Holistic Dentistry and Cavities
In many ways, conventional and holistic dentists are similar when it comes to tooth decay and cavities. We all agree that prevention is the best approach. And we all stress good oral hygiene along with cutting back on sugary snacks, which feed the bacteria that lead to decay.
The main difference with holistic dentists is that we seek out materials and methods that are safer. We go beyond just fixing a dental problem and take into consideration how these treatments could affect your health in the future.
The use of fluoride is one example of the holistic perspective. Holistic dentists do not advocate using fluoride to prevent decay. Fluoride is toxic at high levels and holistic dentists are concerned that even at lower levels fluoride may be a health hazard as well. As a substitute for fluoride, holistic dentists prefer using xylitol. Surprisingly, xylitol is a sweetener. But xylitol also appears to decrease the ability of bacteria to promote decay.
If you are worried about tooth decay or need restorative dentistry care, cosmetic dentist Tim Kelly in Albuquerque employs holistic dentistry for cavities. He employs the least invasive, least traumatic, and least toxic techniques for both diagnosis and treatment. Less is more in holistic dentistry.
That mantra includes choosing conservative approaches to detect and treat early decay. We use a special laser to detect decay before it even appears. Then, before opting to drill and fill, we use ozone therapy to stop decay in its tracks. If a cavity is caught early enough, we may be able to avoid a filling entirely.
When fillings are needed, a holistic dentist, just like a traditional dentist, needs to repair the decay. After the decay is removed, the cavity is shaped and then filled to restore and protect the tooth.
For the filling, a holistic dentist selects bio-compatible (non-toxic) materials, which leaves out amalgam fillings since they contain mercury. We prefer durable, tooth-colored composite resin fillings. In addition to being bio-compatible, composite fillings are less invasive since the tooth requires less preparation than for amalgam fillings. In addition, our holistic composite fillings do not contain BPA, a chemical found in some plastics.
In addition to all their health benefits, tooth-colored composite fillings are more attractive than silver-colored amalgam ones since the color blends in with surrounding teeth, restoring both your tooth and your smile. Also, if a composite resin filling wears down, the entire filling does not have to be replaced, as with amalgam. Instead, the dentist simply adds another layer of resin to the filling.
If requested, we can also remove old amalgam fillings. In addition to concerns about mercury, amalgam fillings expand slightly when exposed to hot temperatures, which over time can cause cracks and fractures in the tooth. And, as amalgam fillings age, they can become loose and let decay creep underneath.
For patients who are particularly sensitive to chemicals in the environment, we can do biocompatibility testing. Since no two people are alike, biocompatibility testing allows us to determine which dental materials are compatible with our patients.
If desired, we can recommend homeopathic medicine for pre- and post-treatment care or we will work with a certified acupuncturist to treat dental pain and promote healing.
If you are concerned about a tooth, or its time for a regular checkup, please call today for an appointment.