Healthy teeth and a healthy body
Credit: Morguefile photo by Alvimann

A Professional Concerned With Your Overall Health

As more people are making the connection between poor dental health and chronic disease, a new specialty known as biological dentistry has emerged.

A biological dentist is concerned with your overall health, as well as your teeth. He or she will address any mouth problems in an attempt to help balance your body. These practitioners may also recommend various supplements and work hand-in-hand with naturopathic physicians. Sometimes they even share a medical practice with other alternative therapists.

However, because this is a relatively new discipline, it may be difficult to find a holistic dentist. Insurance coverage may also be very spotty. Since demand for these specialists seems to outstrip supply, you can also expect to pay more for their services, compared to conventional dentistry.

Going to the dentist
Credit: Morguefile photo by taliesin

No Mercury or Fluoride

Biological dentists do not use silver fillings, which are really a combination of mercury, aluminum, zinc and possibly other metals. About 50 percent of this amalgam is liquid mercury, which is one of the most toxic substances in the world. As far back as 1860's, dentists have been concerned about putting these fillings in people's mouths. However, the American Dental Association has long maintained they are safe.

Sodium fluoride is another toxin that isn't used by holistic dentists, although conventional dentists usually promote in-office fluoride applications in an effort to reduce dental cavities. Many alternative practitioners believe that too much fluoride can have disastrous effects upon the thyroid gland and many other organs. It is also thought to promote cancer and other conditions.

Typically, during a dental visit, x-rays are taken to allow to the doctor to view hidden areas of infection or decay. Biological dentists take x-rays as well, but they will respect a patient's decision not to have these films taken, which will result in radiation exposure.

There is a growing school of thought that good dental care is very important to your overall well being. Many experts in the field now believe that chronic disease, and even cancer, is now linked to untreated mouth infections. The book shown below is co-authored by Dr. Hal Huggins, DDS, widely considered the father of biological dentistry. He advocates for mercury-free dental practices, as roughly about half of all dentists still use "silver" fillings. These are really a combination of mercury and other toxic metals.

How to Find a Biological Dentist

Many biological practitioners are affiliated with the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine, an organization that seeks to promote a more holistic approach to caring for the teeth and gums. In addition to being committed to not using mercury or fluoride, dentists who belong to this group also try to make sure all materials they use is compatible with each individual patient.

Holistic dentists strongly believe that the entire body is interconnected, and that poor oral health can lead to serious disease. Many members of the IABDM either work very closely with other alternative practitioners, or they have received specialized training themselves in other areas, such as homeopathy.

The IABDM has a practitioner data base, but there may not be a member dentist in your area. However, not all dentists who have a holistic mindset are affiliated with this organization, and you still might be able to find a mercury-free dentist nearby. One good place to ask for a referral is your local health food store.

What to Expect at an Office Visit

Biological dentists often use herbs and homeopathy

Many biological dentists take a wide range of insurance. But, unless you have excellent dental coverage, you can probably plan to pay more than your plan will offer. Holistic dental care is in great demand, and, right now, there are relatively few dentists who also delve into alternative medicine.

You can expect a biological dentist to also perform regular cleanings, although you'll probably have to make a separate visit for routine work, if your main concern is how to get the mercury fillings out of your mouth. This is one of the most common reasons people seek out a biological dentist.

Your mouth specialist may also have extensive knowledge of other disciplines, such as applied kinesiology and homeopathy. My own dentist, for instance, recommends that all his patients do oil pulling, a detoxification technique that involves swishing coconut oil in your mouth for about 10 minutes before spitting it out. He says it's a very powerful way to improve your oral and physical health. People with mercury fillings, however, should consult with a knowledgeable practitioner before attempting this.