FAQ : Can you recommend a good holistic dentist?
Holistic dentistry sounds like such a benign alternative to conventional dentists. My completely unscientific guess is that there a lot of people who would prefer a holistic dentist given a choice, without really knowing what it means. I’m also sure that almost all of them end up settling for conventional dentistry.
But if you’re someone who needs to avoid the mercury in amalgam fillings (or safely remove existing amalgams), or is seriously concerned about possible neurological side effects from fluoride treatments, then at some point you have probably tried quite hard to locate a holistic dentist in your area.
You’ve probably found the search for holistic dental care to be a lot more difficult than you expected.
There are all sorts of reasons you might harbour valid concerns about your dentist’s default choice of materials, procedures or philosophies.
You may have had previous over-exposure to toxins, suffer from severe allergies, live with an auto-immune condition, or have had experiences in the chair that made you mistrustful of conventional dentistry.
The point of this post is not to argue the pros and cons of these concerns (I promise to unpack these controversies elsewhere).
My intention here is to provide some guidance through the minefield of misrepresentation that you’ll get from a simple Google search for ‘holistic dentist near me’.
The irresistible SEO of holistic dentistry
I’m sorry to say that the term ‘holistic dentist’ is virtually meaningless in practical terms. It’s an unregulated descriptor, so there’s nothing to stop any old dentist from calling their practice ‘holistic’ even if they only offer mainstream conventional dentistry.
As I have learned from seven years of running a natural oral health coaching business called the Holistic Tooth Fairy, ‘holistic’ is a powerful, coveted, expensive, keyword on search engines.
The people who do the marketing for dental practices know that millions of people search for holistic dentists every day. In order to show up at the top of those searches, they buy Google Ads using the keyword ‘holistic’ to get their sponsored listing displayed at the top and bottom of the first page of search results. They also salt ‘holistic’ liberally through their website copy for search engine optimization (SEO) to improve their search rankings.
Screenshot from the FAQ page on a Lumino Dental website where you can see them SEOing the heck out of their ‘holistic dentist’ keyword phrase. Lumino is a conventional dental franchise in New Zealand.
- Take fewer x-rays than conventional dentists
- Discuss your medical history, overall physical health and your intentions for dental health
- Take a conservative approach to restorations (especially root canals)
- Offer alternatives to fluoride treatments
- Never place amalgam fillings
If you really need a dentist who practices in a way that takes the whole body system into account, avoids toxins and minimises interventions then you are better off searching for terms like:
- Biological dentist
- Integrated dentist
- Functional dentist
- Bio-mimetic dentist
- Whole body dentist
- Mercury-free dentist
Try using these search terms for yourself and see how far you would have to travel to visit the nearest one of these dentists.
Unless you live in a large city in a wealthy country, its hard to find a biological/integrated/functional/bio-mimetic/wholebody dentist. There just aren’t very many of these types of dental specialists in the whole world!
To get a better idea of where such specialists can be found, bypass Google and use their own professional directories:
International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine (IABDM) trains and certifies biological dentists, including safe removal of mercury fillings, dental ozone, mojuth meridians etc. Their membership directory indicates which members have been certified.
The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) is a science focused research academy not for profit which investigates the effects of amalgam fillings, fluoride, root canals etc. Their membership directory indicates each member’s level of training in biological dentistry, from a single course in safe mercury removal to 500 hours of scientific research.
Holistic Dental Association (HDA) is a broad church who set a low bar to be listed as a ‘holistic dentist’ . Some of the members in their directory indicate that they don’t use amalgam fillings or topical fluoride, some indicate that they do, and most don’t give any clue. Use this directory with caution if fluoride and amalgam are deal breakers for you.
Don’t wait for an emergency before you start looking for this kind of dental care. Even if you are lucky enough to be able to find a biological/integrated/functional/bio-mimetic/whole-body dentist nearby, you might be shocked at how inaccessible they are in other ways.
The mismatch between supply and demand for ‘real’ holistic dentists make for long appointment delays. Some such dental clinics are still playing catching up with their patients after extended lockdowns. Some don’t accept new patients, or only by referral.
And make sure you are sitting down before asking about the cost of a consultation, let alone a treatment plan. If you think regular dentists are expensive, these specialists will probably put the cost of mainstream dental care in perspective. They are also even less likely to be covered by dental insurance (private or public) than conventional dentists.
Settling for a regular, decent dentist
So what should you do when there’s a yawning chasm between the value you place on non-toxic dental care and your ability to access specialists?
I suggest that for those of us hindered by geography, finances and/or scarcity it may be easier to find a conventional dentist who is flexible and respectful of your expectations and boundaries and negotiate with them to get the level of holistic care that you want or need. And that’s a challenge that my next book, The Empowered Dental Patient, is going to tackle.
Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!
I’m a natural oral health coach and I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!
Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.
Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.
I can help you to turn your oral health around with natural strategies, healthy habits and intuitive insights.
Learn how to interpret the metaphysical messages of your teeth and gum symptoms!
The Secret Lives of Teeth is a clear and comprehensive guide teaches you a unique, complementary self-help approach to easing toothaches, enhancing enamel and gum remineralization and getting better results with necessary dental treatments.
Available as a paperback or ebook.