Dr. Michael Schecter DDS,
Surgery and pharmaceuticals; Western Medicine’s modernized approach to healing. Western trained practitioners are well versed in these tools to approach disease. Unfortunately, there is not much else available in their repertoire to treat or target imbalance. Life balance, general hygiene, or chronic stress are deemphasized and untreated.
We are fortunate to live in an era where multiple approaches to healing are available. We can seek out and address our concerns from multiple modalities. Regardless, there is still occasion for western intervention. Perhaps it should be the last option but still an available option.
Dentistry in particular is undergoing a paradigm shift. Increased attention must be paid to prevention, remineralization, and the systemic contribution to dental disease. Tooth regeneration is coming down the pipeline and will be available sometime in the foreseeable future.
However, today’s dental reality still entails surgical intervention to correct irreversible dental decay or infection. A question persists, can we complement elegant modern dental surgery with a natural program and reduced toxicity. I will use dental implant surgery as my example.
A dental implant is our current preferred approach to tooth replacement. Either a zirconia or titanium anchor is inserted into the jaw. Upon integration/stability, a crown is fabricated upon this anchor. Modern technology has provided a solution to replace missing teeth with excellent function and aesthetic, without compromising adjacent teeth.
The conventional approach to implant placement is to rely on antibiotics, pain killers, and toxic mouth rinse to support the healing process. Can we do better?
The initial conversation pertaining to tooth replacement should be about cause. Why has this tooth been lost? What can be done to prevent further tooth loss? This involves a comprehensive systemic and oral assessment to improve balance, hygiene, and understanding. One important tool is a microscopic plaque analysis.
By identifying the quantity and quality of microbes and inflammation living in the oral cavity, we can also address some of the complications arising from dental surgery. Infection can stem from a dirty surgical area. If there are unhealthy microbes, healing will be challenged. With the plaque analysis, an ideal healthy environment is ensured prior to dental surgery.
Another option to look at is biocompatibility. The method or approach can be controversial to decide upon a material. Some practitioners recommend muscle testing or Vega testing or antigen/antibody testing. I have found the Clifford test to be the most reliable and predictable test. It may be important to ensure that the material is suitable for your system.
All materials used in dentistry are foreign. The question is what works best for you. Perhaps neither titanium nor zirconia is suitable and it is appropriate to look at nylon or acrylic denture materials. To place an incompatible material can trigger an inflammatory or autoimmune reaction which may exacerbate chronic disease.
The surgical protocol itself can be formulated to reduce toxicity. Anesthetic without epinephrine, implants without protein coatings, and natural antimicrobial agents are currently available. Shecs Post-surgical rinse, and Ozone oil both support healing and minimize discomfort. A homeopathic protocol including Arnica, Hypericum, Ruta, and Hepar induce healing and reduce the need for pharmaceutical pain management.
Of course, a post surgical protocol should be created with a patient’s input. If you are more comfortable with pain killers, this can be included. However, less medication will be needed with the support of the homeopathic remedies. At SchecterDental we promote choice and informed consent. It is important to tailor a treatment plan revolving around our patients’ health philosophies.
It is human nature to seek to learn and develop improvements on our current capabilities. In dentistry, we are constantly improving and modifying our approach to disease and tooth replacement. The focus should be on enhancing dental function and health without suppressing our systemic system.
Individually and societally, we must reduce our reliance on pharmaceuticals and begin to rely on other dependable source to support healing.