A more new-age approach to the field of dentistry, holistic dentistry, aims to enrich the life and general well-being of patients and not just address their oral health. It’s a more “conscious” approach to dentistry, which focuses on the use of natural alternatives to fight ailments of the mouth.
It is a philosophy followed by many new dentists. Holistic dentistry is not an actual branch of dentistry, but it can be practised within all the dentistry disciplines.
The Holistic Dental Association was founded in 1979, and the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine (IABDM) was founded in 1985.
The Holistic Dental Association recognises spiritual healing and energy healing as legitimate courses of treatment.
That said, the jury is still out on the ‘fad status’ of holistic dentistry in its entirety, though experts say that there is truth in the statement that the mouth and gut are connected to the entire body’s well-being. Using natural remedies and replacing the need for chemicals have become important to people in both eastern and recently in western cultures.
In dentistry specifically, these natural alternatives include foregoing amalgam/mercury fillings for more natural materials, multi-disciplinary, or integrated, healthcare, as well as nutritional and preventive therapies and temporomandibular joint disorder therapy, says Life Spectator.
Holistic dentists will test the biocompatibility of dental materials and examine patients before procedures to determine if there may be adverse reactions to these materials.
Dentists who subscribe to the philosophy of holistic dentistry will advise and educate patients on how dentistry can influence and be influenced by our overall health, as well as balance in all areas of our well-being, a holistic dentist may also touch on environmental, nutritional, physical and spiritual elements explains the Dental Care Network. This also includes the links between oral conditions such as gum disease and diabetes, cardiovascular health and pregnancy.