I’m confused about something. I told my sister I was looking for a general dentist and she said I should really be looking for a holistic dentist. She’s one of those people who (even though she doesn’t realize it) is always looking to show she knows more than you do. Because of that, I didn’t want to admit I didn’t know what they were. Can you explain the difference between them?
I’m happy to help you with that. A holistic dentist is still a general dentist. The thing that separates them from other dentists is their treatment philosophy.
While no dentist would intentionally use something they knew to be dangerous to a patient, a holistic dentist factors in the health of your whole body in your treatment, not just your teeth.
One example would be if a patient said they had metal allergies, or even just metal sensitivities, a holistic dentist would be more willing to work around those allergies and look for other solutions.
For instance, instead of a metal-based crown, which is typically used on a back tooth, they may use a zirconia crown, which is stronger than porcelain and able to withstand the biting forces on our back teeth.
Holistic Dentists are Always Mercury-free
There are growing concerns among patients of the mercury content in silver (amalgam) fillings. A holistic dentist would never place any filling with mercury.
They’ve also studied how to safely remove amalgam fillings while keeping the patient safe from inhaling any mercury vapors or swallowing any mercury. This is known as a sanitary amalgam removal.
Now there are mercury-free dentists who wouldn’t consider themselves holistic dentists, as well.
The difference there is usually their openness to other treatment options. For instance watching a cavity before giving a filling, in certain cases.
Truthfully, most dentists go into their field because they want to help you. So, I don’t think you’d be unsafe without a holistic dentist. They just have more of an open mind and willingness to listen to their patient’s worries about how treatment affects the rest of their body.
I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Des Moines Dentist Dr. Phelan Thomas.