760-632-1304 [email protected]

Holistic dentistry and biological dentistry refer to two different aspects of integrative dental care. Generally speaking the term ‘holistic’ refers to the fact that the body is one whole or holistic system.  Common sense dictates that the mouth, the primary pathway to the digestive system, is integral to the health of the entire body.

Actually, the dentist was once thought to be the first line of defense in patient care. Although dentistry has been put in a separate category from overall health care, increasingly the research shows that there are definite links between dental health and systemic health.

When I’m speaking at or attending an event, I’m often asked, ‘What is holistic dentistry?’  After 30+ years practicing, I would define it as doing dentistry that supports the overall health of the patient or at least doesn’t damage it.  Simple in theory?  Yes.  Easy in application?  No.

The Difference Between Holistic and Biological Dentistry

What’s the difference between holistic dentistry and biological dentistry?  On a practical level they can be considered one and the same.  If you go to a holistic dentist, you may assume correctly that you are going to a biological dentist and visa versa.

Biological dentistry focuses on the biological effects of dentistry on the rest of the body.  As an example, ‘How do dental materials in general and specifically from metal restorations affect the organs of the body?’ Another area of concern are infections that are present in the mouth.  The two main dental infections are gum disease, called periodontal disease, and root canal infections.  More on these subjects below.

Why Isn’t Everyone Doing Holistic Dentistry?

Dentistry takes a fair amount of focus to do well.  This is what makes dentistry both interesting and fascinating.  Also, every patient is unique, and the approach you take to help them may be different to match their special needs and situation.  Simply stated, there is not way to cookie cutter dental treatment.  In dentistry one approach does not fit all.

In holistic dentistry it’s usually the health conscious people that seek you out because they want healthy alternatives and they also want to be in an environment that is non-toxic and supportive.  The health conscious person also wants an office that is conscious of stress levels. So how the office is run, how treatment is performed and how empathetic and calm the staff is makes a big difference in everyone’s experience.  Holistic offices can provide this as they are focused on the overall experience of their patients, not just the bottom line.

Holistic dental offices also seem to attract a lot of patients that are immune compromised.  These days who isn’t immune challenged in some way?  A lot of my patients are referred to me from other M.D.’s, Naturopaths, Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Accupunturists and others.  This is because they need a dentist who will do work that will not add to the body burden of of their patient’s toxicity, infection or chemicals.

This takes a lot of extra knowledge and experience and most dentists just don’t want to take the time to learn and apply this.  It’s a lot of extra work and I have found that you have to really be a believer to do it.  Basically, you have to be phylisophically aligned with holistic principles in your own life.

The Tooth Body Connection

I am starting an educational series on holistic dentistry.  The articles on this blog are the first step, and they will be compiled into a book called ‘Tooth Body Connection, Holistic Dentistry and Health.’  The book will come out sometime in 2018.

If you want to get an advanced copy of the book or to let me know what questions you have, what experiences you have had about the subjects discussed here feel free to comment below and I will respond.  To learn more about how holistic dentistry is different than traditional dentistry, read on.

1)  Evaluating Oral Bacteria and Parasites with a Microscope

Holistic MicroscopeAn obvious connection between holistic dentistry and systemic health that research supports is that microbes in the mouth are also found in the gut. Gram negative bacteria are those bacteria that live in oxygen poor environments, like the areas under the gums and between teeth. These bacteria have access to the digestive tract and can cause inflammation in the gut just as they do in the mouth.This is called the microbiome, ‘the combined genetic material of the microorganisms in a particular environment’, in this instance this mouth and gut.

Do your gums bleed? Are they red and inflamed? Now imagine these same things going on within your gut. If the bacteria in your mouth are causing inflammation in your gums, you may assume that the same thing is going on along your intestinal lining. This is because the same bacteria or microbiome is present in both places.

The vast majority of people in today’s global economy have the most advanced and aggressive forms of microbes in their mouths. These bacteria cause the most inflammation and breakdown of healthy tissue, including the gums and bone around your teeth. This is what causes gum disease.  These microbes also contribute to bowel disease.

Microbes Found with Gum Disease:

Parasites in the mouthOne particular amoeba, E. gingivalis, is known to be prevalent in cases of gingivitis and advancing stages of gum disease. It is a highly adaptive and aggressive parasite that causes a lot of the inflammation and tissue damage.

They survive and flourish by engulfing and removing the contents of white and red blood cells. They are a major cause of bleeding gums because they actually feed on them.

Amoeba can be easily transmitted through kissing, as droplets from sneezing or coughing, or indirectly from contaminated articles. Pets are also common carriers and transmitters of amoeba. Some dentists have estimated that about one third of their patients have some form of amoeba in their mouths. It may be more, but finding them is not easy as they live in the base of the pocket between the gums and teeth.

According to the Kansas State University web site, “Multiple samplings reveal the parasite to colonize the oral cavity of nearly all adult humans.”


Spirochetes in the mouthThis type of spirally undulating bacteria has the ability to change shape in order to survive. This super bug is so good at adaptation that it can even withstand antibiotics.

Spirochetes are aggressive enough to attack even amoeba, as well as attacking red blood cells, white blood cells and fibrin, a protein found in the blood. Spirochetes play a role in suppressing the immune system, and once you have them, you can never fully get rid of them. The good news is that you can control them if you know how.

These are just 2 of the many types of microbes found in the mouth.

The Dental Microscope

Microscope to sample oral bacteriaThis picture shows the microscope some biological dentists use for discovering hidden microbes.  It just so happens that amoeba and spirochetes are two of the most aggressive forms, causing gum disease and loss of supporting bone and gums around teeth. Although they are aggressive and hard to get rid of, it is possible to knock them back effectively.

This is the good news. The bad news is that you must do 3 things at home on a daily basis. But know that these 3 things take only 3-5 minutes out of your day.  That’s all.

2) How to Clean Teeth Naturally

Brushing is of course the first thing. However, ‘brushing your teeth’ is the wrong phrase to use, because you don’t want to actually ‘brush’ anything. If you are brushing your teeth you are probably using too much pressure and could be wearing your teeth and gums away.   This is a very annoying and sometimes serious problem called gum recession and tooth erosion, which is wearing of your roots right above your gum line.

Rubber TipYou can brush the tops of your teeth but when it comes to running your brush along the gum line you want to do it at a 45 degree angle and use short back and forth motions or small circles to tease the bristles between your teeth and gums. And this is the important part, you don’t want to use hard pressure at all. You want to use light or soft pressure. Picture yourself massaging your gums rather than brushing you gums, and you’ll have the right idea.

OK, enough about brushing.  The second thing you should be doing at home is using a rubber tip or dental stimulator to wipe the plaque away from your gum line where it can sit and cause inflammation and gum disease. The rubber tip takes the place of any aggressive brushing you are doing along your gums and prevents gum recession and tooth erosion.

The third thing is of course flossing. Before you say, ‘I don’t floss’ keep in mind that research has shown that flossing prolongs your life by as much as 6 years, depending on when you start. What else can you do that takes about a minute a day that can increase your life by that much? There are some new types of floss on the market today that might make it easier and more pleasant to make flossing a habit.

3) ‘White’ composite fillings

Non metal Composite filling

Bio-Friendly Filling with No BPA Chemicals

Another area of concern with dental materials is the resin composites or white filling that are done to replace the metal ones. While composites are generally a more bio friendly material than amalgams, they also have chemicals in them that are hormone disruptors called Bis-Phenols, particularly Bis-Phenol A (BPA).

Most composites and plastics used in dentistry have this chemical in them. However, there are some composites that do not. There are also non-BPA materials that are available for night guards and appliances, but you have to know which ones to use. There will be examples of these materials in other articles, but in the meantime, you may ask your dentist to use BPA free materials.

True Story About  Composite Poisoning

A mother came into a holistic dental office with her 15 year old daughter reporting a myriad of symptoms and problems after having her braces removed by her orthodontist. The daughter proceeded to tell me that the orthodontist removed all the brackets and resin cement with a high speed bur without any suction or protection whatsoever. She said that her daughter was breathing dust and ‘plastic’ smell for the entire appointment, which lasted around 30-40 minutes.

The mom said that when she entered the room her daughter’s face was covered with dust, including her nose where she had been breathing it in. Keep in mind that your lungs are good at what they do and much of the chemical fumes you breathe in end up in your blood along with the oxygen that you need to live. Her mother said her daughter’s health problems started soon after this visit, including fatigue and an auto immune condition.

4) Bio-Friendly Materials for Crowns or Caps

Biocompatible porcelain crownThe next area of focus for holistic dentists is the materials used for crowns and bridges.  Most holistic or biological dental practices don’t use metal except for certain situations where the purest alloy of gold might used because of the bite. This means no full metal crowns or metal placed under the porcelain as the core over which porcelain is placed.

The age old crown that has been used for decades is the porcelain fused to metal crown or PFM as it is called.  This type of crown has been used and popular since the 70″s at least.  Up till about 2014 the tried and true porcelain fused to gold crown was better than a all porcelain crown because they rarely broke or chipped.

Then in 2014 the predictability of all porcelain crowns improved and they no longer broke.  This is because the process of making all porcelain crowns has vastly improved over the last 5 years.  These days there are very few situations that call for the use of metal crowns and bridges.  In the majority of cases non metal crowns like Emax and Lava/Zirconia crowns are superior to their metallic counterparts.  Here is a link to another post on Emax crowns and why they are better.

5) Should Old Amalgam Fillings be Removed

Metal Filllings

Amalgams Before Replacement

The biggest difference between holistic dentistry and traditional dentistry is in the use of metals.  Holistic dentists don’t want to use them in most cases.  Traditional dentists see no problem using them.  Most dentists believe what the ADA, short for the American Dental Association, tells them to believe,and the ADA says that amalgams had been used for over 100 years with good results and there was not a shred of proof that the mercury in these fillings cause any health concerns whatsoever.

Back in the 80’s, it seems like ages ago, the ADA maintained in fact that mercury was not released from silver amalgam fillings as it was bound in a stable alloy of metals that was stable.  Since then they have adjusted their position as more and more research was released showing that this was not the case at all and that mercury was released during chewing.  The ADA’s position currently is that mercury is released but in such small amounts that there is still no health threat from mercury’s release from dental fillings.

White Fillings

Amalgams Replaced with Cosmetic Materials

However, since the 80’s more and more research and papers have come out showing that mercury is found in the body after silver amalgam filings are placed and that body burden of mercury increases with the number of amalgams.  Research also shows the effects of mercury on delicate neuronal tissues, i.e. the brain.  Here is an interesting video done by the University of Calgary on the effects of low level mercury concentrations on nerve tissue breakdown and degeneration.

The World Health Organization or WHO for short talks about mercury in their policy paper:  ‘Dental amalgam is the most commonly used dental filling material. It is a mixture of mercury and a metal alloy.  The normal composition is 45-55% mercury; approximately 30% silver and other metals such as copper, tin and zinc. In 1991, the World Health Organization confirmed that mercury contained in dental amalgam is the greatest source of mercury vapour in non-industrialized settings, exposing the concerned population to mercury levels significantly exceeding those set for food and for air.’

Even the State of California, through proposition 65, has weighed in on toxic materials found in the workplace.  Prop 65 is meant to inform staffs and the public alike to possible toxic substances they are being exposed to.  To quote the Prop 65 website, mercury from ‘Silver-colored dental amalgam fillings’ has been identified by the State of California as a substance that causes ‘birth defects or other reproductive harm.  Exposure to mercury and mercury compounds during pregnancy can affect brain development and cause learning and behavior problems for the child.’

Dr O’s position:

  1. For new fillings never place amalgams
  2. If the amalgam fillings are over 20 years old consider removing them as they begin to weaken the tooth supporting them through cracks
  3. Replace all amalgams before late in life as the body’s ability to heal and detox often become compromised
  4. If you are immune compromised or have an immune condition, seek the opinion of a health practitioner knowledgeable in such matters to weigh in and give you their opinion on whether mercury may be a problem for you.

When I attend alternative health meetings like A4M, ACAM, and  Standard Process almost all the health practitioners that I have met there and at other meetings agree that silver amalgam fillings are not good for you and should be removed.

It’s unfortunate to have such a debate about mercury in this day and age, especially that it is common knowledge that mercury is either the 2nd or the 3rd most toxic naturally occurring element in existence on the planet.

6) Removing amalgam fillings correctly

Holistic and biological dentists will typically follow a strict protocol when removing silver amalgams, using guidelines such as those set by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (iaomt.org).

Amalgam RemovalHere is a sample picture of the rubber dam in place, one of the protections that should be provided during amalgam removal:

A latex or nitrile sheet called a rubber dam isolates the teeth your dentist is working on so that none of the mercury and other materials can be swallowed.  It isolates the teeth as you are removing the metal just as a parka or raincoat protects the rest of the body from getting wet when it’s raining.

It is also important to use a nose piece that’s connected to a medical grade air/oxygen tank, so you can breathe clean sterile air. If you breathe any fumes or mercury vapors, they will be absorbed into your blood.  The lungs are very efficient.  Glasses are also used to protect your eyes.

In addition internal and external high speed suction is used to suck the fumes away and to ensure that you don’t breathe them in. The problem with fumes of toxic materials is that if you breathe them they get into your blood stream automatically because the lungs are extremely efficient.

Dr O’s position is to not remove amalgam fillings without these precautions in place because if you don’t you will be exposed to the metal and mercury as it is being drilled out of your teeth.  Dr O feels that removing amalgams without proper precautions is worse than just leaving them in.  So find a holistic or biological dentist to do this work who is very familiar with the protocols of amalgam removal.

7) Air Filters in the Dental Operatory

High speed suction units that suck away dust and fumes from the mouth and filter it will prevent the patient and the dental staff from breathing in toxic chemicals and metals as the dental work is being done.

Dental Air FiltrationHere is a picture of some possible filtration options ideally suited for the dental office.  Many holistic offices use these particular units.

The first picture shows a high speed suction hose that effectively pulls air from where the dental work is being done right in front of the patient’s mouth. Some holistic dentists have nicknamed this the ‘elephant trunk.’  Then the air is ‘cleaned’ by running it through a pre filter, a HEPA filter, and a treated carbon filter specifically made to remove mercury from the air. If the hose or elephant trunk is placed by the patient’s mouth, whatever toxic material is drilled into the air leaving the patient’s mouth is whisked away from the area and filtered before re-entering the room.

The second picture shows a stand-alone filter called a mercury ionizer that sends ions into the room that bind with metals like mercury and some chemicals to help remove them from the air and ‘take them out of circulation.’

8) Platelet Rich Fibrin

Platelet Rich FibrinPlatelet Rich Fibrin, or PRF for short, is a fairly recent advance in bone grafting materials that has applications in extractions, implant dentistry, soft tissue grafting and even jaw bone augmentation.

It’s an advanced procedure in biological dentistry that involves taking advantage of the healing potential of your own body to produce the best gum and bone healthy possible during many kinds of surgery.

This is a major advantage over non native grafts like cadaver and cow bone.  In addition probably the best feature of PRF for patients is that usually there in minimal pain after an extraction for example and it cuts healing time significantly by jump starting recovery.

What is PRF?

PRF is a combination of:

  • Platelets which release a cascade of healing factors over time that help modulate and accelerate the healing process
  • Immune Cells which keep bacteria and infection from coming back into the site while it’s healing, which can happen if a site in not grafted
  • Fibrin which integrates/connects the graft to the site and also accelerates the healing process

By centrifuging, the doctor concentrated these three elements into rectangular grafting strips that can be used in various ways and applications.
All of the red blood cells and plasma are removed during the spinning process.

All three blood components listed above are important in producing proper healing, healthy bone, and preventing bacteria from invading the extraction site.  If you have heard the term cavitation before this is what it is, i.e. bacteria being allowed to invade and colonize in the hole created when a tooth is extracted.

What are the Advantages of PRF?

  1. PRF is made from the patients own blood so it’s less likely to cause any inflammation during the healing process which may last for up to 6 months.  The potential for inflammation is created by the foreign proteins that exist in bovine/cow derived or human/cadaver derived bone graft products.  With PRF and some synthetic grafting materials it’s now possible to avoid grafts with foreign proteins.  With PRF the inflammation is always less.
  2. In addition, when using PRF the healing times are significantly reduced.  I have found that the initial healing after a tooth is removed is cut approximately in half.
  3. As stated above when PRF is used correctly there is very little chance that bacteria can invade the extraction site and cause a cavitation or infection in the jaw during the healing phase
  4. With PRF there is little chance of a dry socket.  A dry socket happens when the bone is exposed during the healing phase.  This is something you don’t want to happen because they are very painful and can last two weeks or more.

A Brief History of PRF

Dr Choukroun is the main doctor and researcher that brought his process of making PRF to the United States.  He lives in Nice, France and has been working with it for about 15 years with patients.

The blood derived graft before PRF was called PRP, which is short for Platelet Rich Plasma.  Plaelet Rich Plasma has been used for a longer period of time, mainly because it is the original process of using the patients own blood to produce a graft.  Patient derived grafts are called Autografts FYI.

PRF is for all practical purposes the same as PRP, however it is much easier to process in the dental office, so the procedure in the end takes less time, as there is less waiting around for processing the graft.

Are all PRF Grafts the Same?

Dental CentrifugeSadly, the answer is no.  The end result is largely dependent on the centrifuge used to spin and concentrate the blood cells.  In short, if the centrifuge has any vibration in it, the cells are affected.  What I mean by this is that the PRF graft will have platelets and immune cells that aren’t as healthy as they could have been if the right centrifuge was used.

I have found that there is really only one centrifuge that works to produce healthy cells and a strong fibrin matrix that won’t tear or rip.

Is PRF Right for Me?

PRF is not right in all bone grafting situation obviously, but it can be used with great success in most situations.  At the end of the day when the healing is complete, you want the bone to have good blood supply and as little inflammation as possible.  PRF does well in both of these areas.  It is expecially useful for socket grafting after extractions but has many more applications as well.

9) Zirconia Implants

Zirconia ImplantAnother advanced procedure practiced by holistic/biological dentists is the placement of zirconia implants.  Even though technically they are a metal oxide, zirconia implants look and act similar to porcelain.  Because of this they are often called ceramic implants and are considered an alternative to the traditional titanium implants.

I’ve noticed in my practice that a lot of my holistic patients don’t want metal in their mouths in any form whether it be their fillings, crown or implants.  This is why zirconia implants are a good option for them.

Advantages of Zirconia Implants

  • Ceramic vs Titanium Dental ImplantThey don’t conduct heat or electrical energy nearly as much as titanium implants.
  • The gums heal very well around them. Sometime this is a problem with titanium implants.
  • The are more cosmetic because they are white while titanium implants are grey or dark
  • The are generally considered to be somewhat more biofriendly
  • They don’t have the potential to corrode in acidic environments like some research shows for titanium
  • They probably are better for patients that are truly metal sensitive are allergic

Disadvantages of Zirconia Implants

  • They are harder to place and are more technique sensitive
  • They are more expensive because of this and the fact that the component are a lot more expensive than titanium
  • They usually take longer to integrate to your bone
  • They have a higher failure rate during the first 6 months because the surface cannot be processed as finely as titanium

10) Safer Dental Anesthetics

Local Dental AnestheticsThere are other dental materials a holistic dentist uses that are meant to contribute to overall health, such as anesthetics that break down into substances less stressful to the body.  As the picture on the right shows here are many types of anesthetics on the market.  One of the most popular anesthetic in dentistry is Lidocaine, although this one has been identified as possibly toxic.

One of the most popular ones on the market for holistic and biological dentistry is Septocaine.  The only problem with this anesthetic is that it should not be used for numbing the lower jaw as it sometimes causes temporary numbness of the nerve.  While the likelihood of this happening is low, it is not worth the risk.  Because of this, Septocaine should only be used on the upper teeth.

Here are the anesthetics used most often by holistic dentists:

  • Septocaine – Although not on lower teeth as explained above
  • Carbocaine – Quite popular anestetic
  • Citanest – Dr O’s favorite because it seems to be a little more effective than Carbocaine
  • Marcaine – Only used for very long procedures

11) Ozone

Advanced therapies such as targeted use of ozone can also help with some dental procedures. Ozone has a few beneficial uses in dentistry, but one of the main ones is in preventing root canals when the decay or a cavity has gotten close to the nerve of the tooth.  No one wants a root canal and it significantly weakens the tooth when done.

Ozone and DecayWhat if there was a way to save the tooth from needing a root canal?  This may be a tooth that you have already been told needs a root canal due to a deep cavity. When a cavity is close to the nerve of the tooth many dentists would recommend a root canal as a preventative measure to prevent a problem or tooth ache later.

Holistic dentists usually don’t believe that root canals are OK or ‘good’ to do. They also don’t aspire to the practice of, ‘When in doubt go ahead and do the root canal.’ In fact they always try to avoid root canals when possible.  What if ozone or enhanced oxygen could save some teeth from needing root canals altogether, teeth that most dentists would condemn? This would be an extremely good thing. Not only would you be saving a lot of money in the process but probably the tooth itself, because many teeth that have root canals are eventually lost due to breakage and re- infection, and end up needing to be extracted.

In brief, enhanced oxygen therapy may heal and restore tooth structure that would normally be drilled away during removal of a cavity.  Not only does it encourage healing and lower inflammation, it kills the bacteria causing tooth decay and cavities in the first place.  With the bacteria removed the tooth has a chance to re-mineralize and re-harden to produce good, hard tooth structure again. With more tooth to protect and keep the nerve vital and healthy, there is less likelihood of a root canal. Again, it’s important to note that if the infection is significantly advanced, ozone will not be able to reverse it.

Above is a picture showing ozone being applied to badly decayed teeth to kill the bacteria and encourage the tooth to re-mineralize and heal.

12) Galvanism

Bio-compatibility is one factor in the choice of dental materials and metal toxicology is another. However, biological dentistry also takes into account the stress produced on the body by galvanism – the dissimilar electrical patterns that can be set up in the mouth when different metallic dental materials are utilized at the same time.

A True Story about Galvanism

Galvanic Testing Prevents Dental Disasters (like this one) By Mike Bundrant with Carey O’Rielly, DDS

Printed in the Summer Issue of Healthy Times Newspaper, HT for short.

July 2, 2009 – our wedding day in beautiful Marin County, the San Francisco bay area. Tobi and I are to be married in a few hours in a stunning redwood forest and then enjoy a drive along the coast to begin our honeymoon. In the present moment, we sit in a dental office for an emergency appointment. Tobi’s tooth seems to have suddenly abscessed, causing terrible pain, the worst since childbirth, she marveled.

The dentist reviewed the x-rays and tapped around it bit, then looked at us with a furrowed brow, “You have an infection and will need a root canal,” he reported with a degree of finality. He knows this is not what we want to hear, especially on this particular day. The doctor offers to perform the procedure on the spot, or prescribe antibiotics to keep the infection at bay, easing the pain until we can get home to see our dentist. We opt for the antibiotics.  Who wants a root canal on their wedding day?

No one can predict when these things might happen, but in this case I can’t say we weren’t properly warned. Two months prior, we had visited Dr. Carey O’Rielly of Integrative Dental in Encinitas. Dr. O’Rielly performed Galvanic Testing for Tobi, doing an analysis of the risk factors that lie ahead. He warned that the particular crown, under which the infection lay, was giving readings that suggested problems with decay. If we didn’t address the issue, it could sneak up on us. We gave the good doctor our thanks and resumed our life. If only we had heeded the warning!

Galvanic testing is an inexpensive way to detect decay where x-rays often fail. At the time of Tobi’s galvanic test, I spoke with Dr. O’Rielly further about how it works. I can’t help but notice the unusual irony of our conversation, given hindsight.

HT:  What is galvanic testing?

Dr O: It’s a device that measures galvanic readings off the tooth.  If you have a metal crown, this unit can tell what kind of charge it is producing. You can know if there is any leakage around the restoration, basically from calcium ions coming off the tooth. If there is decay, the ions are detectable. You’re leaking out of the filling or the crown. So it can tell you a couple of things.  It’s an early warning.

HT:  It’s preventative then.

Dr O: Yes, it’s preventative. So, the galvanic aspect comes into play when you have dissimilar metals in proximity, like a silver filling next to a gold crown; or you might have an old silver filling under your crown that wasn’t removed when the crown was placed.  This unit can read that.  It’s very simple. It’s quick and easy and it doesn’t hurt. All you are doing is taking two quick probes and touching the tooth and the gum. We found that tells us information that we can’t get in other ways. The Dental Board recognizes galvanic action in a couple of places, so it’s an issue. It’s not a big issue, but if you have other things going on it makes restorations less stable. That charge, this metal reacts with this metal and produces a bigger charge in that area.

HT: If I have something that is leaking the galvanic will pick up on it?

Dr O: We get the information from the unit.  We can take a look at the area more closely. Like if the edges of the restoration are leaking really badly. It gives relative reading from all areas of the mouth. You can then make the determination if and when you want to do something with that tooth. A lot of times it’s not serious yet, but you don’t want to wait two or three years for something to happen.

HT:  Will it pick up on issues that x-rays don’t?

Dr O: Yes it definitely will. Also, if there is leakage under a cap or crown that can turn into decay, you can tell. A lot of times you don’t know what’s going on under there. Crowns hide a lot of stuff. It’s a way to peek under a crown and see what’s there. You might find out something you want to know. Some of these crowns come off and there is leakage and decay.  We can find the problems before it gets bad.

HT: It sounds like this is the type of thing that will prevent me from waking up in the middle of the night in screaming pain.

Dr O: Or your doctor saying you need a root canal now with this tooth because I can see infection there. Before I couldn’t see it because the x-ray didn’t show it. That happens sometimes. To bring in some of these subtler issues within dentistry for people who are focused on health it’s important to them. We find there are a lot people who are interested in how their dentistry can affect their health and that’s the kind of work that we do.

The wedding was still beautiful, an unforgettable experience with loved ones and nature. The antibiotics and ibuprofen had even kicked in so that Tobi was in much less pain.  And we have an interesting story to tell. Still, we could have done without the wedding morning emergency. If we had practiced better prevention, we would have. Another life lesson in the book!


Thank you for reading an excerpt from The 12 Reasons to Choose Holistic Dentistry, the first book of the Tooth Body Connection series.  We hope you have enjoyed it.  These are just some of the ways that a caring, holistic/biological dentist may demonstrate to patients that the pursuit of dental health can be a positive, even life-enhancing experience.

To find out more about holistic or biological dentistry you can visit our website at www.myholisticdentist.com

Please feel free to comment below if you have an experience or story that can contribute to the conversation about dentistry in general and holistic dentistry in particular.  You don’t know who out there can possibly benefit from your experience.  Thanks for reading.