Biologic or holistic dentistry describes an approach to dental care that promotes your health as a whole, rather than simply treating your oral health as something separate. Almost everything that enters your body on a daily basis enters through your mouth and throat, and it can carry with it the negative impacts of an unhealthy mouth. But through preventive care and a team approach to oral health that may include a wide range of professionals, we strive to ensure you are healthy, rather than just eliminating disease.
A Holistic Dentistry Approach
We know that it takes a quality team to get the best dental care and overall health. That’s why we always look at holistic dentistry as a team effort. First, there are the people in our office, who will do whatever we can to protect your health.
Next, there is you, the most vital member of our holistic health care team. We will talk with you about what you can do to help protect your oral health. This may include changes to your traditional oral hygiene routine, but it may be more than that, too, including changes to diet and some habits that can have a negative impact on your overall health.
Finally, we may invite other members to our health team, such as:
- Integrative physicians
- Physical therapists
- And more
The membership of your health team depends on who you are comfortable working with, and whoever helps you achieve our shared health goals. Whoever you are happy to work with, we will also work with. And we will honor the protocols recommended by your other health care professionals.
In addition, we utilize the following approaches to your dental care:
- Utilizing the least toxic restorative materials for you
- Using materials sensitivity testing to determine personal sensitivity levels
- Safe removal of mercury-containing metal amalgam fillings
- Cavity prevention utilizing targeted therapies based on personal risk factors
- Ozone therapy to prevent and reverse oral decay
- Xylitol information aid with cavity prevention
- Fluoride free prevention products
- Dental Herb Company rinses and toothpastes with essential oils and no alcohol
- Nonsurgical and probiotic approaches to gum disease prevention and treatment
- Proper nutrition for the prevention and reversal of dental disease
- TMJ and migraine treatment
- Prevention and treatment of bite problems that contribute to TMJ
- Sleep disorder screening and testing
Salivary testing is an important tool for tailoring your dental care to your personal needs. Your saliva plays several vital roles in protecting your oral health. It also contains vital information about the current state of your oral health. Testing your saliva can tell us:
- Whether your mouth is infected with dangerous bacteria
- Whether you are prone to damaging inflammatory responses
- How well your saliva buffers acid
- If you are infected with HPV associated with oral cancer
This information can help us decide whether we need to respond to gum disease immediately or not. It also helps us tailor our response to the specific bacteria present so treatment will be more effective. It can also identify bacteria associated with health effects outside your mouth, such as hardening of your arteries (atherosclerosis) so you can watch for these effects and take proper preventive steps.
Minimally Invasive Dentistry
Our approach starts with listening to you and trying to understand your concerns and experiences about your oral and overall health. After all, we understand that your mind and spirit are essential parts of you and are also part of your oral and overall health.
Next, we strive for a minimally invasive approach to dentistry. This means as little drilling as possible. Whenever possible, we utilize remineralization rather than fillings to deal with decay in your teeth.
Healing Small Cavities
Part of our minimally invasive approach is using remineralization for small cavities rather than fillings. Our body is capable of healing itself. This includes our teeth. The problem is that the process is relatively slow, and the process of destruction can be relatively fast. In order to heal cavities, we need to slow the destruction process and speed the healing process.
The single most important factor for doing both parts of the process is changing your diet. Everything that enters the mouth has the potential to contribute to both healing and destruction. We will recommend diet changes that can promote healing and slow destruction. We may also utilize techniques like ozone therapy to slow your decay and help your teeth heal. When indicated, antibacterial treatments can also help protect your teeth and give them time to heal.
This is a very personalized process, and whether you're a candidate depends not only on your cavities, but also on the results of salivary testing.
We can't always heal cavities. Sometimes we have to repair teeth. When we do, that material is in your mouth, interacting with your saliva and your food for the lifetime of the restoration, which can be over ten years. That's a lot of time for potential contamination. That's why we consider it vital to ensure all the restorative materials we use are biocompatible. They aren't toxic or inflammatory.
In part, this is a general principle, but we also take steps to make sure all restorative materials are compatible with your body. We perform allergy and other materials sensitivity testing to ensure you're never fitted with restorative material that is going to trigger an unhealthy response from you.
We also understand how important it can be to eliminate toxic materials that have already been placed in your mouth, especially metal amalgam.
Although many dentists promote that they remove metal amalgam, and that they do it safely, they may not truly know how to protect you, the environment, or even themselves from the hazardous mercury that can be released. But as a member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) and the Integrative Medicine Committee (IMC), Dr. Arlene Messer is thoroughly trained in the proper techniques to ensure safe removal of amalgam. She’s been doing it for 20 years and is proud to always strive to protect everyone involved in the process, as well as the environment.
Treating Oral Candidae Infections
Oral candidae infections can be unpleasant. You can identify them by the thick coating of white on your tongue, and sometimes the insides of your cheeks. Candida are fungus that are common in the mouth and the environment. Essentially everyone has some in their mouths at all times. However, the growth of the fungus is normally kept in check by your immune system and by a healthy oral microbiome.
We can help treat oral candidae infections with herbal mouth rinses and probiotics that promote a healthy microbiome. We can also recommend diet changes that will help you maintain a healthy microbiome that can keep future infections at bay.