I am frequently asked how I as a biologic dentist differ from a dentist who provides traditional care. This need for a distinction gave me pause to consider why indeed?
Biological dentists recognize the impact of dental materials and the relevance of dental procedures to our patient’s health. These dentists are concerned with the integrity of the oral cavity and the resulting affect on the body. Holistic Dentists see how each tooth lays on an acupuncture meridian, and chooses care that doesn’t violate that relationship.
At the core of what has divided traditional, holistic, and biologic dentists for at least the last 30 years, is the question of safety of amalgam fillings. If we can set aside this issue for just a moment and look at the role of dentistry in health care one thing becomes clear to me, all dentists do biologic dentistry.
I say this because dentists play a huge role in our health care system. At the core of our dental training is a thorough review of the patient’s health history. When we look at the medications the patient is currently taking, and adjust our care accordingly then that care is biologically based.
Dental Hygienists play a unique role since they spend the most time with patients in the dental office setting. Not only do they review the medical history but they often times see the patient more frequently than does their physician. This relationship allows for possibly not only early detection, but more importantly an opportunity to coach a reluctant patient who has been postponing needed medical care.
Dental research that arose in the 1990’s, even hit the main stream media, about the harm caused by periodontal bacteria to the rest of the body. Several studies showed how Periodontal bacteria had been found as at least a contributing factor to heart disease, preterm low birth weight babies, diabetes, and even MS. Most, if not all dentists address this issue.
So as a profession shouldn’t we focus more on the common ground and spend less time making distinctions that divide. This isn’t good for our profession and especially for our patients.