Holistic dental care is an alternative approach to dentistry that focuses on the wellness of a person’s entire body, starting with the mouth. Holistic dental care history indicates that the term “holistic” is derived from the term “wholistic,” which literally means “the whole.” This alternative to dental medicine focuses on the idea that oral health is directly linked to a person’s overall health.
Holistic Dental Care: A Timeline
Holistic dental care wasn’t invented in a day. In fact, its development took nearly two centuries before it became the science that we know now and is being used in Rejuvenation Dentistry New York City. To understand how it came to be and how holistic dentists should proceed in the future, one must first look back at the history of holistic dental care.
During the 1800s, dental health experts have developed different ways to treat teeth cavities, starting with the birth of the mercury-amalgam filling. In 1819, the first of its kind emerged in England and was later endorsed by the American Society of Dental Surgeons (ASDS), where it became popular in 1830.
However, the dangers of mercury emerged, which is why the ASDS withdrew its support for the amalgam fillings in 1840. Even so, many dentists continued its use, primarily due to its affordability, ease of use, and longevity. In fact, the year 1859 saw the emergence of a pro-amalgam faction which later resulted to the birth of The American Dental Association (ADA) that soon overtook the ASDS as the main licensing body and authority for dentists.
In 1926, Alfred Stock discovered the cause of mercury toxicity: his amalgam fillings. The German chemist then studied how mercury vapor is released from the amalgams, released his findings, and started a worldwide movement to end the use of silver as teeth fillings. Unfortunately, his laboratory was destroyed during the World War II, causing the movement he led to lose traction.
Almost a decade later, a new player emerged: Dr. Weston Price. The Canadian-born dentist discovered that Western diseases like tooth decay are related to a person’s nutrition. His study on the Nutrition and Physical Degeneration of the Swiss, Polynesian, Pygmie, Native American, and Aboriginal people was then published.
In 1978, the Holistic Dental Association (HDA) was founded to educate people about holistic ways of treating dental health problems they come up with. Since then, they have raised awareness that people without disease automatically have good health.
Taking the HDA’s teachings into practice, the International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) was established. Founded in 1983, the organization raised awareness about potentially toxic substances being put in one’s mouth like fluoride and mercury.
Using the same idea, prominent Swedish scientists Friberg, Nylander, and Lind established the relationship of a person’s amalgam fillings to the mercury levels in the occipital lobe brain cortex. Friberg and Nylander also discovered that professionals in the industry such as dental staff and dentists have 40 times more mercury in their pituitary glands as compared to people in different lines of work.
More research about the dangers of mercury fillings emerged, causing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of medicine in horses that contains the substance. On the other hand, the same agency approved mercury level for humans so long as it is below 1 part per million (ppm). Unfortunately, amalgam fillings are exempted from this regulation.
As of 2017, amalgam fillings are still deemed safe for use based on the ADA’s authority. Dentistry students are taught just that in school and are rarely informed of the potential dangers of the substance to the human body. In fact, any dentist registered under the ADA cannot recommend replacing mercury with a composite substance for the filling because it is still considered unethical.