Background of Holistic Dentistry  

San Diego Holistic DentistSince the influx of holistic and alternative medicine, there has been a rising question as to what the differences are between traditional and holistic dentistry.  Before discussing those differences, however, it’s important to not only talk about the meaning of the term “holistic,” but also what it means in regards to dentistry, as well as the history of its inception.

Holistic is a word that doesn’t describe a dentist or practitioner, or even how they perform their procedures and practices.  It has more to do with the philosophies that are being employed.  By definition, holistic is characterized as treatment of the whole person rather than just specific issues or symptoms.  It takes into account mental, social and environmental factors and how those factors are playing a role in overall well being.

Especially with regards to dentistry, this can be a little hard to grasp for some.  But think of the term holistic as meaning “whole-istic” because the idea is to ensure oral health does not negatively affect overall body and mental health.  The two major goals of holistic dentists are:

  1. To treat teeth, gums, and mouth with natural tools, products, and procedures
  2. To educate patients as to how oral hygiene plays a role in their overall health

Education is the key for dental patients because most don’t realize that poor oral health can create an excessive amount of bacteria, which then very easily infiltrates the bloodstream through saliva and mucous membranes.  This bacteria can then invade the body and cause a variety of problems like:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • GI discomforts
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fetal development problems in pregnant women.

Most traditional dentists know the importance oral health, but many unfortunately are not skilled or trained in understanding the consequences or long-term effects of poor oral health on the whole body.  This is partly the reason for the creation of this biological dental field, which works to not only help patients better understand oral health, but help traditional dentists better treat their patients.

The Holistic Dental Association, or HDA, was created in 1978 and has been working diligently to educate both dentists and the public about the benefits of holistic oral care.  The association has provided ample training for traditional dentists looking to broaden their practice and continue their education, as well as better understand the true whole-body ramifications of poor oral care.

The Holistic Dental Association has risen extensively in recent years because people are now beginning to take a larger role in their own care and are looking for more natural solutions rather than chemical and possibly dangerous treatments.  The HDA has taken the responsibility of helping to educate those persons who have decided to take part in their own care.

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