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Holistic Dentistry vs.Traditional Dental Medicine



Caring for patients beyond their mouths: the holistic dental approach

Holistic dentistry has experienced an increase in popularity over the past decade or so (mostly thanks to the internet), but it can trace its origins back to the 19th century. If you’re wondering what the difference is between holistic dentistry and traditional dental medicine, don’t worry (you’re not alone).

Thanks to the massive growth of the internet over the past decade or so, tens of thousands (if not millions) of people are learning about holistic approaches to oral medicine.

You’re probably wondering what the difference is between holistic dentistry versus traditional dentistry. Below we cover some of the main differences (and similarities) between the two forms of oral care.

Holistic Dental Care

It’s important to note that not all “holistic” dentists perform actual holistic treatment methods. Just because an oral care practitioner calls their practice “holistic” doesn’t mean that’s what they are. There are a lot of practices taking advantage of the holistic hype when, in reality, the most holistic thing they’re doing is not using mercury fillings.

On the flip side of this, is the fact that a lot of traditional dentists technically holistic treatment methods (they don’t advertise themselves as “holistic”). It’s crucial to perform some basic research on practice before going to them for dental work.

Now that we’ve got that disclaimer out of the way let’s get into some facts about holistic dental care. First, a dental practice that takes a holistic approach to treatment considers the entire body/mind connection (in regards to oral care). The following list details some of the main features of holistic dentistry:

    • Anti-fluoride based treatments (especially when they’re ingested).
  • Generally against root canal treatments (due to root canals being nearly impossible to clean bacteria 100% from).
  • Holistic dentists believe in using biocompatible treatments (i.e., fillings, crowns, etc. that don’t negatively affect the body/mouth).

The main difference between the two types of dental care is that holistic dentistry focuses on treating the underlying problems that are causing the dental issues. In contrast, traditional dentistry focuses more on treating the surface symptoms.

Benefits of Holistic Dental Care

  • As opposed to traditional dental care, holistic dentistry takes a whole-body approach to wellness.
  • Holistic dental care treatments are usually tailor-made for patients (more so than traditional therapies).
  • Holistic dental care places emphasis on the health and wellness of your entire body (and mind), not just your mouth.
  • Fluoride isn’t used in holistic treatments (for the most part).
  • Fillings are tested for compatibility with each patient (to avoid adverse reactions).
  • Most holistic dentistry offices use digital x-ray technology (rather than radiation-based machines).
  • Holistic dentists usually avoid prescribing medicine with a heavy hand (meaning they tend to avoid prescribing very addictive painkillers to their patients).

Traditional Dental Care: Treatments & Services

Traditional dental medicine is more commonly used than holistic treatment methods, and conventional dental practitioners usually offer a more comprehensive level of care than their holistic counterparts. The following list describes some of the first treatment/care options that the majority of dental practices offer:

  • Cosmetic dentistry services
  • Preventive treatments
  • Restoration services
  • Surgical services (oral)

Cosmetic Dental Services

Cosmetic dental work, in the words of Coral Gables dentist Gables Sedation & Family Dentistry, is used to “improve the overall aesthetics of the mouth, and restore the smile.” This could mean anything from some necessary whitening, all the way to jaw realignment.

Preventative Dental Treatments

Preventative health is one of the primary services that traditional dentists offer (across the United States). Treatment options include deep cleanings, periodontal care, and certain types of gum therapies. Dental prophylaxis is also included in the list of preventative treatment types.

Restoration Dental Work

Restorative services include dental fillings, crowns, and similar procedures. Most dental offices offer these treatment options (including holistic providers). The difference between cosmetic and restorative services is that aesthetic treatments are typically purely cosmetic (i.e., they don’t have underlying health issues that need to be addressed).

Oral Surgery

Oral surgery is typically performed by specialists in that area, rather than general dentists (however this varies from provider to provider). Dental implant surgery is one of the most common forms of oral surgery across the country. However, jaw surgery, wisdom tooth removal (impacted), and specific types of therapeutic procedures are also conventional.

Finding an excellent dental care provider is incredibly important to your overall health. Hopefully, the information in this post has helped you gain a deeper level of understanding of dental care practices and treatment options (in both holistic and traditional providers).

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