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What is a Holistic Dentist?

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  • Written By: Jessica Reed
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A holistic dentist, also known as a biological or biocompatible dentist, practices a form of natural healing and attempts to cure a patient's dental problems by improving the patient's overall health and wellness instead of focusing solely on the problem. Holistic dentistry is based on the idea of holism and holistic medicine. This theory is controversial and critics argue over whether or not it works. Holism believes a unit is more than just all the parts that make it up and that the entire body must be treated together to solve a problem affecting any one part.

In holistic dentistry, the dentist may start the first appointment by collecting blood and hair samples to examine for traces of metals and other materials considered by holism to be harmful to the body. Based on the findings, he may recommend a specific diet or form of treatment to rid the body of the harmful substances. Critics claim this treatment may help the body but does not help the teeth and that many holistic dentists are not qualified to recommend a healthy diet and choose instead to inform the patient only about expensive dietary supplements.

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One of the main advantages to a holistic dentist is the relaxing and pain-free environment used. The environment is mercury-free and free of any other substances considered to harm or throw the body's natural health off balance. The office may play relaxing music and even fill the air with lavender or other fragrances known to calm the senses.

The holistic dentist may then prescribe a course of treatment not only for the teeth but to help balance the patient's mind, body, and soul. Known as Integrated Body Therapy Systems, this process involves massage techniques, diet and nutrition recommendations, and acupuncture to help bring the body to a relaxed and balanced state. Treatments vary based on the holistic dentist's views and which procedures he does and does not use in his business. One holistic dentist may rely more heavily on diet while another may lean toward massage or acupuncture therapy.

Problems and controversy arise from the treatments themselves. Many involve changing the teeth without the use of surgery or other proven scientific procedures. These non-surgical treatments can cause damage to the teeth and even change the structure of the jaw so that surgery is required later on to fix deformities caused by treatment. Other critics warn that holistic medicine can help with relaxation and a healthy state of mind but has no scientific backing when it comes to treating actual physical problems or systems.

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