What is a biological/holistic dentist (is there a difference?) and how are they different from traditional dentists?
I consider myself a biological dentist. A health care practitioner who moves beyond just functioning as a tooth mechanic. I work with my patients to realize ideal oral and systemic health
I take a responsible approach to dentistry and health. I recognize that processes in the body affect the health of our mouths and conversely what I do in the mouth affects the systemic health of my patients. I do my best to minimize invasiveness and toxicity while maximizing prevention and balance.
How can I find one?
There are various organizations which can help steer you towards a biological dentist. www.iaomt.org has a postal code search which will inform you of the IAOMT dentist members in the area. I believe it is critical to ensure that any health practioner you engage with maintains the health philosophy that is appropriate for you. We are fortunate to have access to information online. I see it as my job to facilitate my patients’ philosophies. I will always give my opinion, but at the end of the day, respect my patients’ needs.
Shouldn’t a dentist just look after your mouth and teeth?
This is an excellent question that is being debated amongst dentists and regulating bodies. I think you are right, dentists should look after mouths and teeth. However, the oral cavity is not situated on an island. Rather, it is intertwined, as a part of a complex organism. Optimizing tooth and gum health starts with ideal life balance; appropriate diet, water, sleep, sun, activity, and stress relief. Chronic acidity, toxicity, and other systemic factors influence oral health. As one example, 90% of North Americans are on long term medication. If a patient is on multiple pharmaceuticals, there can be a dramatic decrease in salivary flow. Dry mouth leads to rampant cavities, inflamed gums, and failed fillings and other restorative work. The path back to balance and health is obviously through restoring salivary flow. Fortunate for our industry, what is typically healthy for the mouth is healthy for the whole system.
Will my family have to make large-scale changes in order to be
effectively treated in a more natural way?
I don’t think so. I think that gradual shifts is the right way to go. When I reflect on how my lunch in high school compares to my lunch now, I laugh. I don’t think I would recognize my past food as complete, nutritious meals and I doubt my former self would recognize my current diet as edible food It is important to recognize that we are all on our individual health journeys with expected crests and valleys. As we learn more, we make changes to reflect the knowledge.
Are holistic dentistry services covered by insurance in the same way as traditional services?
I explain this to my patients all the time. I do not treat insurance. I treat my patients. Insurance companies are not interested in the well bring of their clients. They are focused on points and percentages. I can send a pre determination into the insurance to see what they cover. I do my best to remain transparent with my patients so they can understand the finances.
For example, I have this phenomenal new tool which can help to detect the rate of decay (cavity) in each tooth without the use of radiation. I am able to provide my patient with a report detailing the problem areas. We can then work on preventive measures and follow up to evaluate progress. This will reduce the need for radiation, improve preventive efficiency, and save on dental treatment. Not everyone is covered for this test. Patients can opt out if they prefer, however most recognize the value of the technology. Even from a financial perspective, patients save long term, as any money put into prevention saves on dental treatment.
Are your services/treatments/therapies more expensive than the typical ones?
I charge Ontario fee guide. I don’t mark anything up. I recognize that dentistry is expensive and do my best to work together with my patients.
Why would I choose a biological dentist over a “regular” one for my children?
As I mentioned earlier, selecting a dentist should be done on an individual basis. A biological dentist should provide information and options for treatment. We are able to communicate with your primary health practitioner whether it is a medical doctor, naturopath, or other alternative provider. We focus on reducing toxicity and invasiveness, and attempt to work with you to idealize your oral health. I offer homeopathic remedies and natural products as an alternative to pharmaceuticals. Even our cleaning agents are World Wild Life Federation approved.
What is your position on fluoride?
I can discuss Fluoride as a controversy. Health Canada maintains that fluoride is beneficial to protect teeth from the decay process. www.iaomt.org is an excellent resource to read more information about the fluoride controversy. I would argue that shifting our diet from a refined carbohydrate base to live greens and beneficial oils will protect the teeth better than fluoride. I offer my patients an interesting natural alternative to fluoride, an iodine cavity guard. The research on iodine is quire profound.
You perform dental surgeries including implant placement as well, which traditionally include the use of pharmaceuticals. How do you approach this from a holistic perspective?
My treatment always comes back to the holistic philosophy. I work with my patients to understand why they have developed these issues to start with. I try to step out of simply repairing the problem and try to foster a healing environment. I also take the time to explain to my patients what pros and cons are of their decisions. For example, when it comes to tooth replacement, it is important to have a conversation regarding root canals vs. implants vs. bridges vs. dentures vs. doing nothing.
It is critical to work with materials that are biocompatible for the individual patient I am working on. You are correct in your question regarding the pharmaceuticals. This is where patients notice the difference. I offer natural rinses and homeopathic remedies which can replace the harmful suppressive pharmaceuticals. I find my patients heal fast and with significantly less pain. Of course, there is always choice, and my patients are encouraged to select the route they are most comfortable with.