The Disturbing Trend of Minimally Invasive Dentistry

by Judene Smith Oral HealthComments: 91

dental dam for filling cavities

By Dr. Judene Smith DDS

What could be so wrong with minimally invasive dentistry? Sounds like a good idea right? Actually it’s anything but.

Minimally invasive dentistry involves detecting a cavity when it is very small and doing small treatments – removing small amounts of tooth structure and putting in small fillings.

Proponents of this type of dentistry (both conventional and holistic dentists) cite the benefits of having tiny parts of the tooth removed and tiny fillings placed as opposed to having large holes drilled and large fillings placed.

Minimally invasive dentistry gives people the false impression that they are choosing something healthy for their teeth by having small amounts of tooth structure removed, and that the dentist doing small treatments and fillings is providing a great holistic service to people.

Of course when you give someone those options – small filling or big filling – everyone is going to agree that a small filling is better. But what is so disturbing about minimally invasive dentistry is that it implies the only options are small or big fillings.

But there is a third option that people are not told. And that option is to have no filling. If you had a choice between small, big or no filling, now tell me what you prefer. Personally I prefer no filling, and I bet a lot of other people do too.

Catching tiny cavities and putting in tiny fillings is really not helping people. See, these tiny cavities are actually totally reversible. People don’t need tiny holes drilled in their teeth – they need to be told that they can remineralize their teeth and harden up the small soft spots.

Dental Textbooks Acknowledge Ability of Cavities to Heal

Don’t believe me because you’ve never been given this option before? Here is a quote is straight from my dental school textbook:

It has been shown experimentally and clinically that incipient caries [small cavities] of enamel can remineralize.”Sturdevant’s Art & Science of Operative Dentistry 4th Edition, 2002

A few reasons why remineralizing your tooth is a far superior choice over minimally invasive dentistry:

  • Having a filling in your tooth, no matter what size means dedicating the rest of your life to needing it repaired and replaced (fillings don’t last forever).
  • Fillings of all sizes are susceptible to recurrent decay, especially if the underlying cause of the cavity has not been addressed (and it is not with minimally invasive dentistry)
  • After remineralizing your natural tooth you certainly won’t need to keep seeing your dentist every so many years to have it replaced! In fact, remineralized teeth are more resilient to cavities in the future.

These discolored, remineralized, arrested caries [cavities] areas are in-tact and are more resistant to subsequent caries [cavity] attack than the adjacent unaffected enamel. They should not be restored unless they are esthetically objectionable.” Sturdevant’s Art & Science of Operative Dentistry 4th Edition, 2002

(Another quote straight from my dental school textbook. Makes one wonder why it is not promoted in the modern conventional or holistic dental office…)

I was once talking to a dentist friend of mine about small cavities. She said, “Oh I don’t bother observing them. I just go ahead and fill them. What is the point of watching a cavity just get bigger and bigger?”

But why does she think there just two options, big or small cavity? What about the third option of remineralizing it or healing it?

A lady told me that she went to see a very well known holistic dentist who gave her tons of options for how to remove her daughter’s small cavity and tons of options for different materials to fill it with.

But no option to heal the cavity (which by the way the lady and daughter did do, thankfully).

Remineralization Does Not Occur Using Fluoride

I like to make sure I mention the term, ‘healing,’ because certainly there are some dentists and hygienists out there who promote remineralization of teeth but only through the use of fluoride.

Using fluoride does not heal our teeth. Healing our teeth involves naturally restoring the lost minerals from our teeth by addressing the underlying local and systemic cause(s) of the cavity in the first place. And as much as the toothpaste companies would love for people to think so, cavities are not caused by a lack of fluoride.

Naturally remineralizing or healing one’s teeth can be rather simple for some people and incredibly challenging for others. For some people it can be as simple as cutting out some garbage foods and drinks. It may mean adding in some real food or taking fermented cod liver oil. For others it involves a massive change in their lifestyle and dietary habits.

No matter what amount of work you put into naturally remineralizing and healing your teeth, I promise you that your teeth and the rest of your body will thank you.

It’s time to stop sticking band-aid treatments in our mouths. Regardless of whether they are small band-aids or not, fillings and other dental treatments cover up our ability to take control of our health and healing capabilities.

The power to live a healthy life does not lie in the hands of your dentist, hygienist or any other practitioner. You have the power.

More on How to Remineralize Teeth to Heal Cavities

The book Cure Tooth Decay outlines in detail the dietary protocol for remineralizing tooth enamel.  According to the author Rami Nagel, the most important two dietary steps for remineralization include a daily dose of fermented cod liver oil (NOT regular cod liver oil) and regular consumption of raw, grassfed dairy.

About the Author

Dr. Judene_miniDr. Judene Smith is “The Mouthy Dentist”, at www.DrJudeneSmith.com. Outspoken, un-apologizing and brazen, she writes about natural healing for dental problems, inspiring people to take charge of their own dental health. She believes the best healthcare is not needing any treatment, and the future of dentistry is providing people with what they really want – a naturally healthy mouth, free from treatments, no matter how toxic, non-toxic or biocompatible the materials.

Dr. Judene is a practicing dentist in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada and provides in-office and phone consults to people looking for help with natural healing of their dental concerns.

Dr. Judene is recently married and enjoys hiking and cooking in her spare time. Click here to connect with her via Facebook.

 

Picture Credit

Comments (91)

  • Andrea

    Wow, what an amazing article! I’ve been looking into remineralizing teeth, and you have given me the confidence to go for it instead of getting fillings. I hate having to put anymore foreign materials in my teeth, as I know they will need maintenance. I am willing to what I need to heal my teeth from the inside out. It is true some people want the quick fix and are not willing to change their eating habits and lifestyle. But I love my teeth enough to know it’s worth it. Thank you thank you thank you Dr. Judene!!! You are the kind of dentist I want to work for when I graduate Dental Hygiene school. God bless you!

    April 30th, 2015 12:49 pm Reply
  • jay

    please email me back – i have a hole on the side of my tooth nearest to the cheek (gum pocket) can this be healed? and what recommendations would you consider
    thanks i love this site :)

    January 7th, 2015 4:17 pm Reply
  • Hannah B

    Hi I’m a dental hygienist and I completely agree with this article! I have told many of my patients this info but more often then not they want the quick fix filling. Some people just don’t care, but for those of us who are conscious about what we put in our bodies this information is fantastic! Dr. Judene Smith can I come work with you?!? Hehe

    September 14th, 2014 9:16 pm Reply
  • Rachel

    Burning question:

    How do we take good care of our teeth if we are severely intolerant to all dairy (including ghee), and don’t produce enough bile salts to tolerate FCLO??

    This has been on my mind for some time. I have increased our consumption of healthy animal fats, homemade bone stocks and broths, and cut out fluorinated tooth products. What else?

    June 25th, 2014 1:43 pm Reply
    • Beth

      Grassfed marrow is a great addition especially for dairy intolerant folks.

      Plus pasture raised eggs yolks, pastured lard, carefully sourced seafood and homemade bone broth.

      April 18th, 2015 1:36 pm Reply
  • kate

    It is still not possible to read more of Dr. Smith’s comments at “The Mouthy Dentist”. Clicking on any posts or pingbacks only connects you to a page asking for email or password. It doesn’t work.

    May 24th, 2014 7:23 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      She password protected her site due to all the out of control dentists who were flooding her site with threats of harm both physical and otherwise.

      May 24th, 2014 7:37 pm Reply
      • Andrea

        One more sign she is doing the right thing. I admire her courage!!!

        April 30th, 2015 12:54 pm Reply
  • Rob Jost

    Where can you get raw milk in Canada?
    My understanding is that you can’t purchase it due to gov’t regulations.

    May 21st, 2014 12:02 am Reply
  • private

    Dear Judene….
    What point 1 it makes sense to remineralize… according to the text book….. then at point 2 …dentin has been affected… so remineralizing at this point is in the textbook? As well?…furthermore.. at point 2 i am assuming reminerailizing helps stop the cavity??? If so shouldnt it be supplemented with some sort of chemical (that glittering shiny sugary tasting stuff…. or cemented applications to cover the dentin and acts as an enamel… common sense right???? Why are these practices being ignored..????. I should be a doctor…

    May 20th, 2014 10:16 pm Reply
  • Dr. T

    Totally agree. I observe a lot of incipient lesions.

    May 20th, 2014 7:20 pm Reply
  • Pingback: Healing Your Cavities Naturally | Outdoor Nutrition®

  • Carolyn Stirling via Facebook

    Unfortunately, I’ve had lots of small cavities drilled out and filled. That was before I knew better.

    May 16th, 2014 4:44 pm Reply
  • Denise Faneuff via Facebook

    Interesting.

    May 16th, 2014 4:34 pm Reply
  • Melly Lynda via Facebook

    Definitely better option then all the painful treatments one must undergo

    May 16th, 2014 1:07 pm Reply
  • Louis Core

    The article doesn’t present anything new or anything that dental students aren’t taught (incipient decay can be stopped or reversed) but what Dr. Smith fails to make clear is that incipient decay is (by definition) decay that is still in enamel and hasn’t penetrated into the dentin layer. The overwhelmingly vast majority of cavities that are filled are NOT these incipient lesions. In fact, most dentists I know will not fill incipient decay. This article is misleading.

    May 16th, 2014 11:04 am Reply
  • Ania

    I’ve been working a while on my teeth. Last time I went to the dentist (2 years ago?), he told me that I had 15 cavities. This blew my mind, because I was the health ‘freak’ of the family. I never ate sweets, no cake, chips rarely, and was really conscious about what I ate. I was not going to waste my calorie rations on some empty junk food. My siblings were only diagnosed with 1-2 cavities, and they ate sweets/junk food all the time so this did not make any sense to me or my family.
    When I asked to see the x-ray, all this dentist could tell me was that they were really tiny and only his trained eyes could see the cavities. Kind of like what this article was talking about, he wanted to fill these itty bitty cavities before they became big.
    Fortunately this led me to Sarah’s blog, the WAPF, etc. because I knew that there were all kinds of ailments that doctors had no cure for, yet people successfully used diet and supplements for them (and I know some personally who have reversed asthma, allergies, etc). I wanted to see if someone had an ‘alternative’ cure for cavities.

    I’ve been slowly changing my diet, I used to be vegetarian and also used to eat whole grains (not properly prepared, chock full of phytic acid). The grains were probably the reason for the micro-cavities. Now I rarely eat grains, but when I do I try to properly prepare them. I noticed my teeth get really sensitive when do eat grains, so I prefer not to. I made my own mouthwash using baking soda, comfrey (also known as bone-heal) tincture, colloidal silver, olive leaf oil and oil of oregano. I don’t swallow because comfrey can damage the liver if ingested, but is fine topically. I also regularly take a fulvic acid and a calcium supplement since I can’t afford raw dairy and need some source of minerals. I enjoy liver, it’s also the cheapest organic meat at the farmer’s market so I have no problem with that. I eat pastured eggs daily for fat-sol vitamins.
    I am looking for another dentist to evaluate my teeth, but I’m fairly confident about my diet. When I do, I will make sure to blog about it.

    Thank you Sarah for your blog, if it wasn’t for you I would still be following the ridiculous advice of what conventional people call ‘healthy’.

    May 16th, 2014 10:22 am Reply
  • Joselyn Hoffman Schutz via Facebook

    I can verify that both our dentists (pediatric & family) have confirmed that my children’s horrific cavities remineralized (hardened & stopped progressing), their abscesses stabilized (went pain-free & drained properly) & they’ve had zero new cavities in the 7 years since we changed to a high-natural-fat traditional foods diet.

    May 16th, 2014 10:00 am Reply
  • Dr John Kanca

    Dr. Smith

    I have several questions that I really appreciate you answering at Dentaltown. Feel free to post them here as well.

    May 16th, 2014 8:45 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      From what I’ve heard, that dental forum is a pit of vipers. Nasty, nasty, nasty!

      May 16th, 2014 9:21 am Reply
      • Corwin Chomay

        Although at times the comments can be quite harsh, dentaltown is a phenomenal resource for all dentists. There are clinicians such as Dr. Kanca who have actually changed the practice of dentistry as we know it.

        He does so through the presentation of legitimate and fundamentally sound research, not through the interpretation of decades old texts and citations.

        I believe it would behoove Dr. Smith to rejoin the forum and engage Dr Kanca (or others) who’s questions are legitimate….AND in fact presented in a respectful and open-minded way.

        May 16th, 2014 10:44 am Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          For one (male) dentist to ask another (female) dentist to punch Dr. Smith in the face as was posted on that forum doesn’t strike me as anything close to a “phenomenal resource”. Sounds more like a bullying, old school, in the box group of likeminded, conventional dentists who shun, ridicule and even threaten anything that doesn’t jive with their outdated way of thinking and threatens their pocketbook. I think it would be wise for Dr. Smith to steer clear of that pack of piranhas.

          May 16th, 2014 10:59 am Reply
          • Howard Goldstein

            One or two bad apples do not define Dentaltown. As soon as those inappropriate posts were seen, I as moderator there deleted them. 99% of the posts on Dentaltown are not of this nature. If Dr. Smith comes over to debate her position, I will make sure that the debate stays respectful and anyone with a personal attack will be removed.

            May 16th, 2014 2:20 pm
          • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

            Dear Mr. Goldstein, the fact that those nasty comments even appeared at all it was a travesty. That you deleted them later is too little, too late. Have you banned those dentists from ever posting again or at least put them on permanent moderation? That those type of comments show up at all is a testament to the type of forum it is … rude, bullying, noninclusive of alternative opinions. For shame.

            May 16th, 2014 2:40 pm
  • Steve

    Practicing dentist here…your concept of “Minimally Invasive Dentistry” involving just smaller fillings is inaccurate. Modern MID involves the implementation of risk assessment, digital radiography, visual scoring (ICDAS..look it up), high magnification, and adjunctive technologies such as laser fluorescence. A major tenet of modern MID is to use these systems to implement caries reversal treatments whenever possible including topical agents and behavioral counselling. To claim that MID is simply restoring small cavities couldn’t be further from the truth.

    May 16th, 2014 8:44 am Reply
  • BC

    I’d add a caution about clays in the diet or toothpaste and suggest that nutrient-dense foods and fermented cod liver oil are the better way to go to heal and strengthen teeth. According to one of the speakers in the recent Thyroid Sessions online summit (Wendy Myers), and the MD she works with (Dr. Lawrence Wilson), all clays contain some amounts of harmful heavy metals. They feel that bentonite has too much aluminum. Lead, mercury, aluminum, manganese, etc., can cause neurological and other issues.

    May 16th, 2014 7:46 am Reply
    • Melissa

      But the “trace” amounts in vaccines are safe though? Well that is what all the so called “medical pros” say…. why the difference in tone when it comes to consumption of “trace” amounts by real natural sources? Are you forgetting the fact that fluoride intake internally can cause neurological damage as well but it is “recommended”. My opinions are based on my observances and what I see a bunch of hypocrites in the medical field. Only suggesting big $$ info…. I asked my children’s dentist about re-mineralization of their teeth and she tried to prescribe me a high fluoride toothpaste (by prescription only) to my 4 and 2 year old. I politely turned her down and she then refused to treat me children under the claim of my parental “negligence” (HA! like I am intimidated by that lol). I am working now to regain their health by diet and nutritional therapeutics. What you “modern” medical professionals do not understand is that in a few more years those who are still adamant about lining their pockets by deceit will be the ones without any respect and business (it is a consumer market fyi). They will end up with the title “Quack Doctors/ Dentist” with snake water treatments. We are in the age of information 😉 no longer will the masses follow blindly. If their ways have been working all these years then why are we the sickest with the worst dental habits in the top 100 “developed” nation.

      December 8th, 2015 1:04 pm Reply
  • Leslie Ridenour via Facebook

    How do you even find a “minimally invasive dentist”?

    May 16th, 2014 4:37 am Reply
  • Becky Grover via Facebook

    Very interesting.

    May 15th, 2014 11:29 pm Reply
  • Michael Blackmon via Facebook

    As a practicing Dentist I always recommend watching small cavities because it is possible for them to remineralize. However fish oils are not the answer the reason people get cavities is sugar and acid both of which are in many soft drinks, juices. Sports drinks, energy drinks etc… Once decay penetrates the enamel into the dentin there is no magic oil or voodoo to correct the problem only a trip to the dentist.

    May 15th, 2014 9:29 pm Reply
    • JBRDDS

      Michael, wouldn’t it help if we properly labeled “small cavities” as “incipient caries” or “incipiencies”? (as I assume you’re speaking of caries limited to enamel as “small cavities”?)

      May 16th, 2014 12:29 pm Reply
  • Tracy AndDustin via Facebook

    No. Right now they are being trained how to get more money out of us. I fight them and now I just don’t go any longer :(

    May 15th, 2014 9:13 pm Reply
  • Krystal Ritchie Williams via Facebook

    I wasn’t aware oil pulling wasn’t good for silver fillings. I’ve used coconut oil on my teeth- just brushing with it. I haven’t worked up to pulling yet. I use it on my boys and their dentist raved about their teeth. Next six months I didn’t stick to it as well and the results weren’t as great.

    May 15th, 2014 8:32 pm Reply
  • Nora Hajos via Facebook

    Anybody could recommend please a holistic OK dentist in Portland OR for a family ? thank You !

    May 15th, 2014 7:45 pm Reply
    • Krissy

      Not Portland, but regionally close. I highly recommend Dr. Scott Loiselle in Newport, OR (newportoregondental.com). He has bought the office formerly owned by Dr. Anne Meyer. Dr. Loiselle has taken all the Dr. Huggins trainings, they use ozone, etc.. The website doesn’t give a lot of info, but they are very responsive to answer all questions you have. I really like him and are now using him as our family dentist–we have to drive across the mountains and 4 hours–but it’s totally worth it. He is a very honest dentist as well, and good with children. Stevie is hygienist is fantastic with children. My little boy can’t wait to go back, so unlike my first dental experiences when I was a child.

      May 20th, 2014 5:57 pm Reply
  • Antonio Pedro

    OK, so what to do for good higiene?

    May 15th, 2014 7:42 pm Reply
  • Krissy

    Even severe decay can become completely arrested. My little boy developed severe decay around the age of 2. It came on really suddenly. I had not yet heard of Weston A. Price at that point, but my first research on the topic led me to calcium bentonite clay. He was not getting any sugar, juice or anything–yet we had severe decay. With the front teeth even almost crumbling. We recently discovered he had a really bad lip tie (and tongue tie) the lip tie we just had lasered this year. This probably played a strong part in the top front teeth decay, although he also had decay on the 1st molars as well. We did also use some spry on his teeth, and then I would pack his teeth with the clay at night at bed time. I also put clay on his teeth throughout the day. This alone arrested the decay. In the next year I learned of Weston A Price and incorporated some of that, although not the raw milk. I kept him dairy free other than the butter oil combo. Diet is certainly really important/ critical; however, for those not getting results from diet alone I would strongly recommend clay in the mix of things. Children do not need to get unnecessary dental work, surgeries, etc. There is a better way–thanks for doing this article. We recently went to a holistic dentist and he was amazed and asked what I had done, and confirmed that all decay was totally arrested. He told me to keep doing what I had been doing. His permanent teeth are coming in looking great, no enamel defects and a good wide jaw. Parents keep doing research, and yes I so agree with one of the posts above that cautioned about dishonest dentists just looking to drill and fill for income. I too had this experience. I am fortunate and have no cavities in my adult teeth, I had moved to a new town, and saw a new dentist. My first and only visit, he did a fluoride treatment (I had perfect teeth and was in my 20’s). Unfortunately I had no idea about fluoride at that time. He also said I had a cavity and he wanted to fill it immediately. I asked if they could show me it on my x-ray, they said it didn’t show, but that was common. Well I left that day and never went back. I did not have a cavity as later confirmed by my honest childhood dentist and am still cavity free.

    Dentistry has victimized so many-so so SAD!!!!

    May 15th, 2014 4:41 pm Reply
  • Dipitie

    Last August, I discovered eating real food. In October I started taking Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil with raw organic pasture fed butter and switched to Desert Essence. Had my check up in November, everything was good. I started oil pulling in December and made my own toothpaste with bentonite clay, baking soda, salt, coconut oil and essential oils. I’m positive I found a cavity in March. Since then, I have been taking fermented cod liver oil, fermented skate liver oil, and butter oil and pushed my 6 month check up back a month, but I’m VERY VERY disappointed. I haven’t had a cavity in 20 years, and I get one when I start eating real food and reduce the toxins in my life? I doubt the food caused it, but I’m positive it was the fluoride in my toothpaste that kept me from getting cavities all this time. I’m hesitant to wait too long to get a filling because I’ve already had one root canal from letting a cavity go too long.

    May 15th, 2014 3:04 pm Reply
    • Donna

      I switched several years ago from fluoride toothpaste to fluoride-free xylitol toothpaste, and not only have I been cavity-free, my tooth sensitivity went away too. I highly recommend it. I prefer Spry and Epic Dental. Both have 25% xylitol. Please give this a try before going back to fluoride.

      May 16th, 2014 11:54 pm Reply
      • kate

        How can I read all the posts Dr. Smith’s posts? The pingback post below says you need a password, but people reading on this comment section have no passwords, it seems.

        May 22nd, 2014 10:00 am Reply
    • Innerhealth

      The same thing happened to me. When I had a crap diet and used fluoride toothpaste, I had no new cavities. As soon as I started eating real food and stopped using a fluride toothpaste, I got cavities. When I used a fluoride toothpaste and took fermented cod liver oil, a small cavity did heal though.

      January 4th, 2015 7:49 pm Reply
  • Angela Kang

    How refreshing to read this article! There is a place for conventional dentistry, holistic dentistry and minimal invasive dentistry.. AND NOW MOVE OVER.. .there is also a place for teeth re-mineralization. The point is, patients should be told that there is another option called teeth re-mineralization which is by far the superior option for teeth and overall health, if the patient is willing to commit. This is almost never mentioned in any dental practice regardless of category. Not everyone will commit to this option, but isn’t it our right to know and to be informed? Dr. Weston A. Price had an over 90% success rate of teeth remineralization using dietary protocols. For those whom this approach is not working, other issues such as malabsorption and/or other stressors on the body are probably taking place. Thanks to the Mouthy Dentist for providing a voice for those who have been dentally oppressed for so many years!!!

    May 15th, 2014 12:18 pm Reply
  • watchmom3

    Thank you so much for this post! I took my daughter to the dentist several months ago when a filling fell out and I instructed her to tell him that we wanted something other than amalgam, maybe porcelain…next thing I knew, I could hear him raising his voice and then he called me in and absolutely went off on me as to why in the world I wanted something other than “proven safe, and economical” amalgams! I held my ground and then I looked at him and noticed that since I last saw him, he had significant weight loss (already a thin man), his hair seemed to be falling out and he had a terrible grayish pallor. I was taken aback, as I could see plainly that he is having health issues…not to mention, he has always been a quiet, and polite man, and now he was openly, aggressively challenging me about something that should not have bothered him. (He makes money, no matter what I pick, unless I don’t want it fixed.) I left feeling very upset, and then he didn’t even tell me what he used! I am looking for an alternative dentist in Abilene, Tx, but that is almost impossible to find here. We have always loved this dentist and he has always been kind and courteous to us, for the last 15 yrs. SAAAAAAAAD!

    May 15th, 2014 11:59 am Reply
  • Chris Bramich via Facebook

    I would throw out a word of caution here– the people whose cavities can heal have optimal digestion (as the people WP studied). Most of us who grew up on SAD do not have our body’s foundations working optimally and healing a cavity is not so simple.

    May 15th, 2014 10:41 am Reply
  • Jeff

    I am a dentist and articles like this piss me off! People for the most part do not change and bad habits are hard to break. Conservative fillings are very effective in preventing bigger problems I.e root canals and crowns. ( and no it’s not about making money. I treat my own kids this way ) it’s no different telling a smoker to stop or a fat person to stop eating ! This theory is great in textbooks but in reality it is not the norm. If you don’t want small cavities filled don’t fill them… Then come see me when you need a root canal and crown for ten times the cost !

    May 15th, 2014 10:28 am Reply
    • Melanie

      So you assume people don’t want to know about the other option? Treatment includes informed consent, and discussing other options yet I’ve never been to a dentist who talked about remineralization. Assuming makes an ASS out of YOU and ME. Don’t be an ass. Educate your patients and explain to them that these changes are LIFESTYLE changes and not short term ones and let THEM choose.

      May 16th, 2014 12:57 am Reply
    • Ania

      Dear Jeff the dentist,
      Most people who visit this blog and follow it regularly are willing/changing their diets to promote remineralization. There is no reason to be ‘pissed’ at such articles. Educate and give the options. You can tell a client that they can remineralize teeth, but it takes a lifetime of good dieting and avoiding bad foods. AND you can give them the option of getting those micro-cavities filled so they don’t have to worry their sweet minds over what to eat to prevent cavity growth.
      I love articles like these. They test the limits of popular ideas. Isn’t this what science is about? Developing theories, testing them, gathering data and evidence. Trial and error. You can get angry and ignore new and controversial information. Or you can experiment with it, relate it to history, look at what has already been done/experimented with it.
      People are not always rigid as rocks, and they can change. Even if only 1 out of 100 people were helped, you still helped 1 out of 100 people. And that one person may be forever grateful.

      May 16th, 2014 11:55 am Reply
  • Dr Kim dentist

    I respect the right of people to choose what they want for their personal health.
    But I agreed with this article right up until she said “fluoride doesn’t help”.
    And then recommended that book.
    The “science” behind the book is flimsy at best.
    And teeth are not like the rest of your body. They cannot “heal” like if you cut your arm or break a leg.
    Fluoride in large amounts is toxic.
    But in toothpastes it’s therapeutic.
    Fluoride soaks up into your teeth and makes them harder.
    If they are harder it is more difficult for cavities to form and keeps small cavities at bay. The cavities NEVER go away. They just stay in an arrested form.
    And BTW, to the people subscribing to the “it doesn’t hurt so it’s ok” path.
    Small to medium sized cavities rarely hurt. By the time they hurt you are going to need a lot more than a filling. Possible root canals, crown and extractions enter the possible scenarios.
    What’s “minimal” about those?

    May 15th, 2014 9:22 am Reply
    • Melanie

      The body is constantly repairing and restructuring. Teeth are innervated, no? Then they, too, have the ability to heal. Just because the research behind something isn’t massive doesn’t make it untrue. It just makes it less studied.

      May 16th, 2014 1:00 am Reply
    • Kat

      I had a routine fluoride treatment at age 16 and my life has never been the same, since. I was violently nauseous and ill the rest of the day, and within a couple of weeks i began having severe insomnia, with which i have now struggled for years.

      I already had severe fluorosis – my baby teeth turned black and my adult teeth came in severely discolored, but dentists did not admit that it was fluoride that caused the problem. It is well-known that fluoride calcifies the pineal gland, interfering with natural sleep.

      Calcium fluoride – that occurs naturally – can be beneficial applied TOPICALLY when children are between ages 7 and 9. Fluoride has no benefit when ingested and is probably concomitant with the increase of osteoporosis and dementia, possibly many more chronic illnesses rampant in our culture. Calcium fluoride is not used in toothpaste or dental treatments. Toxic byproducts, never found in nature, (Sodium Fluoride, Fluorosilicic acid, and Sodium Fluorosilicate) are added to the water and used in toothpaste. It is impossible for us to know how much of this poison is in our food (from foods grown or processed with water containing fluoride products) or any other way to be aware of our intake. This is bad for the general population, and for someone extremely fluoride-sensitive and already at a highly sensitized state, this is simply criminal.

      I wish i could begin to educate the dentist i saw at 16 and any others using fluoride treatments routinely of how they have truly scarred my life and productivity.

      May 22nd, 2014 2:10 am Reply
    • Ramiel Nagel

      Dr. Kim,

      Can you specify the flimsy science you are referring too?
      I suppose this means you discount the work of Dentist Weston Price
      who published studies about a 90% cavity reduction using cod liver oil and butter oil?
      Or do you discount the flimsy science of Dr. Philippe Hujoel who in 2013 published epidemiological evidence from the past 80 years of studies on vitamin D and teeth which showed a 47% reduction in cavities?
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23356636

      Cure Tooth Decay has 318 footnotes.

      December 3rd, 2014 12:42 am Reply
  • Shanna Scott via Facebook

    Dana Pittman, how would you check if your boron was low and how would you supplement. Also very interested in reading info supporting that if you have links??

    May 15th, 2014 2:48 am Reply
  • Wyatt Hume

    The concept of minimally invasive dentistry includes two related points. Early cavities can be reversed without fillings (point 1), and when they get beyond the early stage small fillings are likely to give better long-term health outcomes than big ones (point 2).

    Unfortunately, Dr. Smith is asserting that the concept applies only point 2. The assertion it is not correct.

    May 15th, 2014 1:22 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Dr. Judene addresses this … some dentists use fluoride to “reverse” early cavities as part of their minimally invasive dental approach but as she says, fluoride doesn’t “heal” cavities.

      May 15th, 2014 7:39 am Reply
      • Craig Macdonald

        Fluoride does not “heal” cavities, but the fluoride ion is incorporated into the crystal structure of the healed enamel making it more resistant to future decay. This is basic biochemistry that all first year dental students are taught. She is dancing around with semantics.
        Using her approach, brushing and flossing does not prevent tooth decay. The absence of bacteria prevents tooth decay. Obviously there is a direct correlation but technically it is a correct statement.

        May 15th, 2014 8:45 am Reply
    • Dr Judene Smith

      If Minimally Invasive Dentistry was actually truly focused on Point 1, then there would be no Point 2. Why would people need small fillings if they have remineralized their teeth? And when you say they need small fillings because they “get beyond the early stage,” this is still a point when the cavity can be reversed. The fact of the matter is, if someone is getting a small filling, the cavity could have been reversed. Dentin, (the insides of our teeth, under enamel) can be remineralized. It just never is, in reality, because dentists (conventional, holistic and minimally invasive dentists) do not inform and encourage such a thing.

      “If caries [cavities] becomes arrested on a dentinal [inside of tooth] surface, it is referred to as eburnated dentin.” – Sturdevant’s Art & Science of Operative Dentistry

      May 15th, 2014 10:45 am Reply
      • Kate

        How can I read your posts at your blog? I read your post on “The Healthy Home Economist” and am following a WAPF diet as much as possible.
        When I click to go to your website it asks for my email but will not let me go to your blog because it seems, one needs to register.
        Thanks!

        May 17th, 2014 8:20 pm Reply
        • Jo-Anne

          Yes, I would like to read Dr Judene’s other blog posts as well, but haven’t been able to access them because of the log in requests on her website.
          How do we register?

          May 19th, 2014 8:45 am Reply
  • Heidi Hanson via Facebook

    If you go to a dentist and they recommend crowns and root canals, asking a minimally invasive dentist for his or her opinion just regarding those problem teeth, and letting them know you don’t want to do any drilling of any smaller cavities, can probably be a good idea. It may save you a lot of natural tooth structure and money, and if they don’t do a root canal on you, it could save your health.

    I think this article title is misleading, it should say something like – minimally invasive dentistry is the future of dentistry, just make sure to be fully empowered and refuse all small fillings.

    After all, minimally invasive dentistry is going in the right direction in trying to save as much tooth as possible, they are just missing the whole remineralization component at the moment but eventually that will be another means to be minimally invasive and they will catch on and train people to remineralize as part of their practice. There are already a few dentists out there who do this like this guy, who doesn’t drill small cavities and instead uses a resin infiltrant (I don’t know what that is but it sounds better than drilling)…https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140503122748-21525104-eliminate-tooth-decay-2014-update?trk=mp-reader-card

    May 14th, 2014 10:39 pm Reply
  • Debbie Eisa via Facebook

    This sounds and is probably just as great as oil pulling, but oil pulling isn’t for those with silver fillings, so would this not be a good choice either? I’d like to try both, but I do have some old fillings.

    May 14th, 2014 10:12 pm Reply
    • Heather

      Hi have been pulling oil for several years and I have silver fillings 30 years old. I have not had any problems with the oil pulling.

      May 15th, 2014 12:25 pm Reply
  • Robin Borrelli Nemeth via Facebook

    l stopped with the routine dentist ‘well checks’. If my teeth hurt I’ll see one.

    May 14th, 2014 9:35 pm Reply
    • Heather

      That’s genius….wait until you have an irreversible problem and then see the dentist….it’s not a “well check”…..it’s to monitor for problems, educate, rule out pathologies…..face palm

      May 15th, 2014 4:30 pm Reply
      • Melanie

        I agree with Heather that you should still have a checkup.

        May 16th, 2014 1:02 am Reply
  • Jessica Henderson via Facebook

    Hasn’t worked for me. I bought the book ‘Cure Tooth Decay’ and have done the dietary recommendations. I’ve done an overhaul of my diet, including liver, raw milk, lots of bone broth soups, and cod liver oil, gotten rid of almost all phytic acids, etc.
    I feel great, but it certainly hasn’t fixed my teeth. In the last year, I’ve actually gotten 3 new cavities!
    It’s been about 18 months of eating this way, with the last 6 months getting really strict on myself, and it didn’t even stop the decay, let alone heal it.
    I seem to be susceptible to tooth issues- I used to eat lollies all the time and rarely brushed my teeth for a few years in my younger days. I’ve had to have a tooth pulled and over a dozen fillings over the course of time. And I’m only in my mid 20’s.
    I’m very holistically minded, and am very healthy otherwise. I have never been on antibiotics (till early last year, for a tooth infection).
    I have had 4 babies within 6 years, which puts pressure on tooth issues, but the issues started before that.
    I’m gonna keep on with this way of eating(mostly) because I know it’s good health. And maybe I need to replenish minerals over the long term?

    May 14th, 2014 6:18 pm Reply
    • dr alfred

      You can help reminerlize your teeth with eating lots of veggies. Even better, juiced veggies and fruits. Do them ahime, and don’t buy the ones in the shelf for they contain lots of sugar. The minerals and antioxidants will halt bacterial growth and metabolism, put your mouth’s pH in a more basic or alkaline state which bacteria hate. Try it.
      You can try oil pulling. Put 1 tbsp coconut oil or sesame oil and swish in your mouth for 10-15 mins. OP will remove toxins from your teeth and gums and it may even help remineralize small cavities. It’ll certainly help slow or stop the growth of small cavities.
      Drink 2 cups tea daily. Compounds in tea, green or black and not fruity, will inhibit bacterial growth. Daily tea drinking is not only good for you, it’s great at attacking oral bacteria.
      Finally some of my own remedies. Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide for 5 mins twice daily is great at killing bacteria. Look for abtoothpaste with ACP, which is phosphate and can help remineralize more effectively than fluoride. Try daily ACT rinses. Rinse with baking soda for 1 min. Probably the best remedy as it is very alkaline or basic, and is toxic to acid loving bacteria. The pH of cavities is very very acidic. Finally, chew on 1 or 2 Tums daily and chew them slowly and even leave them in your mouth for a few minutes to raise the pH.
      Hope this helps.

      Dr Alfred

      May 15th, 2014 1:29 am Reply
      • Annie

        Dr Alfred,
        You blew me out of the water, so to speak, when you said to take Tums!!
        The only reasons tums has a cheap type of calcium in them. is because Tums Robs your bones of Calcium…

        All anti-Acids robs your bones of calcium..
        Surprisingly it is more of a Acid food, not a Alkaline food.

        May 16th, 2014 7:14 am Reply
  • Judy Converse via Facebook

    My 16 yo son has never had a cavity. It seemed to actually disappoint his dentist. Then one day the dentist said he found two tiny cavities behind my son’s front teeth. He had to drill and fill, he said. I was very skeptical because his health was good and eating habits were same as always – very good, organic, Weston price, with a few treats here or there. When I asked more questions, the dentist was evasive and vague. That was our last visit. We changed to a holistic DMD who said there were no cavities. Buyer beware.

    May 14th, 2014 5:25 pm Reply
    • Annie

      Judy.
      Just about the samething happened to me.
      I went to a new Dentist to get my teeth clean, and he told me , I had two little cavities behind my two top teeth and the bottom.
      I just had them filled by another dentist..

      When I went to my friend who is a Dentist , he told me I did not have any Cavities there at all.
      I never realized that some dentist are liars for the money.
      My dentist friend said, the two front and bottom teeth are the easiest to fill!!

      I’m thinking the dentist that your son was seeing, might of realized that since your son had such good teeth, you might not be coming back, unless he had a cavity to be checked!!!

      May 16th, 2014 7:22 am Reply
  • Ashleigh

    What if your allergic to cod and dairy?

    May 14th, 2014 3:01 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Liver and fish eggs are an alternative.

      May 14th, 2014 6:02 pm Reply
  • Meliza Reza via Facebook

    One dentist I went to said my natural tooth paste was no good because It has no flouride. I use earthpaste and alternate with baking soda and coconut oil toothpaste and do oil pulling and my mouth feels good. When I went to the 2nd dentist a month after I asked her about the cavities the other dentist said I had and she told me there wasn’t any and she knew about coconut oil pulling. so I attribute it all to using products that work in good harmony with your body and don’t have junk ingredients just the same with what you eat. You eat junk you get junk results.

    May 14th, 2014 2:32 pm Reply
  • Kristy Glazier Tompkins via Facebook

    It is recommended to eat plenty of raw grassfed dairy to help. What can someone replace that with if there is a dairy allergy?

    May 14th, 2014 1:19 pm Reply
  • Sandy Estrada via Facebook

    James, when the dentist tells you you are brushing too hard, he means you are brushing too hard against your gums and loosing gum tissue. I have that problem too. Is there any holistic treatment to restore gum tissue?

    May 14th, 2014 12:48 pm Reply
    • Dr LoriAnn

      In all reality you can’t brush too hard. Issues with receding gums, if surrounding gum health is good, is attributed to clenching or grinding of the teeth, especially at night. Inquire about a nightguard or occlusal guard to help retain the bone around the teeth. When we clench/grind at night we are placing micro-pressure on the bone. With this pressure the bone moves away (just like in orthodontist but with orthodontics there are resting periods where the bone can remodel). In a healthy state the gum tissue is 2 – 3 mm from the bone so this is why the tissues appear to recede in the absence of gum disease.

      May 15th, 2014 11:12 am Reply
  • James Hudock via Facebook

    I hate going to the dentist, when they first scrape my teeth with those metal tools, then tell me I’m brushing too hard, where is the irony in that? They scrape so hard to get plaque off it hurts my front teeth, and I don’t get no numbing agent. Then they try to convince me to buy a $200.00 toothbrush! I even clean the plaque off with softer tools bought from the store, they try to find a new place to scrape. The one cleaning my teeth tells me I need to clean better, then the manager comes in and tells me I take care of my teeth very well. lol

    May 14th, 2014 12:40 pm Reply
  • Kim Griffin via Facebook

    This really does work. I was going to post pictures of my daughter but am not given the option here on this post. Two small weeks big difference in color. Also when her father has given her too much fruit or sugary yogurts, I have seen the teeth turn from brown to white again after feeding excellent foods all within 12 hours. No lie. True story.

    May 14th, 2014 12:22 pm Reply
  • Jenna Micklash Lincoln via Facebook

    Tracy Beteta, you do better when you know better. I have to remind myself of that all the time.

    May 14th, 2014 12:13 pm Reply
  • Andrea Davis Ward via Facebook

    Does this help with vertical stress cracks? I’m using a night guard because I clench during sleep have created “cracks”.

    May 14th, 2014 12:12 pm Reply
    • Kristy

      I am interested to know this answer also!

      May 14th, 2014 1:16 pm Reply
  • Susan West via Facebook

    There’s nothing wrong with using minimally invasive dentistry in conjunction with diet. Once a tooth heals, a minimally invasive dentist can put in a filling using biocompatible materials to restore the biting surface of the mouth. Our mouths like to have good biting surfaces. With some looking around and the right questions, once can find a good minimally invasive dentist. Also not to forget if a small child has decay, regular visits to a minimally invasive dentist can be very helpful if someone reports the decay to authorities as potential neglect. I’m an advocate for parents who heal or halt their child’s decay naturally and found a dentist in their back pocket will shut an investigation down. http://www.curetoothdecay.com/Baby_Bottle_Tooth_Decay/medicaid_ecc_dentistry.htm

    May 14th, 2014 12:11 pm Reply
  • Tracy Beteta via Facebook

    Funny you posted this today of all days. I took my little one (5 yrs) to the dentist yesterday to look at a small cavity he has and says it hurts sometimes. Immediately they want to put a stainless steel cap on it…under sedation. My little guy has an autoimmune disorder and is allergic to corn, all artificial dyes, many preservatives, is soy & gluten sensitive. My hubs and I are very concerned about the sedation as well. I can’t afford the fermented CLO. We do make our own clay toothpaste with Thieves in it. You can imagine with all his food allergies and sensitivities that I make everything from scratch and he doesn’t get processed foods or sugary treats. I believe that his cavities stem from all the antibiotics he was given for sinus and ear infections before we discovered all the food allergies. Amoxicylin has been known to weaken tooth enamel which we all know is a common cause of cavities. I totally wish I had known back then all the things I know now.

    May 14th, 2014 12:08 pm Reply
    • Jayne

      I agree with an earlier post, coconut or other tolerated oil, do oil pulling. The keys are the fat soluble vitamins A D and K2. Sunshine on oily skin without washing for 12 hours is free vitamin D. Natto for K2 is not easy for a child to stomach but is very cheap, yellow cheese or springtime yellow butter are the next best. A is in any liver, which can be made into a nice sweet pate.

      May 14th, 2014 11:53 pm Reply
    • JBRDDS

      Tracy, there is only a suspected association between Amox and enamel FLUOROSIS at this time. Ironically fluorosis renders teeth LESS SUSCEPTIBLE to caries/cavities. Amox does not WEAKEN enamel, just deforms it to various extents. I don’t think your connection is valid.

      May 16th, 2014 1:36 pm Reply
      • Kat

        You can have your fluorosis. I HATE it. I have the ugliest teeth ever, plus near permanent insomnia.

        May 22nd, 2014 2:40 am Reply
  • Schmidt Tina via Facebook

    Bummer, ok. I was hoping! 😉

    May 14th, 2014 11:58 am Reply
  • Shayna Adams via Facebook

    What about rebuilding a part of a tooth that was broken or chipped? Is it the same concept?

    May 14th, 2014 11:58 am Reply
  • Schmidt Tina via Facebook

    I just had a small filling fall out about 5 days ago. Can that heal? Or do I need it refilled?

    May 14th, 2014 11:51 am Reply
  • Lindsay Brotzman via Facebook

    yes, yes, YES!!! my kiddos and i use the stuff i make at home, using coconut oil, essential oils, diatomaceous earth (provides silica), some other choice ingredients and above all, bentonite clay. the clay remineralizes, as long as it hasn’t been in contact with metal (i mix with a wooden utensil and store in either glass or safe plastic containers). haven’t convinced my rooted-in-tradition dh to try it yet, but no nasty stuff for my kids and i!

    May 14th, 2014 11:49 am Reply
  • Sarah Barnette

    My 5 year old has white spots on his teeth that were chalky, but have in the past 6 months hardened back up. We’ve switched toothpaste, from a regular supermarket variety to Earthpaste. We haven’t gotten rid of grains, but we’ve also switched to raw milk and have (as much as possible) incorporated FCLO. Would using the homeopathic Calc. Fluor. be of help in strengthening his teeth? Thanks!

    May 14th, 2014 11:39 am Reply

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