Choosing the right natural dentist for yourself and your family is no less important than choosing the right doctor. In fact, it might actually be more important from a prevention standpoint because what is happening with and to a person’s teeth and gums is a harbinger for the health of the rest of the body down the road.
Dr. Weston A. Price discovered this during his travels to 14 isolated Traditional Societies in the early part of the last century which he wrote about in the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Invariably, those cultures with the best dental health enjoyed the best overall health as well.
Cultures that deviated from their native diet began suffering from tooth decay with chronic and degenerative diseases and physical malformations including dental malocclusions manifesting in the next generation. Finding a natural dentist that will use nontoxic treatments and methods that will facilitate oral health without any harm to the rest of the body is tricky because many natural dentists who claim to be holistic are actually not.
They may define themselves as a natural dentist on their website and in their marketing materials, but in fact they might just sell supplements in their office with every single dental practice by the book conventional.
I remember one experience I had with a so called natural dentist who was nothing of the sort. I traveled far out of town with one of my children to seek his opinion only to find that his definition of “holistic” was offering the parent a choice to opt out when it came to fluoride treatments!
That was it!
Everything else was completely conventional. Such a disappointment and a waste of time on my end, but I am glad that I carefully asked questions during the consultation before putting my child in his care. Another dentist heavily marketing himself as natural in my area (and fooling a lot of people) requires x-rays for children on a very frequent basis.
There is no way for the parent to opt out and the receptionist even suggested to me over the phone that parents who skip x-rays are negligent. Given the study published in Cancer by Yale University’s Elizabeth Claus which found that those who have the most dental x-rays have the highest risk of brain tumors, this practice doesn’t seem so holistic does it?
The most important rule for selecting a natural dentist is not taking the dentist’s word for it!
Prepare a list of questions beforehand and insist on a consultation one on one with the dentist or at the very least, (nicely) grilling the receptionist before agreeing to any treatment for yourself or your children. Once you’ve found a natural dentist that seems promising, here are a few things to check off the list before deciding that your natural dentist is well and truly holistic.
#1: Natural Dentists Don’t Use Amalgam Fillings
Natural dentists don’t offer amalgams as an option. The reason is that they value their health as much as their patients so they don’t even want mercury or the vapors it produces anywhere near their office unless they are gowned up with a mask. If your dentist offers amalgams as an option, find another one immediately. The mercury vapors floating around the dental office alone should be reason enough to not want to ever go there – even if you don’t choose amalgams yourself.
#2: Natural Dentists Don’t Offer Fluoride Treatments
Natural dentists are well aware that fluoride reduces a child’s IQ, can lead to white spots on the teeth, increase the risk of fractures by weakening the bones, and harm the thyroid. No truly holistic dentist in his/her right mind would ever offer this type of damaging treatment to a child. Even if a dentist offers the parent a choice to opt out of fluoride treatments, simply having the option in the first place is a red flag that the dentist is not really holistic.
#3: Natural Dentists Avoid Crowns
Truly natural dentists are very conservative with their drilling practices. This means when a cavity requires filling, holistic dentists leave as much of the tooth intact as possible and use non-toxic filling material. If the cavity or hole is large, an inlay should be considered. Since crowns typically involve removing up to two-thirds of the tooth, a holistic dentist would use this type of dental restoration only as a last resort. If your dentist is crown happy, find another one.
#4: Natural Dentists Don’t Offer Sealants
Sealant materials are generally made with hormone disrupting Bisphenol A (BPA) which a truly natural dentist would never consider using with any patient let alone a child. Don’t be fooled if a dentist says that “BPA Free” sealants are safe to use either. In that case, the cousin chemical BPS is used which is just as bad. According to Rene Vinas, a researcher at the University of Texas who conducted a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, BPS is essentially the same as BPA.
#5: Natural Dentists Use X-Rays Sparingly
The natural dentist who cares for my family won’t do an x-ray on a child ever until he/she is 13 years old. While this is probably an unusual practice even for natural dentists, beware of those who insist on a round of bitewings with every cleaning or even once a year. Radiation exposure is cumulative over a lifetime so the fewer x-rays, the better.
Digital x-rays are only about 50% lower in radiation on average than the old time dental x-ray machines, so don’t buy the argument that the radiation is insignificant from these devices. As mentioned earlier, a study published in Cancer by Elizabeth Claus, of Yale University, suggests those who have had dental X-rays often have a significant rise in the risk of developing a brain tumor.
#6: Natural Dentists Test Filling Materials First
A natural dentist trained in holistic dental practices will test patients either via blood test or applied kinesiology (muscle testing) to determine which filling material suits them best biologically. Dentists who only think they are holistic don’t test and use their favorite composite materials for every single patient and situation regardless of the patient’s health status or history.
#7: Natural Dentists Use Homeopathy and Vitamin C for Invasive Surgery
I had dental surgery last year and was administered homeopathy drops instead of drugs prior to the procedure. This permitted a minimum of painkiller to be used during the actual operation.
After the surgery, I was immediately administered a whole food based, oral Vitamin C (not synthetic ascorbic acid) to drink to jump start the healing process. The upshot is that I recovered from this surgery with no antibiotics needed (a script wasn’t even written by the dentist), minimal discomfort and no problems.
#8: Natural Dentists Offer Infrared Devices for Healing from Surgery Instead of Painkillers
After my dental surgery last year, I was given a hand held device that emitted gentle infrared heat to take home. I was instructed to hold it very close to the area of my jaw where the surgery occurred for 20-30 minutes at a time, several times a day. This increased the speed of healing and reduced discomfort. It felt really good and it worked! When my stitches were removed, the surgical area had healed up beautifully and I needed no painkillers at all during my recovery.
#9: Natural Dentists Don’t Remove Wisdom Teeth Unless They Are Causing Problems
Over two-thirds of cases of wisdom tooth extractions are completely unnecessary says Dr. Jay Friedman DDS in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Of the approximately 5 million people who endure wisdom tooth extraction each year, 11,000 suffer what’s called “permanent paresthesia” which is a fancy name for numbness of the lip, tongue, and cheek resulting from nerve damage during the surgery.
Wisdom teeth should only be removed if they are causing a problem and when they are removed, a holistic dentist takes great care to ensure no cavitations are created which cause health problems down the road. If your dentist routinely removes wisdom teeth even if there is no pain or infection, that is a big clue that dental office is not a holistic establishment.
#10: Natural Dentists Rarely (if ever) Do Root Canals
In many cases, inflamed teeth that conventional dentists diagnose as needing a root canal will quickly respond to homeopathy, herbs, and/or clearing away toxic dental materials in and around the tooth. Nutritional support can rapidly reverse any need for a root canal as well.
If you are told you need a root canal, seek a second opinion, particularly if the dentist suggests doing a root canal and placing a crown over the top of it which completely destroys the tooth and all but guarantees chronic bacterial outflow into the bloodstream.
How to Find a Natural Dentist in Your Area
Is your natural dentist truly holistic based on this list? If so, please share your experience and post his/her name and location in the comments section so others who are seeking these special, gifted practitioners in your area can benefit. You can also initiate a search by checking one of the websites below.
Be warned, however, that I have consulted with natural dentists from these lists before who turned out not to be very holistic, so don’t assume just because a dentist is on one of these lists, that he/she is a truly biological dentist.
- Holistic Dental Association
- Biological Dentist Association
- The American Academy of CranioFacial Pain
- The American Academy of Gnathological Orthopedics
- The American Association of Functional Orthodontics
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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