A biological dentist doesn’t necessarily use the same materials on each person. They typically test certain materials for compatibility before any treatment is administered.
This process ensures that a patient won’t have an allergic reaction to a procedure. A patient’s entire medical history and health status are taken into consideration before a decision is made. It’s common for your holistic dentist to use blood samples, stress assessments, and applied kinesiology for biocompatibility testing.
Traditional vs. Biocompatible Dental Treatments
Biological dentists use techniques designed to preserve the tooth and often, a holistic dentist will avoid drilling whenever possible.
Many biological dentists do not perform root canals or use fluoride. Root canals can expose harmful bacteria to the bloodstream, and chemicals used for sterilization during the procedure may result in long-term health complications.
Traditional dental treatments frequently involve metal crowns or amalgam fillings. A biological dentist, however, will use composite resin fillings as a safe and natural alternative to dental mercury. The removal of amalgam fillings has become a sought-after procedure in the holistic dentistry industry.
Many health-conscious patients have discovered the adverse health effects of their previous dental treatments. Now, people are seeking help from biological dentists to repair the damage that was done and prevent additional harm.
How to Choose a Biological Dentist
First, look for a biological dentist based on your location. For example, if you live in the bay area, you can search for a holistic dentist in San Francisco.
Find out what types of services the dentist offers to determine if they align with your needs.
Many biological dentists offer a wide range of services like:
- Dental exams
- Deep cleaning
- Gum disease treatment
- Sleep apnea
- TMJ treatment
- Teeth whitening
- Dental implants
- Clear braces
Ideally, you’ll be able to find one dentist that can meet your oral health needs under one roof. Otherwise, you’ll need to find one dentist for cleanings, and another dentist for cosmetic treatments.
What to Expect at Your First Biological Dentistry Appointment
At Green Dentistry, your appointment will be somewhat different compared to other dental exams you’ve had in the past. We’ll start by taking a full health history to learn as much about your health and wellness as possible in order to provide you with personalized and biocompatible treatment options.
Appointments last about 90 minutes, and you can expect to fill out paperwork related to your health history. Our experienced staff will also speak to you directly to get more information about your oral health concerns. I will review your information and complete a full dental examination before recommending holistic treatment options based on your individual needs.
Book an Appointment Today
Now that you have a better understanding of biological dentistry, it’s time to find a holistic dentist near you. If you’re located in the Bay Area, call Green Dentistry or book an appointment online.
A graduate of the University of Southern California and the University of California’s School of Dentistry, Dr. Patel is a leader in the movement to bring environmental sanity and well-being into the dental world. As a trusted dentist, Dr. Patel provides her patients with more than just world-class dental care — she helps them recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. She is also a ForbesBooks and Amazon best-selling author.