Category Archives: Holistic Dentistry

I’m pregnant. Do I need a holistic dentist?

I have been obsessed with getting pregnant because we have been trying for over a year to get pregnant. Good news, we are expecting! I have done a ton of research about getting pregnant and have all the doctors set and decided from my OB all the way to my pediatrician. But, I didn’t think about dentistry. I’m wondering if I need to make the switch to a holistic dentist for the duration of my pregnancy. I assumed my dentist would understand my apprehensions. But when he tried to give me an x-ray last week at my regular check-up, I’m doubting he will be the right fit during pregnancy. Do you have any advice on the subject?

-Kendra in Kentucky

Kendra,

It sounds like a congratulations is in order! That is such exciting news. It is understandable that you want nothing but the best for your unborn child and that you would consider switching to a holistic dentist.

First, you need to relax. Added stress and anxiety during pregnancy only increases risk. Try to take it easy. Your regular dentist didn’t necessarily do anything wrong though.

Here’s a little background on pregnancy and x-rays during dental treatment. Dental x-rays are typically considered a safe practice because they have low radiation. Most offices utilize digital x-rays so there is even less radiation exposure. Another factor to consider is that they are focused on such a small area so the scatter is low. The protective lead apron is also there for the safety of you and your unborn child. All that to be said, there are some OB doctors that recommend avoiding x-rays. If that is the case, your doctor can provide you with those recommendations so you aren’t put into a compromising position again. So you can stay with your regular dentist. Yet, it is your choice to make the switch if you are in anyway comfortable. Discuss it with your OB to get further peace of mind and their insight on the matter.

Optimum oral health is essential during pregnancy. Bacteria and gum disease can negatively impact birth weight so it is important to seek regular dental care during pregnancy.

A holistic or natural dentist will take added precautions. If you require invasive treatment, it may be best to put it off until after the baby is born. Again, it’s best to build consensus and buy-in from your OB and run any specific treatment options through them.

Thank you for your question. Enjoy every moment of your pregnancy.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is a BPA filling worse than a filling with mercury?

I am trying to make some healthier, holistic choices for me and my family. I have decided that I would like to have my old amalgam fillings replaced by a holistic dentist. But the more research I do, I’m discovering that basically means that the white composite material contains BPA. Part of me thinks I may be better off leaving the mercury in my body. BPA is just as detrimental. So, my big question – which is worse? When I tried to discuss this with my current dentist he basically told me that holistic dentistry is a fad. His standpoint was don’t fix it, unless it’s broken.

-Becky in California

Becky,

When you lay it out in that way, it sounds like your damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The FDA and ADA still support the use of mercury-containing amalgam fillings. But it is no secret how bad BPA and mercury can be to us. These organizations feel that both of these filling materials are safe and effective when used correctly. That said, there is a growing movement of holistic dentists that feel differently.

If you examine the research regarding mercury toxicity, it suggests the possibility of neurological and nervous system problems. Whereas BPA exposure studies site hormonal problems and potential organ failure. So, none of these “evils” sound like a positive choice.

There are holistic dentists that empathize with your views. They support sanitary amalgam removal and will replace the fillings with BPA-free, white composite fillings. This is a relatively newer movement. So, you will need to find the right dentist that aligns with your preferences. But with continued research and perseverance, you should be able to locate a BPA-free and mercury-free dentist in your area. It sounds like the peace of mind will be worth it.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Help! I’m allergic to my dental work.

I have suffered from allergies and eczema for as long as I can remember. My skin is a mess, my joints hurt, and I have zero energy. Whenever I would talk to a doctor, they’d try to tell me it was all in my head. They would say that I need more exercise, rest, and a better diet. Who doesn’t – right?! I just knew there was something else wrong because I just felt off. Well, as it turns out allergies can be linked to these symptoms. So, I had a doctor do a ton of patch testing and found out I’m allergic to a host of metals and other materials used in dentistry like formaldehyde, dental cement, and titanium of which I had no idea. Well, that means that my crowns, dental implant which has titanium, and the root canal I recently had done, probably haven’t been doing many positive things for my overall health. When I talked with my dentist, he gave me the attitude like, well, that’s too bad for you. In my opinion, that’s just not acceptable. Please tell me you have some answers. Is there an allergist dentist of some sort?

-Jeff in Arizona

Sorry to hear you feel like you’ve had the run around when all along there was a legitimate problem you have been living with. You sound miserable and fed up. Well, the good news is that holistic dentistry is gaining popularity. More and more people are becoming aware and concerned with the substances and materials they bring into their homes and place in their bodies. So a good starting point would be to search for a holistic dentist in your city.

A holistic dentist will treat your total health and your body as a whole. He or she may recommend what’s called a a Cliffords’ test (CMRT) which stands for Clifford Materials Reactivity Test. This type of testing is somewhat controversial within dentistry. But it sounds like you have pursued all other routes, so it may be the right fit for you. This will better pinpoint the dental materials that are safe for your individual case.

It may be one of those situations where removing a dental implant or other dental work, may not make the most sense or be the most economical. But hopefully they will be able to provide you some answers and will evaluate your case from a different perspective.

It may take a little time and research to find the right holistic dentist for you. But don’t give up. You deserve to feel better. Best of luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Don’t know how to handle this dental emergency?

My tooth has ached on and off for a couple months. I really am trying to be all-natural in my home with the products we purchase and the services we receive. So I decided to see a holistic dentist to see how much his opinion would differ from my regular dentist. Well, now I’m overly confused and don’t know how to handle my toothache without it turning into a serious dental emergency. The holistic dentist wants to pull the tooth and replace it and my regular dentist wants to do a root canal to save the tooth. I’m totally torn, but bottom line is I don’t want to lose my tooth! But I also don’t want to leave an infection in my body. Help?!

-Lacey in Arizona

Lacey,

When dentists differ in opinion and recommendations, it can be very frustrating and intimidating. When you seek out holistic dentistry or natural dentistry techniques, this isn’t uncommon. Their perspective is so entirely different than a traditional general dentist.

A root canal treatment will save the tooth and remedy the situation before it turns into a dangerous dental emergency. This would be the recommendation that a dentist is taught in dental school. When the pulp or inside of the tooth is infected, it needs to be removed and disinfected. This will prevent the infection from reoccurring. That said, there is always a possibility that the root canal may fail.

The holistic dentist’s point of view is that the infection will not ever be totally eliminated. Since the root and nerves have shoots and what are called tubules, it increases the chances that the root canal would fail. He is taking a total body approach to his recommendations. Pulling the tooth would eliminate any chance of the bacteria or infection spreading and creating any complications.

But it is completely understandable why you don’t want your tooth pulled! Many dentists are trying a newer method where they sterilize the entire tooth. This agent is left in the canal for a longer period of time, like for a month or so so it can penetrate deeper into the tubules of the canal. It isn’t the most popular option, yet it may increase the chances that the infection is eradicated. Hopefully, this helped you better understand the schools of thinking at play and will lead you to the right decision for you. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Do I need a holistic dentist if I’m pregnant?

I am super paranoid about everything I’m putting in my body now that I’m finally pregnant after trying for two years. I’m doing everything I can to be proactive about any medications, etc. Do I need to find a holistic dentist during pregnancy? When I was at my routine appointment last week, they wanted to give me x-rays even after I told them I’m pregnant. That has me really questioning if I want to continue care at this dentist. I was literally shocked when they tried to expose the baby to radiation. I got out of there with a simple cleaning, but they are trying to get me in again soon to treat a couple teeth. Am I over-reacting? I will do everything within my power to keep this little one safe.

-Laurie in South Carolina

Laurie,

It sounds like a congratulations is in order! Well, it is of course your choice and completely understandable that you would be considering a holistic dentist during your pregnancy. That said, your dentist didn’t necessarily do anything wrong. Dental x-rays put out a very low form of radiation and are typically not an issue during pregnancy. Also, most x-rays are digital now which have even less radiation. You should have definitely been offered a protective apron to wear across your mid-section as an added safety precaution, as well. Again, if you are overly concerned, discuss it with your OB.

As for having any further treatment done, you definitely want to have the dentist be in contact with your OB to ensure you aren’t at a high risk for anything. Oral health should be maintained during pregnancy to prevent bacteria  and any risk of periodontal disease. So as a general rule of thumb, you definitely want to keep up with your regular dental cleanings and exams during pregnancy.

If the treatment that is required is invasive, your OB may advise waiting until after the first trimester to schedule it. This is because so much of the crucial fetus development occurs in those first few months. Whatever you decide about continuing care with your current dentist or checking out a holistic dentist, it would be wise to bring your OB into the loop. Thank you for your question. There is nothing wrong with taking those extra precautions in keeping that unborn bundle of joy safe.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is it safe to remove amalgam fillings?

I have several very old silver fillings from when I was a kid. I honestly can’t even believe that they are still in tact. My old dentist told me that they were fine as long as they weren’t bothering me and it was perfectly fine to keep them. But I want to get them replaced with white fillings. I heard the mercury can leak in the removal process. Is that true? Is it safe to get the old ones removed or more of a risk to my health?

-Pam in Indiana

Pam,

Many people are concerned about the possible negative health risks that exist from having mercury in their mouth. Some feel strongly that amalgam (silver) fillings release some of the mercury gas as they get older and become corroded. Although, the possibility exists, it is important to mention that the ADA still deems them to be completely safe.

It’s true that the amalgam removal process is dangerous if it is not done properly. So you want to seek out a mercury-free dentist that offers sanitary amalgam removal services. You may also find a qualified individual that offers these services by searching for a holistic dentist or natural dentist, as well. A dentist like this will be specifically trained to safely remove old amalgam fillings. This will keep you safe by minimizing your exposure to the mercury-containing substance. There is special equipment and techniques that a holistic dentist uses, including an alternate breathing source and total isolation of the tooth that is being treated. These safety measures will ensure that you do not breathe in or swallow any of the harmful materials.

Then, white composite fillings are used to replace the old amalgam fillings. These new fillings offer many benefits. They strengthen the tooth, do not contain mercury, have less post-operative sensitivity, and look nicer too. They require an advanced training and understanding of bonding techniques to properly place them.

On the other hand, if your old fillings haven’t chipped or cracked, it is not necessary that they be removed. They may function just fine for years to come. If you are concerned, it would be wise to discuss your options with your current dentist. Thank you for your question. This subject continues to be highly controversial in dentistry today, especially as there are more holistic dentistry options.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

How do I tell our family dentist not to use flouride?

Our family all sees the same dentist. He’s not a pediatric dentist but he is a family-oriented dentist. Well, it’s time to take my daughter in for her first dental appointment. I’m nervous because I don’t want her to get fluoride. I like to take a holistic approach to our family’s lifestyle. Is there a good way to tell them how I feel about it? Do I need to notify them in advance?

– Jade in Colorado

Jade,

Holistic dentistry is gaining popularity as more and more people are taking ownership of the health and dental care. More than ever before, an emphasis is being placed on what is being placed in the body. There are natural or holistic dentists around that incorporate these philosophies into their daily services.

Regarding the fluoride issue specifically, pediatric dentists will likely be on the side that fluoride treatments have successfully helped to prevent cavities through the years. Generally speaking, most dentists agree with this practice. Many also feel that the earlier children receive the treatments, the better.

Are you concerned about if your daughter will ingest the fluoride? Or are you adamantly against using fluoride for holistic preferences? There is absolutely nothing wrong with contacting your dentist in advance to let them know of your concerns. If you have been seeing this family dentist for some time, there is a good chance he will listen to your concerns and work through them with you. For example, they may offer an alternate delivery method, like a brush or foam to help limit any swallowing. So it would be good to call in and talk through the specific practices used at your dentist.

That said, if you do not wish your daughter to receive fluoride, you have every right to voice your preferences. Open, honest communication with any health practitioner is vital to a beneficial doctor-patient relationship.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.